Saturday, December 22, 2007

Into the Wild

I finally finished Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild yesterday. What began as an in-depth article in Outside magazine, Into the Wild examines the life of Chris McCandless during his short time here on Earth. The book has since inspired a film adaptation directed by Sean Penn (available on DVD February 12).

Personally, I loved this book. Reading about Chris from the people whose lives he touched during his journeys truly made me wish I could have met the lad. Normally I don't buy into sappy stories but I couldn't help having to wipe away a tear upon finishing the last chapter—when his parents visited the bus that had been Chris's final home.

Critics will immediately write off Chris McCandless as a stupid, spoiled rich kid whose sole purpose was to piss off his parents and had no business traipsing off to the Alaskan wilderness. Nothing could be further from the truth. The point of this book was not to examine Chris's outdoor skills, but to learn about a remarkable lad who inspired others in life and many more after his death. "Happiness only real when shared" is what Chris scrawled next to a passage in the novel >Doctor Zhivago. We would all be so lucky to realize this before we die.


tiago said...

It may seam ridiculous to you, but the first time i heard about Chris was around 2007 Christmas, after buying the “into the wild “soundtrack I bough it because the songs were made by Eddie Vedder. I searched for some new from this film, and I caught most of the story. But still, I had no idea of what it was about.
I said to my self, damn good cd, but I have to wait for the film to come out… but last weak I saw the book in the book shop, translated to Portuguese of course, and I immediately bought it…

My mind is blown!!! How can a man be courageous enough to do something like that?
This was not like the lonely bike rides I take in the forest, sometimes. I always carry my cell phone with me and I know i´m a little safe, even if i´m lost… This man… simply lead him self … into the wild, with no fear, no looking back, no second thoughts. Not trapped into these civilized webs that makes us dependable… from machines, from money, from feelings… discard all thoughts and needs and just be free!
Some say that he must be insane, but look again… define insane!
I haven’t finished the book yet, but one thing i´m sure; I wont forget this story…I never had heroes nor idols, but even if he got away with life, I still consider him a remarkable young man.
One funny thing is that I read Eddie´s lyrics before I read the book… and now that i´m almost at the end I can say that they fit together. Eddie really got the feeling of it.
Can´t wait to see the movie.

Pablo said...

En los films vemos las vidas de los otros a travès de los ojos del artista, en este caso, los de Sean Penn, quizàs la vida de Cris no fue asì, quizàs no fueron esas razones las que tuvo para hacer lo que hizo, no importa: Sean logrò una cosa muy linda con su film, y es dar belleza a la vida de Cris, y tambièn a su muerte.
La ùltima frase de Cris fue "Happiness only real when shared", es seguro que al fin èl llegò a entenderlo, a algunos nos sigue costando...

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