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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mike ericson
Carine McCandless is a talented and smart up and coming writer whose first
book is a real page turner. She has a great talent for describing the
indescribable. Carine is a survivor who loved her brother endlessly. Her
brave book about growing up in chaos with older brother Chris is a MUST
READ! Her vivid recollections are captured in stunning detail. Carine is
kind, honest and fair in her memories of childhood and the events that led
up to her brother Chris' untimely death. The complete story had to be told
by someone who sees the truth in an unbiased way, then tells the truth to
express love and unspeakable loss.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kari blackmoore
I loved the movie "Into The Wild" about Chris McCandless hiking out and disappearing into the Alaskan bush. Now this book, written by his sister, tells exactly why he did it. Fantastic read!!!!!! MNC
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sally berneathy
When I read ABOUT this book, my first reaction was "oh great, it's going to be another dirty-laundry-washing tell-all." That said, I decided to read it anyway because I had been fascinated by the story told in "Into the Wild", and as many people do, wonder what kind of early life could have contributed to the complex person that was Chris McCandless. I felt like there were gaps in the original story, and now I understand it better. I remember a lot of reactions to that book along the lines of "how could he do this to his parents" -- and this book explains that. It is not the story of Chris's Alaskan adventure -- that story has been written. Rather, it is the story of the dysfunctional family life he and his sister grew up in that contributed to the person he became in adulthood. By including her own story, Carine McCandless shows how that kind of family environment can affect the self-esteem and the future actions of the children. Unlike others, I did not feel like she slammed her parents at all, and she certainly didn't sugar-coat her own actions in life -- I felt it was an honest account that showed both sides of the story, and it was quite brave of her to write it.
Into the Fire (The Bridge Series) :: Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles) :: A Muse Urban Fantasy (The Veil Series Book 1) - Beyond The Veil :: The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles) (Volume 6) :: A Thru-Hiking Adventure on the Appalachian Trail - Balancing on Blue
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anna kohl
If you've read Into The Wild and/ or seen the movie, this book is a MUST READ. It's understandable why the author (and her siblings) decided not to detail Chris's childhood and upbringing in Into The Wild. It would have taken away from the story of Chris and his last and greatest adventure. This book tells the rest of the story - the truth - of why Chris made the decisions he made, how big his heart was and how he found peace and happiness. And how to break the chain of denial.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ollie ollie
I heard about this book on 20/20 and immediately preordered it to download on my Kindle. I read it in just a couple of sittings while also reading different reviews of it. I don't understand the hate. I believe Carine wrote with truth and integrity. I also believe this was a labor of love for her. She was more involved with Into The Wild, both the book and the movie, than I had thought. Those who say otherwise obviously are ardent fans of her parents or are choosing to be willfully ignorant. I understand what it is like to come from a family which appears "perfect" on the outside but is anything but that on the inside. I applaud and respect Carine for what had to have been pouring salt on a wound while also proving to be cathartic. I thank her for helping the readers and supporters of her brother understand the full story while knowing it really was none of our business.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mafalda cardim
This book is stunning in so many respects. After I have time to reflect I will expand, however, suffice to say there is something for everyone in this book! I expected far less. Could not put it down :-)
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
tanel raja
In her own words she eludes just how bad physically her parents were, leaves one to wonder if writing a book was just another money maker based on how well the book and movie did....Not justifying her parents behavior here, just her motive when compared to the chaos of other children in this world that do not have the basics of financial security at home. By that I mean she does make note a few times that her parents threatened to leave her out of their will, and while her brother broke the bonds (forsaking their wealth) to self heal himself, she chose to stay? I can sense her brothers pain but not so much on her end...
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Not at all what I hoped for. While CM went through a horrible ordeal as a result of her home life and then with the death of her brother, her story is just not that interesting. His story was and I was looking for more about him.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
This book is interesting if you read the book "Into the Wild," for about the first third of it anyway. Then it becomes tedious and annoying as the author becomes very self-absorbed and whiny about her lousy parents. Could have put it down beyond that point and not missed a thing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Very well done. Carrine fills in most of the missing gaps regarding the book "Into the Wild". I better understand why Chris did not correspond with his family during his travels, hiking, and adventure after college graduation. I think family dysfunction affects most families, but the Mccandeless family had more of their share of it. I think Chris had to do what he did and even die. It was a story that had to be told. He followed his mission in life and everything in his family life that he experienced happened for a reason. In death he became a huge American hiking icon and thousands want to be like him. He has inspired thousands of people to pursue their dreams which includes hiking, reading, travel, and adventure. He was true to himself. He did his very economical and thus money was never an issue. Carrine gives the readers a deeper sense of who Chris really was. I hope and pray her relationship with her parents can be repaired.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I do not think this book was poorly written, but Carine McCandless is of no real interest to me, and that is who the book is prominently about, not Chris. I think she was capitalizing on Chris being her brother to sell her publication. And it worked, unfortunately.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
aviva seiden
an excruciating read, never varying in it's repetitive message about the parental abuse that most likely endures to this day. I kept waiting for some redemptive message or epiphany but it was just page after page of the textbook dysfunctional family. I would rather undergo dental work than to try and read this again.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
brandon nelson
No one can write a book and no one knows what is in the mind of someone one ever knows the reasons why another person does what they do.......I feel like someone is just making money off of this poor young man's death! In the case of both of these books!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
melissa morris
I loved the connection between ,Chris and carine even after death - this book left me feeling peaceful for Chris , having followed his dreams and lived his short life on his own terms . I would recommend this book , as a healing journey for closure , ?
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I was hoping for more... as a high school teacher I have read into the wild many times to my classes. I was not shocked by her stories (as I felt she wanted me to be)..... it was as I had figured...
Krakour had already told the story in a more subtle ....haunting and interesting way. But I did buy it and read it. And this is mainly what an entrepreneur would want
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
While it is understandable that after everything Carine has been through that she would want to talk about the things she was not able to when Chris' story was first written, unfortunately the organization and storytelling in this book is not as captivating as Jon Krakauer's writing. I found it to be repetitive and overly detailed in some areas and in others it seemed to glaze over subject matter without the main message being completed. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it was to write about this subject matter, but there are a great deal of bizarre typos and weird focus on Carine's personal relationships. Overall, it left me just wanting to read Into The Wild again with this new information. Which maybe was the whole point, but could have been achieved in half the pages.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
heather whippie
I had read the story of Chris and then saw the movie and felt so bad about how Chris died. This book really helped explain so much. Also made me realize how what I do can affect others. Hopefully I will continue to be aware of my actions
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jill cicero
I was very disappointed with this book. I thought Chris’s story in Into the Wild was fascinating. Contrary to how this book is marketed, it is much more about Carine McCandless. Not just the tumultuous shared childhood of her and Chris, but also, and perhaps primarily, all of Carine's adult relationships, trips taken, and other life events that occurred long after Chris’s death. I believe she wanted to write a book about herself and it was convenient to piggy back off of her brother’s “fame.” After the recitation of her and Chris’s childhood (which doesn’t take up even ½ of the book’s content), I had a hard time finding any reason to continue reading. I did finish, but it wasn’t because I liked it- I was just too invested, albeit bored, by that time. I would not recommend this to anyone. If anything, check it out from the library and read the first couple chapters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It took a lot of courage to write this book. I am sure it brought back a lot of painful memories. It was well-written and I hope more people read THE WILD TRUTH by Carine McCandless.

