Into the Wild is one of the first non-fiction novels about a subject that I was unfamiliar with that really interested me. It follows the "big adventure" of Christopher McCandless's adventure to live in the wild of Alaska. After four months after entering into the wild, he was found dead in 1992 by starvation in an abandoned bus. I have read several music and film non-fictions/biographies, most of which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I can partly blame the enjoyment on my enthusiasm for the subject. Into the Wild is an outdoors book at first glance, and I do enjoy the outdoors, but would not usually seek out on my own. After reading, I realized that it was not at all about the technical or literal aspects of being outdoors, but rather why McCandless loved being on his own, depending on essentially nothing material.
Chris McCandless in the Alaskan wild
Krakauer cites several philosophers/writers such as Thoreau, Jack London, and Tolstoy as McCandless's "influences". One can conclude from Krakauer's writing that these men were much more than just influences. He lived by their beliefs; they are what fueled him in seeking out adventure and a minimalist, yet fulfilling life. It's a fantastic read if you haven't already checked it out. I am a big fan of the film as well.
Into Thin Air is another worth while read of Krakauer's. I can confidently conclude that an essential reason why I love his work, which has become its own form of subgenre, is due to his exploration of what fuels people to do seemingly crazy things. After reading his novels, I UNDERSTAND why. That's what I LOVE; being able understand people and their decisions, who principally seem out of their mind crazy. Not only do I understand them, but I as well become fueled by their beliefs and passions and play them into my own life. I can honestly say that Into Thin Air and Into the Wild have changed my views on life for the better.