Sister tells the ‘Truth’ behind ‘Into the Wild’

Nearly 20 years ago, Jon Krakauer’s stunning book into the wild moved many readers to embrace the fatally flawed romantic adventure of Chris McCandless, a college grad who cut ties with his affluent family and abandoned worldly possessions to wander across the country. In search of solitude and peace of mind, the 24-year-old ventured into the Alaskan wilderness where, alone, desperate and sick from eating toxic roots, he starved to death.

In 2007, a film adaptation of the book, directed by Sean Penn, further aggrandized the Thoreau-like mystique surrounding this free-spirited idealist. But neither Krakauer’s best seller nor Penn’s acclaimed movie directly answered haunting questions about this ill-fated odyssey. What did Chris McCandless really leave behind? And why?

In her new memory, The Wild Truth, Chris’s younger sister Carine McCandless promises to answer these questions. “People think they understand our story because they know how it ended, but they do not know how it all began,” she writes, describing her disturbing visit to the house in Annandale, Va., where she and Chris grew up.

Sister tells the ‘Truth’ behind ‘Into the Wild’