After reading this book, the reader gets deeper insights into why Chris McCandless chose to sever all ties with his family and wander into the wilderness of Alaska. You don't have to survive a firefight in the jungles of Vietnam or the deserts of Iraq to suffer from trauma. You can experience trauma in your own family. Chris McCandless had had enough physical and emotional abuse for one lifetime, left family and friends behind and drifted. His life was short, but he lived life to the fullest. Chris McCandless had an undefeatable spirit.

Not all who wander are lost.

Hebrews 11: 37-38: ". . . they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth."

[Several years ago I was hitchhiking in western South Dakota and this lady picked me. She told me that she and her boyfriend had picked up Chris McCandless while he was hitchhiking through South Dakota in the early 1990s. She said that he went by a different name.]
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
If you still don't understand after reading this book, it's simply time to move on.
Congratulations on filling gaps and providing long overdue closure Carine McCandless.
Your brother would be proud, but, you know that.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
judy ahrens
This is just her story. Not much more than that. She only has a story because of her brother. Otherwise it is one of thousands of sad stories where the children come second to the abusive parent's needs. I understand her wish to tell her truth and I applaud her for that.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Carine spent the entire book blaming her parents for her brothers departure and subsequent death. She is obsessed that her parents had an affair and conceived a child before they were married (while the Dad was married to someone else). While this is of course wrong and unacceptable, it was clearly not the reason for her brothers abandoning his family and wandering around the country although she continues to blame them again and again. She blames her parents for "abuse" when there are only vague refrences of this. She writes of the many trips to Europe her parents paid for, the money they gave her for house downpayment, the money given for her business, and the way the father made sure both families spent time together so the step siblings would know each other. If they were so terrible, why did she continue to accept ALL of there help when she was an adult? She endlessly points to the fact that her parents marriage is not good but she herself has had three failed marriages by the age of 40. She writes she had no idea her second husband whom she lived with and worked with and spent 24 hours a day with was a meth addict. How can that be? This book is very one sided and Carine is an angry, resentful, selfish person who needs to look at herself to see why her brother cut all ties off with her as well. He did not bother to contact her for two years and she never made an attempt to contact him before his death. Now we are suppossed to believe they had this increible realtionship? Sounds a bit fishy to me. The real truth of this book is that Caine is an angry mess.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
eva warner
It was interesting but I dont feel she made her case as their parental abuses being enough for the actions of her brother. True, he had problems relating to other people and their parents but very few of us growing up that dont have some kind of problem with parents. I think its part of growing up to get dislusioned with our parents and it makes it easier for us to break the bond between parent and child.Part of the job of a parent is to educate you child to survive on their own . I myself was lied to about my origin but I never felt the need to cut them off completly and go live in the wild without even money to get food
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
joseph selby
I was drawn to read this book as I had read Jon Krakauer's book "Into the Wild." That book is a compelling non-fiction account of a young man named Chris who leaves home, and ends up alone in the Alaskan wilderness. He eventually dies there, basically having starved to death.
When I saw the review of "The Wild Truth" I was intrigued with the "true" account of events.
Well, this book is a true account, but not of Chris's story but of the author who was Chris's sister, Carine.
While I recognize that the highly dysfunctional family from which she and Chris came no doubt is part of what motivated him to go "into the wild" much of this book details Carine's own life struggles. Frankly, that was less interesting to me.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I found the book to be more about Corine and her life then about her brothers life and the abuse they endured. She seemed to stay connected to her parents more for her own material gain then anything else. How close could she really have been to her brother if alarm bells didn’t even go off for her when he disappeared for two years and never even wrote her a letter during this time? It just comes up short.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
There's a lot to like about this one, in my view.

From a nuts-and-bolts standpoint, the book is generally well-written, with a good, functional format and a strong first-person narrative. The author's story is told coherently and concisely, and is illustrated by several pages of high-quality color pictures. Likewise, the author writes with intelligence, authenticity, fairness, and, at times, great passion; throughout, I felt to be reading something written by a real, living person. So, in a purely literary sense, 'Wild Truth' is, for me, a fully readable piece of writing.

As for substance, it is, I believe, equally rich, and on multiple levels. First, the book is of obvious interest to anyone who followed the saga of the author's brother and his ill-fated journey, as chronicled in the famed book 'Into the Wild' by Jon Krakauer; 'Wild Truth' is a natural companion to that text, providing a highly relevant context to the events surrounding Chris McCandless's death. In this capacity alone, I got a lot from 'Wild Truth,' if only to flesh out the original account detailed in Krakauer's best-seller. Really, Krakauer's account of McCandless is incomplete without his sister's complimentary facts and perspective. Plus, it is through this, and the whole new light it sheds on the matter, that a truly valuable point is made: that there is usually more to any given situation than appearances might suggest, often to the point of totally invalidating any judgements made without these facts (and, the book shows how damaging such premature judgements can be for the judged). If 'Wild Truth' contains one big, practical takeaway, it's that we should perhaps be a bit more conservative in judgement of one another, for all is rarely known.

However, I was surprised to find that what I liked most about 'Wild Truth' was, rather, in regards to the author herself; namely, her story proved to have its own merit, independent from that of her celebrity brother. So engaging and heartfelt was her own respective biography, I began to regard 'Wild Truth' as the story of a woman and her life and times and challenges and triumphs, rather than merely that of "Chris McCandless's sister." Indeed, her experience was of a somewhat different bent than her brother's (and with a different ending, presently), but it offers no less in the way of life-lessons (especially in regards to the psychology of power, control, and the leveraging of such within our relationships -- a true study, in this respect). Furthermore, I failed to sense ulterior motive in the author's motivations for writing this book (which is to say, it did not impress me as an attempt to capitalize on her brother's famous demise, or to subtly promote her views and beliefs in an attempt to damage her parents). Of course, only the author knows for sure her motivations for writing this book; but, for what it's worth, I felt it to be of positive intention, and I certainly felt enriched upon reading it.

