Friday, March 4, 2016

Into the Wild

Into the Wild
Jon Krakauer

The structure of the book and the biographical nature wasn’t what I was expecting when I opened it--I assumed that it was a memoir. It’s told in a sort of backwards way, working from his death backwards, but at the same time ends with him in Alaska. The storytelling had a “come full circle” way of ending.
Chapter 4 takes place in places I’ve been on the outskirts of my hometown of Kingman, Arizona. That was cool. The events were taking place a few months before I was born, but I’m the same age now that he is in the book, so that’s a little surreal.

Particularly insightful passages:
“It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough, it is your God-given right to have it.”

“It is hardly unusual for a young man to be drawn to a pursuit considered reckless by his elders; engaging in risky behavior is a rite of passage in our culture no less than in most others. Danger has always held a certain allure. That, in large part, is why so many teenagers drive too fast and drink too much and take too many drugs, why it has always been so easy for nations to recruit young men to go to war. It can be argued that youthful derring-do is in fact evolutionarily adaptive, a behavior encoded in our genes.”

There’s a good deal about mountain climbing and adventure that didn’t really interest me. I think if I was a climber or more outdoorsy, it would have appealed to me more. I just don’t think I was the right audience for the story.

EDIT: I'm still thinking about this book weeks later, so on some unconscious level, it did leave an impression on me. 

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