Because this book has been frequently mentioned in books I’ve read on writing compelling non-fiction narrative, it had been on my reading list for some time. With Fairbanks 142 back in the news recently, I decided to give it a read.
A well-written biography explores the complexities and contradictions of its subject, and this one does just that. With each passing chapter I found myself changing my opinion of Chris McCandless and his journey into the wild. While the author’s non-linear storytelling, handful of historical digressions, and first hand perspective of Alaska might at first seem like a stunt to stretch a magazine article into a full length book, in the end the reader is left with a clearer perspective of Chris’s short life.
With just as much philosophy and literature as frozen landscapes and wild animals, it’s an entertaining read.