The only reason I gave four stars instead of five is that, while well-written and substantial, 'Wild Truth' isn't quite of the exceptional quality for which I reserve five stars.

My sincere thanks goes out to this book's author, subjects, and publisher. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work and service.

* * *

Some notable quotes from this book:

"I saw my entire future before me, and it involved a long and happy life with [my husband]. Our days were routine at times, and I would recall my brother's cautionary advice that if you plan everything out completely from beginning to end, you destroy your chance for adventure." -- p.157

"It is a bad thing not to be able to stand solitude. It is a wonderful thing to embrace it, and I was ready." -- p.165

"As the Zen saying goes, 'After enlightenment, the laundry.'" -- p.167

"Money was never just money in my family. Money was power, it was loyalty, it was leverage." -- p.171

"I had announced my intention to continue my clean streak of a life without drug use during my childbirth. That quickly changed to an assertion that I certainly deserved synthetic relief after having held out for so long, now that I was facing the task of pushing something the size of a watermelon through something the size of an apple." -- p.219

"With the war over, it was time for the history lessons." -- p.253

"It is tragic that my brother died so young. But although he dreaded his impending death, he still died at peace, because the paths he had chosen throughout his life had kept him true to himself. And in the end, whenever that end comes, isn't that the best any of us can hope for?" -- p.261
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
rhiannon smith
I've wanted to read this book because I have been haunted by Chris however this book to me is just a commercial
About how great the author is I'm sure there is a lot of truth in the book has she eliminated so much of puffing herself up continually throughout the whole entire block even the forward and the afterward it would've been a much better read
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
3.5/5 I read John Krakauer's book Into the Wild back in 1996. I remember being unable to put the book down and that my emotions were all over the place. And yes, I cried in the final pages. But throughout it all was the question - why? When Sean Penn made a movie of the same name, I decided not to see it. After all, I knew how it ended right?

But although the ending is known, perhaps not so much for the beginning. And the answer to that question - why?

Twenty two years after Chris McCandless starved to death alone in an old bus in Alaska, his sister Carine McCandless has decided to provide some answers to that question - why - in her new book The Wild Truth.

I chose to listen to this book as it was McCandless herself who read it. I find hearing the words spoken out loud from the person who lived it is powerful. Carine's story is by turns horrifying and heartbreaking. It is a story of secrets and domestic violence.

And here's my dilemma. Yes, the book reveals what life was like for children in this home. And, yes I can see why Chris left to find his own peace. I appreciate Carine's candor in finally exposing the secrets her family held. So, although the book's main premise is to shed light on Chris's past and on his choices, the book is really about Carine.

And I enjoyed listening to it. I appreciate the candor and honesty of exposing one's self and life to the world. But a wee part of me wonders why Carine continued to have contact with her parents over the next twenty years - asking for financial assistance, trying to mediate their fights and hoping for a breakthrough. Some pretty horrific stuff is described as happening with her parents and Chris's leaving makes sense. And I know - 'walk a mile....' but I am a loss as to why Carine continued to interact with what are described as thoroughly toxic and dysfunctional parents. Still, I found The Wild Truth a compelling listen, no matter the focus.

From an interview with Outside magazine: Carine - "The book is about Chris, but it's more of a survival story. The best way I can help people learn from Chris and our experiences and our childhood is to show them directly how I learned from Chris and how I learned from our family's dysfunction, how I survived. So I utilize myself in both positive and self-deprecating ways. I can't criticize other people for not learning from mistakes if I don't acknowledge my own mistakes and what I learned. This book very much goes into all of that."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Sharing your life with complete strangers would be a daunting task even if you lived a "charmed life". However, few, if any of us, live a charmed life, which makes reading Carine McCandless's story that much more relevant. After nearly twenty years of protecting the secrets of a dysfunctional family, Carine has had the courage to speak her "truth" in this compelling memoir. It isn't easy to read, and many may find reasons to critisize her for writing this book. I applaud her for speaking her "truth". Speaking openly about family dysfunction can be painful for all involved, even for the reader, because it reminds us that life is rarely, if every, like we want it to be, or like we are told it will be. Life is messy and complicated…with no easy answers. For me, there are no villains in this story…just flawed human beings who either consciously or unconsciously do the best they can within their own personal limitations.

Thank you Carine for sharing your truth and for giving those of us who have been enamored with Chis's story some more insights into his motivations for going "Into the Wild".
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Carine's book is her account of a story that we all really don't fully understand or will ever know. Does she fill in much about Chris that we don't already know ? Yes , but little and it's all on a very superficial level. We find out some about how he was as a sibling but we never get a true account of what made Chris tick and his deep seated issues. The nut of the case is that his parents were overly cruel and this made Chris want to abandon his past in totality. I don't think this really answers the questions of why he ultimately chose to starve to death in the Alaskan summer ? Also , reading between the lines I detected the authors own digs at her brother. I expect she is just like how she portrays her parents i.e - Overly judgmental , fearful of personal freedom and experimentation (she is a child of Reagan's America ) and resentful of others. I give it 2 stars for her time invested in the writing of her account.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This is a heartfelt book by McCandless' sister. She had a loving bond with Chris and felt that an important part of his story had not been reported. So this was her way to set the record straight. She and Chris had a tumultuous upbringing and she wanted that described. As respectfully as possible though I can't fully buy her point that the parental abuse is what drove him to his Alaska death. Many points about Chris' love for the outdoors, being alone and being "a unique guy" were made. Chris was described by those who met him as a happy guy, not some bitter dude with a chip on his shoulder because of parental abuse. Yes, he and Carine were abused. Definitely. I can't imagine. But he struck me as a born adventurer who had some severe misfortune, more than as the abused puppy dog that lands all the blame at his parent's feet. Now then, this is just my take. Certainly Chris and Carine were born to make us reflect. If you loved Into The Wild this is a must read. And just like Into The Wild, after reading it, it will take you several days before you can have a straight thought about just about anything.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This is a truly terrible book. I had just finished reading Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild" and wanted to like "The Wild Truth." Within a few pages, however, I ended up tossing it aside.

