Currently, I am done with the novel, so this will be my personal review of it. The plot of Into the Wild was summarized in the previous post, but in case my readers are too lazy to scroll, I will make another one.
The story is about a young man, called McCandless (see picture in previous post), who hitchhiked around in the US, from California to Mexico, to Alaska. The novel is based on a true story, and McCandless's corpse was found in Alaska, in the middle of nowhere. The author attempts to explore why he left home and how he managed to survive for so long, without any equipment or experience, apart from fictional novels on surviving the wild. The novel is very popular, and has even been made into a film, with the same title as the novel. The trailer for the film is below.
At first, I found the novel to be interesting, however it got incredibly boring. The entire plot is revealed at the beginning, so that you know what will happen throughout the book. This dramatically decreases the reader's motivation for reading it cover to cover. The motivation is further decreased by the structure of the novel. It recites the actions of McCandless; where he's going, how he's staying and surviving, and supports this by short interviews with the people he met.
All the people McCandless met, seemed to think of him as a saint. He was apparently amazing in every aspect of life, excepting the fact that he ran away from home and didn't contact his parents for ages. The novel is written in a documentary-like style, and this seems to be a style of reading that doesn't fit me at all. If the story had been written in an ordinary, exciting fiction-style, it may have been able to maintain my interest. It is way too repetitive, as McCandless is only going across the country meeting people.
As for the pseudo-psychological aspect of the novel, it isn't sufficient. The author is mainly showing the same sides of McCandless, through the eyes of the people that had met him on the road. All of them were equally dazzled by his awesomeness, and the author doesn't show the darker side, which is clearly there. McCandless ran away from home right after college, giving away all his money, ditching his car, changing his name and, most importantly, not having ANY contact with his family. This aspect, and how/if society is somehow causing this, is barely covered in the novel, and that is what is interesting to people who aren't into hitchhiking, mountaineering and so on.
The remains are a boring novel about a kid running around in the US.