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Into the Wild

Into the Wild

Author: Jon Krakauer
Rating: 6/10
Last Read: August 2010

Quick Summary: A young man decides to give it all up and go wander the world.  He dies in the Alaskan wilderness.  

There have been lots of debates about the death of Chris McCandless, many complaining that the more likely case is starvation (rather than poisoning).  Krakauer recently commented on this as well.  Either way, people like to debate endlessly about whether McCandless is a falsely glorified idiot or not.  

The book is interesting - and if you have a soul full of wanderlust you can appreciate his drive.  But I wouldn't call it a must-read.

My Highlights

I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life. LEO TOLSTOY, “FAMILY HAPPINESS”

I’d like to repeat the advice I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

“Chastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it.”

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, an obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board. The hospitality was as cold as the ices. HENRY DAVID THOREAU, WALDEN, OR LIFE IN THE WOODS

For children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy. G. K. CHESTERTON

Children can be harsh judges when it comes to their parents,Read more

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.

Next to “And so it turned out that only a life similar to the life of those around us, merging with it without a ripple, is genuine life, and that an unshared happiness is not happiness…. And this was most vexing of all,” he noted, “HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED.”

The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas