From Amazon: "God, he was a smart kid..." So why did Christopher McCandless trade a bright future--a college education, material comfort, uncommon ability and charm--for death by starvation in an abandoned bus in the woods of Alaska? This is the question that Jon Krakauer's book tries to answer. While it doesn't—cannot—answer the question with certainty, Into the Wild does shed considerable light along the way. Not only about McCandless's "Alaskan odyssey," but also the forces that drive people to drop out of society and test themselves in other ways.
This was a book that I had to start twice to get into and even the second time when I finished it, it really didn't engage me easily - it took effort to listen through. I wondered if I had it in printed form if some of the lengthy quotes from other works and the author's meanderings through his own life would have been "skim over" material for me and I would have just stuck with the meat of the story of Chris McClandess. The combination of sources presented - interviews wih people he met, the diary he kept, and so forth, give a vivid picture of Chris. Hearing how close he actually was to civilization when he died was heartbreaking. It reminded me of when I hiked the Camino de Santiago in Spain and would sometimes feel like we were in the middle of nowhere with no hope of ever finding the next town and then when you did get to the next town, you'd figure out you had been walking parallel to a major throoughfare the whole day long.
I will probably watch the movie now - I have it Tivo'd and waiting - just to see how they translated the story to the screen.
I've finished up the audio book challenge but I'm adding the extras as I finish them.