I thoroughly enjoyed the film based on this book, so I had high hopes the book would be even better. Eh. It wasn’t better. Krakauer’s research seemed exhaustive enough, but the format always kept McCandless at a distance. The reader learns where he went, who he met and some of what he did, but I never felt like I really was in Christopher’s skin, if you know what I mean. The movie did a better job of that, though I know the conversations were made up, some events elaborated on, etc.
Krakauer’s side stories about other people who have lived in the wild, and his personal account of climbing Alaska’s Devil’s Thumb were interesting enough, but really seemed like padding to make the book longer.
It’s a decent read. I’m thinking about using the book to teach my 11th grade students as our school transitions to Common Core and the non-fiction requirement that comes with that. But honestly, I’d rather re-read The Call of the Wild. Non-fiction will give us facts, but fiction gives us truths.