In general, I found the writing mean-spirited — not just about her parents but also, right off the bat, about the woman who lives in what used to be the McCandless family home. Rather than being gracious about the fact that the woman let an unannounced, unexpected stranger into her house, McCandless goes on and on about how messy everything was, how the smoke smell made her choke, and how she didn't even want to drink a glass of water, although she allows that the glasses were clean.

The book also purports to tell the "truth" about her family and childhood and, while the beginning seems to focus on that, a huge portion of the book is about her own less than interesting life.

The worst fault, however, is the writing. I can see that she was going for some sort of literary bona fides, but it's generally overwrought and horrible — kind of a cross between a high-school what-I-did-on-my-summer-holiday essay, and bad romance writing. She also sprinkles in expletives, often with no apparent connection to the context which, to me, smacks of an amateurish writer trying to be dramatic. An editor and perhaps a less-forgiving eye would not have gone amiss.

Some literary memoirs are outstanding — no matter how bizarre their families, the authors are able to find notes of grace and beauty in the trauma. McCandless, on the other hand, often seems to be grasping at melodramatic straws, trying to make everything in her life appear more dire and more fascinating than it likely was. As a result, the book suffers from an extreme focus on self, rather than the potential universality of her experiences. In essence, she never looks up long enough to realize she has an audience that might be growing a little bored and uncomfortable with her self-pitying monologue.

Skimming forward to see if I was even willing to keep the book, it seems pretty clear that McCandless is primarily interested in taking shots at everyone around her. Many of us grow up in whacked-out families. Many of us have parents who fight and yell and spank. Most of us don't go on to wear hair shirts and blame our lives on anyone but ourselves.

In a nutshell, don't waste your money.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
abdelrahman anbar
I was really hoping to read about the truest story. I imagined that she would give an honest account of her family. I believe that, while her parents were abusive and clearly all the siblings suffered, she tried to make herself the goody-two-shoes martyr who really didn’t know her brother at all. She seems to rather enjoy the emotional abuse her parents put her through.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mark robinson
For everyone who wished they could have gotten into Chris McCandless's mind to understand his trek, this book is a gift. If the love that surrounded Chris--courtesy of his siblings--could have saved him he would have walked joyously out of the wild.

Amazing that two toxic parents (who are obviously leaving poor reviews) could not be happy that their surviving children (mostly due to Marcia's parenting) are doing so well.

Glad Carine's parents have "Into the Wild" groupies. Somebody will have to pick out their nursing homes.

Chris didn't die in vain; like other young people who left a diary, he will influence young minds for decades. Brave, spirited, gifted young man.

His sister is a brave, spirited and gifted storyteller.

Carine, you and your siblings broke the cycle. And so did Chris in a wholly different way. You guys saved each other--Chris is saving kids who weren't even born when he trekked west.

I'm glad that you kept your religious faith. Toxic parents who profess religion often steal that from their kids by example.

You gave your daughter the perfect name. She is going to give you nothing but love, just as your brother did.

I want every ITW fan (or critic) to read this book. Chris was not a foolhardy rich kid who starved to death because of hubris. He was starving before he went into the wild. The trek fed him but illness robbed him of life. He wasn't ill prepared because he couldn't anticipate the one thing that struck him down; he was human.

Too many young people who had to endure misguided or sick parents become abusers themselves, or turn to drugs or drink. Chris turned to nature, books, and wondering. And that choice provided a story that will prevent untold young people from abusing, drinking, or drugging.

Between Into the Wild and The Wild Truth you will truly get to know Chris McCandless. And understand that in losing his life, the life he led has become a touchstone.

God bless you, Carine. You're the little sister Chris deserved.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
william iii
What this family does not get is that a terrible childhood (past-tense) and an adventurous spirit (present and future) can co-exist. By over-emphasizing the former and trying to pin Chris's departure on her parents ad nauseam, Carine McCandless succeeds only in perpetuating the family drama that Chris abhorred. The intelligent reader figured it all out (including the domestic abuse) from Krakauer's first book which focused on the inspiring and positive aspects of Chris's life. This book attempts to portray Chris's psyche as completely damaged rather than triumphant, buoyant and free. There's no doubt that Chris made the mistake of being unprepared in the Alaskan wilderness which lead to his death. However, I prefer to focus on how a positive spirit can overcome all odds rather than the back-and-forth interactions and gossip of family members mired down and dwelling in the past. Chris wisely chose to cut all ties with his parents. Carine chose not to so we, the readers, had to be dragged through all of the pettiness of the remaining years after Chris's death. The most offensive aspect of this book was that a large portion was focused excusively upon Carine's life, family, businesses, and failed marriages which is not what I paid for in ordering this ebook. Although she desperately attempted to draw connections between her own personal issues and Chris's life and influence she, in my opinion, failed. Those LENGTHY passages were mundane at best. If you want a great book on this topic, reread Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. You will, once again, be inspired and uplifted.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kerrie d ercole
Perhaps if this book was not connected with Into the Wild and was imagined as within its own realm of story, then it could be perceived differently. I read the entire book, although at times I did not want to finish it. I thought it was alright - on it's own. If I thought back to Into The Wild, only then was I disappointed. My advice for readers: Do not expect anything shockingly new or the focus to be on Chris. In my opinion, the author is focused on herself, her relationship with her parents (was very different then Chris') and her failed marriages.... I'm not sure if her failed marriages should have been included in this book - her focus is not clear. I will be very honest here, I would not have read her book if it wasn't for Chris and it seemed she was desperate in places to use a connection and include him when the story she was telling - was about her. I am also skeptic - I think she see's her relationship differently then he did, or else he would have contacted her after college. All in all I am glad I read this book, it was just not what I thought it would be. I do wonder how her daughter is doing though - that would be an interesting story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
larry linguist
The negative reviews are complaining that this book wasn't about Chris. She says up front that this is about her, and she explains why she doesn't try to speak for him. This is a bold book, truthful and honest. In many ways, it's braver than anything that Chris did. Carine puts the truth out there in a world where her parents still live, and everyone has seen the movie. Now live with that. (Could Chris have done this? It seems that he made no attempt to tell the truth about his family when he was alive.)

By the way I heard the audio version, which she reads - and does so very well. I'm thankful for authors who read their own books, because I get tired of the "professional" readers mis-pronouncing words. So I'm not reviewing the text version but the audiobook version.

I'm a Krakauer fan. When I heard that he hadn't told the whole truth about Chris, and that Carine had prevented him from doing so, I was upset with the both of them. I understand why that happened, and I forgive them both. But that shouldn't be an excuse anymore, for any nonfiction authors trying to tell a story. Tell the whole story or don't tell it at all.

