Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

April 17, 2013
Into the Wild
Jon Krakauer

In the non-fiction narrative, Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer explores the life and adventures of Chris McCandless. Even though most of his journey takes place in Alaska he explores much of the western U.S. Ultimately his quest for solitude places him in Alaska where death knocks at his door.

Many characters wander in and out of the book, but mostly it’s just Chris, Wayne, and Chris’s family. In South Dakota he meets Wayne who becomes his boss and eventually a close friend. Midway through the book I discovered the reason behind Chris’s loss of trust in his dad. As a result, Chris terminates his relationship with his father, and his drive for adventure peaks.

Although the plot isn’t complex, Krakauer’s unconventional use of plot structure adds intrigue as well as confusion to the book. The book starts in an uncommon way with the climax; it’s as if the book is being told backwards. The structure of the book makes it difficult to follow and understand. Krakauer includes flashbacks throughout the book forcing the reader to reread several times just to understand a scene.

Furthermore, Krakauer loses control of the book. It appears he didn’t know how to put the book together; he jumps from one event to another. For example, he includes many themes, the most common is to live your life and have your own adventure. Adding to the confusion are the different points of view throughout the book. Chris’s journal is told through first person while his letters use third person.

Non-fiction narrative is not a genre I usually consider reading; however I enjoyed this book. Into the Wild provides details of Chris’s journey and an interesting plot structure. Even though I didn’t understand Chris’s decision to leave his family I could relate to the relationship he had with his father. I recommend young male teens to read this book, and anyone who loves adventure.

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