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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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3 Hawthorne Outdoors- Lore and Survival

Into the Wild


Into the Wild Cover

ISBN13: 9780307387172
ISBN10: 0307387178
Condition: Standard
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M Daly, February 11, 2014 (view all comments by M Daly)
In 1992 a young man trekked into the Alaskan wilderness for an adventure. He never returned. Some months later, hikers discovered his emaciated body in an abandoned bus. What started out as an article for Outdoor magazine, turned into a journey of discovery for author Jon Krakauer as he delved into the boy's history to find the reasons for his journey and eventual death. The result is an engrossing story of a young man who loved adventure, but pushed himself too far.
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Haylie F, October 20, 2013 (view all comments by Haylie F)
Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, follows the exhilarating adventure of Chris McCandless, a young man who left his family and friends, abandoned most of his material possessions, and treks across the country in hopes of one day being able to live off the land in the icy Alaskan terrain. The author does a great job of portraying McCandless complex personality through meticulous research based on interviews, letters and journal entries, but sometimes it can fall a little flat. There wasn't as much action going on during certain points of description, and you kind of lose the great sense of excitement that was built up from his odyssey. I enjoyed the first 100 pages though, feeling the same thrills as McCandless and cheering him on as he makes his thrilling and bold expedition.

At some points, his journey was so exalting that I felt inspired to get off my lazy butt and actually go out into the world and to something daring adventurous. "...make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation... The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure (126)".

The passage resonates with me because my life has been filled with stagnation and inactivity. I am the queen of conservatism. I don't consider myself unhappy, but I'm always afraid of moving outside the comfort zone, of expanding further than my own comfortable little shell. I often don't exert myself to my best capabilities because halfhearted efforts seemed good enough. When I read about McCandless, I noticed that one of his admirable traits is if he wanted something he went out and did it. He was not afraid of challenges, the greater they are the better. Anyone in search for inspiration and an enlivening, eye-opening story should definitely read this book.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
kaitlinh, October 19, 2013 (view all comments by kaitlinh)
Hawaii is home to some of the most breath-taking and dangerous hikes in the world. However, many residents of the island, including myself, aren’t adventurous enough to explore these trails. Nevertheless, there are still hundreds of people who climb the magnificent mountains every single day. The thrill of exploring nature is part of the excitement of hiking, but every so often there’s news about an unfortunate hiker who meets their end on one of these hikes. I never understood why people would risk their lives for a little excitement, that is, until I read Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

This book shows why a young man, Chris McCandless, gave up all of his money, dropped out of school and started a long adventure exploring the country. There were a few chapters explaining Chris’ expedition, however after the first five chapters or so, I basically knew Chris’ entire journey. However, his perseverance throughout his whole journey was very inspiring. No matter how much anyone tried to talk him out of his crazy idea, he would not budge. As Gallien, a man who Chris hitch hiked with says, “ There was just no talking the guy out of it. He was real determined. He couldn’t wait to head out there and get started (6)”. It’s not every day that you meet someone so determined to do something. For almost two years he had this perseverance to be on his own exploring the wild.

This memoir was average. Some parts were very enthralling, yet some were dull with seemingly no relationship to Christopher’s story. I recommend it for anyone looking to read an inspirational story.
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Thomas L, October 18, 2013 (view all comments by Thomas L)
Rarely do I ever go out there to roam in the wilderness, but even if I do, there is probably some form of civilization about a mile away and with plenty of survival equipment. Chris from the memoir however goes all the way and leave all society to live in the Alaskan territory with only weapons and some rice. He not only left all of his possessions, but also most of his equipment as well. He just wanted to live on his own and by his own work. "'Hey, I'm goin' to get on up there, live off the land, go claim me a piece of the good life (4).'"
The story of Chris McCandless reminds me of another book I read in the past called Robinson Crusoe. Unlike Chris though he finds himself stranded on an island after a shipwreck by himself. Like Chris he had to survive using his own wit and cunningness such as they both needed to hunt the wildlife around the parts to survive. Although Robinson Crusoe concentrated on his entire seclusion, Into the Wild goes in more depth on those Chris meets on his journey.
This book is indeed an excellent story. People who enjoy reading about an inspiring story of someone who sacrificed his regular life to follow his dreams would like this book.

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Caglab, October 18, 2013 (view all comments by Caglab)
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer was an interesting book about an adventurous man's life. It portrayed the story of Chris McCandless, a young and simple man, whose only want in life is to live off of what nature provides him. I thought this book was interesting because, I put my self in his shoes and thought that it might be cool as a camping trip for a few days, but not for years on end. Krakauer made a good job of being clear and descriptive in writing this book, which made me want to read even more, and find out more about McCandless' journey. This story is pretty remarkable in a sense of this would be crazy and unethical to any sane person. Though the book is a little confusing in the beginning, when changing names back and forth between "Chris McCandless" and "Alex Supertramp" his alias, it was a good read and I had a hard time putting the book down once I started reading it. I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a book with adventure, and a great climax.
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Product Details

Krakauer, Jon
Krakauer, Jon
Regional Subjects - West
Adventure and adventurers
West (u.s.)
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.01x5.18x.70 in. .55 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
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Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Americana » Alaska
Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Camping and Hiking » Hiking » Guides
Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Lore and Survival
Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Mountaineering » Literature
Travel » North America » United States » Western States
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Into the Wild Used Trade Paper
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Anchor Books - English 9780307387172 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter....
"Synopsis" by , National Bestseller 

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter....

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