In my view, this book will help more people than Chris' running away ever did. I'm keeping in mind that he was a 22-year-old kid, and he was remarkable in his own right. I'm also impressed by how much he stepped up and protected his little sister, when they were still kids. It must have been exhausting for him. No wonder he ran away from all of that. I get it. I'm a first-born, and my family was much safer than this, but still I felt chastised in reading about Chris. I was asking myself - did I stick up for my younger siblings? No, because I was afraid to do so.

Another reviewer here has pointed out that Carine's other siblings went on to be fine. As if it wasn't a big deal to have such an abusive father. I wonder if they read the book. In this book, Carine is told by her other siblings that they were lucky, because their mom got away from the abuser. They didn't have the luxuries that she had, but they also didn't have to live with the daily abuse.

The theme of domestic violence seems rather hard to escape. Carine marries a couple of abusers, and Chris found someone in Wayne Westerberg whom he really admired but turns out to be a wife-batterer. Meanwhile, the film is directed by Sean Penn who has a history of wife-battering (Madonna in particular, don't know if he went on to abuse other wives). So it's all rather uncomfortable in some ways. Carine witnessed Wayne's abuse, and doesn't say anything about Sean on that topic.

Chris wanted the truth, believed in the truth, but didn't tell it. He ran away and changed his name, because that's the best he could do at the time. Carine, in trying to honor his memory, steps up and tells all. This is bold, truthful, and heartbreaking. Very well done, and may save lives.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
andrea hallock
When I started this book it was a little slow then again most good books are for me. This book was insightful to what led Chris in to an adventure of compassion, pursuit of justice and purpose only to find that aloneness is painful. He learned everything was meant to be shared to feel its full worth.

The details of Carines life without Chris who was her savior teacher and friend in a very abusive environment, tells you a lot about the decisions Chris made. I’m not done with the book but will be soon. The reason I gave it a 4 star was because I got to the part where Carine is talking about her brother speaking out against human right atrocities and global political injustices. How he organized the young republicans and was a conservative. That! Blew me away. It didn’t go together? And as an advocate for human rights it made me put the book down. But I picked it up again to learn more about why Carine believed this and what does she really know. The truth is. Her story shows us the real story about the not so functional childhod that influenced ones decision. I’m not done but I’m getting to the end.

I love this book. It’s insightful to what it’s like to grow up in a disfunctional family. Chris’ story is not just about the wilderness it’s also about what he was leaving and why he had to leave. One dad Two wife’s and everyone is suppose to say it’s ok. Rage, pretending, drunkenness and violence is not ok. Then your brother is found dead. Your hero, Your hope. The only relationship that made since in a disfunctional family. If you survived a disfunctional family it’s a great read. You will have compassion for Chris and Carine. You will feel empathy. You will know we all survive in different ways and pray we don’t repeat the same mistakes though some we will.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I read like 2 books a week - this is THE worst ever. I've been fascinated by the saga of Christopher McCandless since I happened to be in Fairbanks in summer, 1992 prior to a Denali backpack trip when the story broke. I was hoping for some new information but there was very little .... these siblings sad childhood could have been summed up in two sentences. The material in this book would barely be adequate for a short magazine article.

Who on Earth wants to read about this sad, pathetic person's "woe is me" history and all about her failed relationship after failed relationship and failed ..... and who cares what color her dress was for marriage number 1, and 2, and ..... Not to mention all her problems with her parents - note tho, that she keeps taking and taking and taking anything she can get out of them. Oh sure - her father surely is a total ass and incredibly immoral, and mom Billie ain't much better, but .... get over it and move on. To his eternal credit Chris did and while his adventures eventually killed him .... I'll bet he had a vastly happier [short] life than Carine and all her "half-siblings" and parents all put together.

I tried to read the whole book but just couldn't ... skimmed page after page when it was ALL about Carine and her many, many problems. A waste of $4.12 for a used copy. Jon Krakauer should be ashamed to have his name connected to this horrible book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Let me begin by saying that I discovered this book on the "bargain" shelf at Books-A-Million recently. Shocking but true, I had NEVER heard of Chris McCandless, or Author Jon Krakauer, or his book. "Into the Wild," or the movie, "Into the Wild."
Having said that, I picked up the book with the intriguing cover, read the cover, the flaps, and then opened it and read portions of the Forward and the Afterword and was hooked. I purchased the book, brought it home, and did something I never do; I stopped reading an historical biography that I was half way through, and began reading this book! It did not disappoint.
The story is gripping, tense, emotional, sad. Carine is an impressive person, and I am glad she published the complete "Wild" story.
My childhood story and young life was a "fairy tale" compared to this.
I do have a question, is there a "meaning" to the large tree pictured on the inside of the front and inside of the back of the book?

Dr. Stanley E. Toompas, Optometrist
& Author of, "I'm the One the Other Isn't"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ja net
I didn't buy this book. I borrowed it from my local library after reading Into the Wild. I found Carine's journey gripping and read the entire book in three days. The family pictures add a lot to the original story told by Jon Krakau.

While some criticise Carine for her failures in her personal life, I believe she is quite open about those failures and demonstrates a growth over the course of her life. Her description of her childhood experiences is more than enough reason to understand why she could have failed marriages. We all make mistakes and find it difficult to fully share them. I think Carine goes beyond most in trying to figure out her life through the lens of her entire life.

