As a great Eddie Vedder fan, I saw the film Into the Wild – based on a true story – a few years ago without any expectations except loving the soundtrack, which I naturally already did before taking the time to watch the film. Besides becoming an instant fan of Kristen Stewart, I was immediately intrigued by the story of Chris McCandless and thought the movie was nicely done to tell the tale, assuming a lot of the side characters Chris meets on the road were Hollywood-written.
Spending a month in the woods in Canada, I felt it was finally time to pick up my copy of the book Into the Wild, which I had in my possession for over a year.
I devoured the book in three days laughing out loud, gasping, and wiping the occasional tear. Seriously? Yes, seriously.
I was struck by the detailed research and form of telling the tale of Chris McCandless life and journey by Jon Krakauer. Grasping what I believe is the essence in all different aspects of the last years of his life, with a logic and humble conclusion all the while warning the reader that it might be different from how you perceive it.
This is something that occupies my mind frequently in every day life and found it refreshing, liberating, and comforting to read a story that is based exactly on that concept: facts and point of view.
Krakauer constantly reminds the reader that what he takes from it might be quite different from what you, the reader, might take from it (even though I am mostly ‘on his side’). A style of ‘objective truth’ that comes back in the aspect of the book where different people say different things about Chris, who met him in his final years. An important angle which, I think, is a big piece of the puzzle that I hadn’t realized was missing in the film.
Even though I’ve finished two other books in the mean time, Into the Wild and the story about this idealistic and motivated kid is all I seem to think, talk and dream about for the past few weeks. In a weird way – since the story isn’t all rainbows and butterflies and definitely doesn’t have a glorious happy ending – the story is inspiring and moving and, as a 24-year old, makes you think about life and your purpose in it.