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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
John Krakaur
Into the Wild
Anchor

Rating: 9/10 ?


April 1, 1998
Outside magazine's John Krakaur isn't so much a writer as he is a journalist. The accomplished outdoorsman and veteran writer works in the realm of documentaries and articles rather than that of creative writing, but I have long been a fan of his work as a contributing editor for what could easily be called one of the best magazines in the world. Like Eiger Dreams before it, Into the Wild began as a magazine article but ended up on the New York Times' Best Seller list.

Into the Wild reconstructs the mysterious final days of Chris McCandless, a kid from a well-to-do Maryland family who, fresh out of college, donated the $25,000 in his savings account to international aid organization OXFAM and then disappeared into the background of North America. Although his family had thought him kidnapped or the victim of foul play, we no know that it was McCandless' goal to vanish. Having intentionally cut all ties and contact with his family and friends, the 22-year old yearned for an anonymous and unmaterialisic existence. What he didn't count on, however, was dying alone of starvation in the Alaskan wilderness, his decaying body found by a hunter four months after his self emancipation.

Krakaur retraces all of McCandless' steps - through stops in Georgia, Texas, Arizona, California, Colorado, South Dakota, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Mexico, Canada, and finally Alaska - leading up to his death. Painting a picture of a disillusioned youth full of textbook fantasies about disowning the unjust system of corruption and greed that dominates modern American society, Krakaur lends both humanity and a bit of posthumous humility to a young man who ended up biting off more than he could chew.

A national media story in 1992, McCandless' story is an interesting one and Krakaur's detailed analysis and documentation turns it into an easy page turner. Think of it as a supercharged episode of Unsolved Mysteries.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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