Welcome to Week 3 of the Online Book Club.
I’m sure, after you have read over half of the book, you can see that this story is very appealing for those who aspire to live a simpler life. In fact, this book prompts hundreds of people each year to travel to Alaska and see the place where Chris died. Unfortunately, the place that he died is surrounded by danger, so many people die on their quest to see what Chris saw. Check out this article from Outside magazine if you’re interested to learn more about this problem.
I think one of the most surprising things about this story is the fact that Chris spends so much time sending postcards to people he meets on his travels. I think I assumed that he wanted to be left alone and not make connections with others, but it seems like he was really interested in staying connected with friends. The letters that Krakauer includes in the narrative are really helpful for me to feel like this story is about a real man, not just some made-up adventurer.
In chapters 11 and 12, we learn more about Chris’ childhood and the messy circumstances that surrounded his death. Krakauer explains that Chris’ dad was married to another woman when he entered into a relationship with Chris’ mom, and he moved between both houses when Chris was really little. Reading about Chris’ childhood helped me better understand why he wanted to break ties with his family. Also, as I mentioned last week, the documentary Return to the Wild went into even more detail, so make sure to watch that if you want to hear more about Chris’ childhood.
What were your thoughts from this week’s reading? Are you still interested in the story? What do you think of Chris? Do you understand why he would want to live out in the wild and away from his family?
Check out this clip from ABC news that provides some of the footage from Return to the Wild, and check out Chris’ sister’s book, The Wild Truth, if you’re interested to learn more about Chris’ backstory.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments. And make sure to come back next week as we talk about the end of the book.