What I appreciated most was her description of motherhood and how it changed her. I LOVED how she recognises that she and all the McCandless siblings have purposefully decided to stop the cycle of abuse. No parent is perfect, but I love her approach to parenting her daughters and learning from them. My absolute highlight was on pages 241-245 where she describes her breastfeeding relationship with Christiana and normalises breastfeeding for what it should be. I have been a breastfeeding counsellor for over 23 years and have witnessed firsthand the power of healing women find in following their hearts and their baby's cues in breastfeeding. Women find healing from all manner of wounds through selflessly giving to their babies. I applaud Carine for sharing this private special relationship so poignantly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kylie westaway
If you listen this will tell you the whys. Why Chris divorced his parents is blatantly clear, why one child tried to have a relationship with those samevoarents is clear. Carine I'm glad you finally realized you can change narcissist personalities. These parents, and I use the word lightly, should never have had children. Life was and is always about them. Chris looks so sad in all the pictures in the back of the book, he looks beaten down at such a young age. He was her protector and still watches over her. This book fills in the gaps.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is one of the rare books I couldn't put down until I finished it. The Wild Truth is a beautifully written, heart-rending autobiography by Carine McCandless. She is the sister of Chris McCandless, who died alone in the Alaskan wilderness and who's story was retold in the book, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. Carine shares intimate details of their traumatic childhood and explains how her brother ultimately found happiness in the wilderness that claimed his life. Her own story is one of resilience and hope--of making her way in the world, succeeding as a small business owner in the male-dominated field of automotive repair, finding love, and triumphing in the face of loss.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jamie f
This book is a work of the heart. Written with empathy, compassion and love, by the sister of Christopher McCandless; Carine McCandless, who was also a staunch ally and close friend to her brother. This book fills in the blanks that were left with the book and movie "Into The Wild". Some people had assumed that Christopher's decision to leave behind his family, denounce society and material goods was a selfish and immature decision. Carine shares with us an in depth portrait of her family, which was complex, confusing, abusive, and non supportive towards the children. She and Chris were the only ones who had each other's backs, as their parents regularly had loud, alcohol fuelled fights. Throughout the book, we are shown what a sensitive, thoughtful, kind and intelligent young man Chris was. Beautiful family photos are also shared throughout the book, which add an extra depth to the understanding of Christopher, Carine, their other siblings from their father's previous marriage, and the family dynamics. I found this book to be beautifully written, thought provoking, and an intense learning experience. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has read "Into the Wild" or watched the movie. Although it is great as a standalone book too.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
donna halloran
I could not put this book down and devoured it in the hopes of better understanding Chris whose story is hauntingly tragic but incredibly thought-provoking. I still feel like there is much we cannot understand about Chris's motives and I think that this book is his sister's attempt at explaining them more to others and herself. I doubt her recounting of their childhood is false. The stories rung with truth which is her mantra in this book - to live by the truth which is what she feels her brother died searching for. I don't feel that her emphasis on her personal life is narcissistic but her attempt to show the world and I'm sure her brother that she has tried as best she could to live honestly and not repeat the mistakes she feels her parents made. I believe this book is Carine's homage to him to show him that his efforts were not in vain and although she may be extreme in some of her views, it is clear to me that her hope is only to help her family and others.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alanna macinnis
What a moving book. This is just as much new explanation of the childhood of family dysfunction that prefaced Chris's 2 years on the road as it is, I imagine, a major healing step for Carine. I cannot imagine the painful scars of experiencing what she and Chris did, but this book takes you intimately and uncomfortable close to it. It must have taken a lot of contemplation and bravery to write this book. As Chris's struggle culminated in his "divorce" from his parents some 25 years ago, so Carine's healing process has culminated in the honest, painful truth of this book.

Tragically, Chris never told the full story of his pain, his struggle, and what moved him to launch his journey. This book is likely the closest we will ever get to understanding him, his soul, and his odyssey. Carine brings into vivid focus just why a promising, smart college grad from an affluent family would cut off all ties with them and launch out into his own rebirth. Indeed, as the cover states, you'll see why Chris did perhaps the sanest thing he could have. What most haunted me when I first read Into the Wild was why Chris would abandon his family. It simply doesn't make any rational sense, and Krakauer's book raises more questions than it answers as to why. No one else knew him, or lived life with him, the way his sister Carine did. This book, I believe, finally bears witness to Chris's truth - at least as much of it as we will ever know.

Some context - I've read Into the Wild twice, seen the movie twice, and own Back to the Wild (the book Chris's parents and the CJM Foundation put together). I have been captivated by the mystery of Chris's story for years, and have consumed most everything I could find about him. I was excited to hear of Carine's book and eager to read it. I had no idea what I was in store for.

I got through the book in three days. I couldn't stop. This is an incredible, touching, moving look at Chris and Carine's childhood, her amazing relationship with Chris, their family dysfunction and abuse, Carine's experiences hearing of and dealing with Chris's death, and a shockingly open account of her personal struggle with life, death, healing, and truth. If anyone could be trusted to tell the truth that Chris never had the chance to, it's Carine. If you've been moved by Chris's story, you'll find this book well worth your time. You'll also find yourself deeply moved by Carine's story, and respectful of the incredible courage it took to finally tell it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brita nordin
Readers know that one person’s account of an event can differ greatly from another’s. In his narrative Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer reported on Chris McCandless’s journey into the wilderness of Alaska with the due diligence required of a reputable journalist. However, he omitted a great part of Chris’s personal life at the request of Chris’s sister Carine in order – according to Carine – to protect her family from the distasteful truth of her and Chris’s childhood.

In The Wild Truth Carine fills in those gaps left by Krakauer’s book. She also defends Chris’s decision to disappear from the world he knew and refutes claims that he was selfish, delusional, or simply crazy. Even if there are those who would disagree with her perception of the truth, her story is intriguing nonetheless. At the very least, she clarifies her brother’s modus operandi so that those who have followed his story can understand that his journey into the Alaskan wilderness was propelled by neither hubris or nor mental illness. It was “the sanest thing” that he could do, and, perhaps, the only thing that he could do.

The Wild Truth is well worth the time to read it if you are a fan of Krakauer’s Into the Wild.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
This is not really the genre I usually get into. I haven't read a book like this since I was a teenager & was into angsty, true life drama. My co-worker insisted I would like this book & lent it to me.

It was OK. If you get into the Chris McCandless story it will interest you. Jon Krakauer wrote Chris's story. First for Outside magazine, then a full length book. It was also made into a movie. Chris basically disappeared from his upper middle class life & made his way to Alaska to live in the wild. It ended up costing him his life. His sister, Carine decided to write a book detailing more fully his dysfunctional family life. VERY dysfunctional. I didn't actually expect to finish it, but it kept my interest. Most of it was of course from Carine's POV & about her life. If you enjoy true life drama, then give this one a try.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I was not prepared to like this book as much as I did.

Like most readers, Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild," the well-told tale of Chris McCandless' two-year odyssey which ended with his tragic death in Alaska is the reason I wanted to read Carine McCandless' take. I wanted more on what it was that motivated Chris to go on his two-year odyssey. Some reviews of Carine's book have been harsh but there is more to "The Wild Truth" than I originally thought.

Carine's backstory on herself, her brother Chris and the McCandless family brings out many facts that help readers to understand just what it was that motivated and drove Chris. Carine's narrative rings true. It is honest, one might even say brutally honest. It would be dismissive if readers saw it as simply bashing imperfect parents. Her parents had a troubled, explosive marriage. Their marriage happened as a result of her father Walt's two-timing his first wife. Essentially a bigamist, Walt shuffled between his two families until his first wife, Marcia, mustered the courage to call it quits, at considerable financial cost.

