by Erin K. | | 4 Comments | Tags:

Welcome to Week 4 of the Online Book Club!

We made it to the end of Into the Wild this week. What did you think? Was it an interesting read for you? Does it make you want to read more of Jon Krakauer’s work?

I think the saddest thing about the end of this book is that Chris was ready to emerge from the wild but was unable to escape due to the raging river that surrounded him. It seems like he accomplished what he wanted to accomplish in Alaska and was ready to face civilization again, but of course, he didn’t make it. It’s really heartbreaking to me to think that he was so stoic and brave, but near the end, he felt alone and saw that his lack of food would lead to his demise. And it’s really sad that he was relatively close to civilization; if he had only had a map, he might have been able to find a way out.

In one of the last chapters, Krakauer suggests that Chris was poisoned when he ate some potato seeds that were contaminated with mold. Krakauer expands on this theory in a 2013 article he wrote for The New Yorker. Feel free to read the article and see if you accept this hypothesis.

In the epilogue, we see that Chris’ parents get a little bit of closure when they are able to visit the bus. Because of their visit, I’m glad that the bus still stands, but because of all of the people who visit and get injured, I kind of wish it would be removed. What do you all think?

What were your thoughts about the whole book? Did you enjoy Jon Krakauer’s writing? Would you read another book by him? Did you watch the documentary? If so, did you think it provided more helpful information?

I hope you enjoyed the book this month. Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment. And, get ready to join me next month as we read The Wright Brothers by David McCollough. I hope to see you then!

4 Responses to “Into the Wild: Week 4”

  1. Carrol

    I am so glad I read the book. I really liked Krakauer’s style of writing. I liked the way he included excerpts from Chris’s diary and underlined passages of books he was reading along the way.

    I, too, was happy that Chris had decided to rejoin civilization. It makes me know that he had no intention of ending his life when he started this “adventure.” His lack of preparation was his biggest mistake. He had no idea what he was really getting into.

    I was so tense when Krakauer was talking about his own adventures. I still don’t understand why someone would knowingly put his life in danger. I have to admit I am curious enough to read some of his other books.

    I agree that when Chris’s parents visited the bus, they seemed to find closure. The bus seems like an invitation for those that are curious enough to see where Chris died. I hope when anyone makes the decision to go, he will be well-prepared and very aware of his surroundings.

    Thanks for guiding us through another book and encouraging us along the way.

    • Erin K.

      I’m glad you enjoyed Krakauer, Carrol! It is nice that Chris’s parents were able to find some closure-even though they were faced with such tragedy.

      I’m glad you enjoy the blog entries! Thanks for taking the time to read through the extra links I include!

      I hope to hear from you again next month! Thanks for being so faithful to comment and participate in the discussion every week!

  2. Jane Engle

    After reading the rest of the book and his The New Yorker article, I am inclined to accept Krakauer’s hypothesis about what led to and caused Chris’s death. The amount of time, effort, money and research he spent to arrive at a plausible conclusion makes it easier for me to accept than others who simply dismiss anything he has to say.

    While I enjoyed the book which made me want to continue reading and kept my interest throughout until the end, the number of revisions he made based upon what ended up to be questionable statements due to further research and findings after his articles were first published makes me understand why some people are skeptical of his work. As a result, I would be hesitant to read any more of his writings without being prepared to question what was said. Where I can see wanting to devote more time to his authorship would be to travel stories that include local legends of people who were supposedly linked to the regions.

    Since the interest in seeing the bus and its surroundings still remains strong, as long as publicity continues about the dangers and risks one may encounter in order to do so and the proximity to acquiring aid/aide if needed is emphasized, I think it is reasonable to continue keeping the bus where it is.

    • Erin K.

      Thanks for your comment about being careful to not just accept everything Krakauer says in his books. I totally agree with you that he presents the truth and information to the best of his ability, but as the ending of Into the Wild shows, he is capable of making mistakes.

      Thanks for being so faithful to comment this week! I enjoy reading your insights!

      I hope to hear from you next month!

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