“I think I’m going to disappear for a while.”
Like quite a few people out there my first brush with Christopher Mccandless was with the movie Into the Wild. Thank you Sean Penn. The movie was a touching depiction of a young man who wants to leave society behind and live in the wilds of Alaska. I enjoyed the movie; in fact I think I own it but this isn’t about the movie. This is about the book.
The story of Chris Mccandless or Alexander Supertramp is one of adventure and the longing for something more from life that is purely materialistic. Mccandless leaves without telling his family after graduation, suspends his mail so it won’t be “returned to sender” for a few months after he is already gone and does not leave a forwarding address. In the book Mr. Krakauer does give us all the facts and talks to a lot of the key people who knew Alex during his trip to the wild. He also gives us the opinions of people who didn’t know him. People who simply say that he must have been “suicidal” or “mentally unstable”. To that I have to ask; hasn’t there ever been a time in your life when you just want to leave everything behind? Try to live off the land for a time? To really be in nature? I’m sure most of you have said yes.
Mr. Krakauer does come to Alex’s defense and cites many other men (yes, they are mostly men and I am interested to research and see how many women have attempted such a thing) who have done the same thing. He even cites his own misguided trip up a mountain in Alaska in jaw dropping detail. He also goes in depth to try and uncover what was the real cause of Alex’s demise. Was it simply starvation? He had lived two years on the road and he had survived.
The story of Christopher Mccandless (or Alexander Supertramp) will always live on. Especially in the hearts and minds of people who want to escape the daily grind. Filled with quotes that Mccandless had underlined himself in the books he carried with him, Wild is a story lovingly told of a soul we lost too soon and for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to walk into the wild.
Feb. 1968-Aug. 1992