Walt and Billie, Chris and Carine's parents were occupationally and financially successful beyond their dreams. Hardworking and clever, Walt had a priviliged status as a result of his scientific and engineering acumen. An outsized ego with massive hubris made him into the sort of man who would flout rules and conventions, holding a sort of notion that the rules applied to others but not to himself. Billie was his sometimes reluctant, sometimes cooperative partner, an enabler whom Walt could enlist to do his bidding and then at times would rebel. Both Chris and Carine endured the sturm-and-drang of this relationship throughout their childhood and teenage years. Chris finally had it when after graduating from Emory, decided to "divorce his parents."

Carine had challenges and problems of her own, not the least of which has been in her choice of men. An early "immigration fraud" sham marriage gave way to a second marriage to a drug addict, whose addiction nearly ruined their business. She does not explain of what caused her third marriage to go south. She now parents two daughters, one of whom is not her biological child and the other, her biological child who was born with Down's Syndrome. This is no easy situation. She deserves understanding and kudos for doing a pretty good job as a parent. The fact that she and her brothers and sisters by Walt's first marriage are on good and cooperative terms with one-another is testimony to the fact that there can be solutions to difficult problems.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
While I understand that the McCandless parents were pretty awful, I really think a lot of people have bad parents. I was disappointed to say the least to read about Carines life . It seems like she wrote this for money. Sorry.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
This book provided some interesting information, but I found it difficult to dig the interesting stuff from among the author's ego-centric descriptions of events. She seemed to need to be at the center of things and to hammer her parents, and I expected her brother to be in that (center) position. And I got very tired of the repetitious descriptions of her parents' poor behaviors and psychological problems. If you are going to write about them, come up with a different title and a more accurate summary. Sorry to know Carine had marital problems, and parental problems, but not interested in those details and didn't expect that when I bought the book.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Really disappointing. I loved Into the Wild, but I think all the pettiness in this book ruins it for me a really seems like this lady just wanted to write about herself but used her brothers story to draw people in.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
taylor johnson
I'm sure the parents were awful. However, they're not responsible for Chris's choices. There would have been plenty of other ways for him to get away from his parents without dying in Alaska. I don't buy it that they're to blame for every single thing that happened to their children.

There's too much vitriol in this book for my taste.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Child abuse alters the course of one's life, it leads one off the path, it changes one's direction. The truth in this book is undeniable because the behavior of Carine and Christopher's parents as described comes from the classic playbook of self absorbed, narcissistic parents.

Although far from the norm, there are literally thousands of adult children who could, with the tweaking of a few details, claim this story as their own. Many of us have lost siblings as well because those critical years during childhood, when the networks and connections in the brain were being formed, changed them and drove them into uncharted territories.

We still live in a society where it is taboo for adult children to speak of their abuse. We mistakenly believe that once a child reaches adulthood they can magically shed the damage done with positive thinking and illusory forgiveness. We mistakenly believe this can happen without ever doing the work required to examine the wounds, rewire the brain, discharge repressed emotions and peel away layer after layer of false beliefs.

The work is long, it is hard. The vast majority of people actively doing this work are in their 40's and 50's. Hopefully by lessening the stigma and shedding light on the truth we can help others begin to come out of the fog earlier in life and prevent the losses that have taken some of our best and brightest. This book points us in the right direction.

It is good to see Christopher McCandless' little sister blazing a trail with his story that will no doubt reach many people and guide them through the wilderness of healing and finding their authentic selves. Wherever Chris is now, he must be so very proud of Carine.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
truc khuyen
I loved Jon Krakauer's Into The Wild and had a very strong emotional reaction to Chris McCandless's story. When his sister published this book I was very much intrigued hoping to learn more about Chris.
Unfortunately this wasn't what the book was about. It started out well enough talking much about Chris and Carine's childhood and their struggles with their abusive parents. It was interesting to get an idea about the foundation that Chris's story and journey was set upon. However, it ended up being a novel centered on their abusive parents and her failed marriages and her successful business.
A few other reviews made a good example that it felt like the book was a hate letter from her to her parents. I felt she was a bit whiny about some aspects of her life. Then when she talked about her role in the Into The Wild movie she seemed condescending and to brag about her contribution. The disagreement with Sean Penn also seemed a bit condescending. As though nothing could happen on HIS movie unless she had a say in it because she is Chris's sister and obviously she knows best. Really?
I wasn't impressed by how often she made it apparent her and her brother were so close. Yes I am sure they were close but as much as she claims? E.g. there was a part where she explained she bought him some brand name clothes after his graduation, he then exchanged them for clothes for her instead. If she knew him so well do you think she might have known he wouldn't want them or value them? It is as though she is the unpopular middle schooler trying to claim her closeness to the popular kids to seem cool or for some benefit to her.
I find it also particular how he never wrote to her even once after he left. He had time to send postcards, notes, and letters to other people on his journey. She made points that they were so connected she didn't need a note or letter from him. Sounds to me she is trying to cover for hurt she may have felt by his lack of communication to her. I feel as though he cut ties to her for some reason only known to him. Maybe she was too materialistic and was a part of a life he no longer wanted? Whatever the reason it is very clear that he no longer had interest in keeping in contact with his beloved sister.
As far as her writing-it was interesting enough but she seemed to over explain irrelevant details and she would ramble on into a whole paragraph- to take up word count space? You can only explain a rock so many times before we get it.
She made some statements about how her parents tried to "re-write" their earlier life with Chris and Carine-I feel as though she has done the same. I felt there were still details left out purposefully.
I feel the Chris I have read about and connected to through HIS story would not have liked this book. However, who knows.
I also felt as though Carine is either using her brother's story to bring attention to herself and/or she was greatly obsessed or "in-love" with him. There was just something off about it all.
Around 150-200 pages in I started skipping paragraphs and then whole pages. After finishing the book I felt cheated and empty.
You can tell Krakauer’s emotional connection he had to Into The Wild and see the depth of details and facts he collected to get to the heart of Chris's story. Whereas with Carine-obviously knowing Chris heart and soul-went wild and wrote whatever was on her mind-whether or not that was how Chris would have felt-to get her “truth” told. I feel she was as different as night and day to Chris in her life and beliefs and it shows in her work.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
don low
As a reader I read many krakaur books. I was especially drawn to ITW as Chris grew up near where I did. And Roman Dial, Jon's friend and advisor was my brother's friend growing up. After reading ITW I knew there were many layers and reasons for Chris to embark on his journey. To hear people question or say he was selfish to hurt his family only made me feel there was more to it. Carine's book shines a light on the circumstances and harrowing experiences that shaped both of their lives and choices. Well written and thoughtful. She does honor her brother by bringing his truth to the light.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
mohamed abo el soud
This is an interesting book, but not simply for the story of infidelity, domestic violence and troubled childhoods that it tells - Carine Mc Candless is the sister of Chris "Alex Supertramp" McCandless, whose story captivated millions in the book and film biographies of his short life, both of which are called Into The Wild. But Jon Krakauer's book and Sean Penn's movie, despite Carine's involvement, held back from telling the whole story of her upbringing, and this is what Carine hopes to bring out in her own edition.

Carine gives us further background on the tale of Christopher Jonson McCandless, helping us understand what kind of family situation he grew up in, whereas the book mainly traces the footsteps of his last two years of life; she also tells the story in roughly chronological order, with the first half being the story of Carine's life with Christopher and her parents, the second half covering the years after his death, whereas Krakauer's jumps all over the place. Similarly, the first half was about Carine's life under the control of others - first her parents controlling way, then her evil first two husbands - while the second half is about her self-actualisation.

Ultimately, the story is very much about Carine McCandless, with Chris a distant, relatively minor character; even her parents, Walt and Billies, become minor characters, allowing us at times to forget their violence and emotional manipulation. We get a lot of Carine, her struggles, her successes, her setbacks in life and impossible hurdles, but also closeness with her siblings. It's nice, even if it is overpowering at times. Sometimes it's hard to be certain that she's completely sincere - could it really be that she's a beacon of sensitivity and never takes advantage of situations or exerts herself? She admits briefly to falling for the allure of material possessions, returns soon enough to the righteous values of her famous brother, but other than that she's never ever anything less than completely fair-minded; she even sets herself up for this at the end of the book, at the bottom of her list of (many) acknowledgements, when she says "And to all of those who I am forgetting to list who I have surely expressed my thanks to in person, you are no less important. My brain is just exhausted and my notes are somewhat illegible. When I read this as printed in the book and gasp at your absence I will call to apologise." All well and good, but... wait, she didn't mention Sean Penn!!.

However, even if it pales somewhat in comparison to Krakauer's book - not many can turn a phrase like Krakauer, so this criticism is relative - there are many passages in the book that ring incredibly true (especially to those who have immaturely overbearing parents) or bring a tear. This one, from something one of her half-sisters told her (same evil dad, different mother) seems especially poignant:

"Maybe our house wasn't always spotlessly clean and Mom sometimes struggled with providing structure. It's hard work to be a single mom and keep up with six kids. But she always provided us with plenty of love, and we learned that was the most valuable thing we could have ever hoped for. You and Chris may have had it better financially, but we got the better deal."

Then there were all of those spooky scenes, like when Chris (seemingly) visited a friend in her dream and asked her to send a message to Carine... or when she comes to some kind of spooky realisation that Chris held her baby in Heaven before she was born... brrrrr!!!

While it's an interesting book, and contains a few revelations - situations around the publishing of Krakauer's book, items around shooting the film, and meetings with people who interacted with Chris such as Wayne Westerberg - it does also, in a sense, show how Chris McCindless has become a sort of industry into himself. And this is probably something that would have rubbed his idealistic soul as wrong. But how can we find fault in this, then - it's the world we live in, and there's no going back in time.

At the back of my mind, I'm still wondering what kind of book Carine and Chris' parents could put out, and if they're going to do it or not... intereating!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Carine's recounting of her and Chris's entry into a family already begun elsewhere is just the beginning of what was to come. As the story unfolds it reveals to be about much more than Chris's path, but about a family in secret turmoil. Fear, betrayal, uncertainty. Only a few words that hint at the inner world these children surmounted. Capitalizing on the trial, pain, and ultimately loss of one family, Carine has chosen to share not only the experience through her words, but also provide warning, hope, guidance for others through her heartfelt telling of their journey. I was amazed at how connected I felt to the situations and trials endured. Sadly, I also experienced a very poor situation involving unexpectedly intertwined families for a time. Not from the parental perspective, though, but from my partner and the situations he brought into my life. So I have felt that personal betrayal too. It's been something I've never been able to express well to my close friends and never really felt I had anyone that "got it". Carine gets it. I feel like I have finally have that feeling that there's someone else out there that would truly understand. This book was a journey for me. Deaply meaningful. Impactful. I absolutely recommend others take the journey through the inner hallways of the McCandless's skeletal closet.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
stephanie carson
I read "Into the Wild" long before it became a Hollywood film and found it to be one of the most disturbing, and sad accounts I had ever read. It was the sort of book that stays with you for days and seems to take up permanent residence somewhere inside your head. It was unforgettable. Jon Krakauer's sensitive rendering of the material indicated a deep and respectful understanding of the events that unfolded. And one did not have to read between the lines to discern the existence of familial discord; it was apparent, even if the author did not include full transcripts of letters penned by Chris McCandless to his sister, Carine.

Fast forward, and now appears a book that contends to present "the truth" about what drove this young man into the wild where he ultimately perished from starvation. I was intrigued by this. Perhaps Chris McCandless was gay, and had been rejected by his parents. Maybe he was sexually abused. Surely, a book with such a sensational headline ("The Wild Truth") would present the bombshell that would make the world say, " it all makes sense."

If you are interested in Carine McCandless this is the book for you. You will read of her likes and dislikes, what she did, where she went, who she married... But if you're reading this to glean deep insights into her brother, you won't. If you've read "Into the Wild" you already know that their father had another wife and six kids. You already know about the wealth; the high academic standards to which the kids were measured; the occasional violence and overall dysfunction. Therefore, this book to me is a disappointment because not only is it not particularly well-written, it fails to present anything that is entirely new or not previously documented.

What I found odd, and not fully explained, is that despite having such a close relationship with her brother (according to the author) he nevertheless included her, along with his parents, as people he no longer wished to communicate with. No one in the family had heard from him, or seen him, in over two years. Strangely, Chris felt compelled to dash off post-cards to people he'd just met. Why did he not pick up a phone at least, and dial his sister?

To me, this speaks of his disdain not just for his parents but for his sister as well. He may have loved her, but it seems that he included her in the ven diagram of bourgeois acquisitiveness to which he condemned his parents. In his final package sent to his sister, he teased her by referring to her as "Leona Helmsley" and other notoriously rich and vacant women. Was he kidding, or was there an underlying commentary being made? The author admits that she squandered her inheritance on her "posh" apartment replete with the visible trappings of affluence. Contrast to this to her brother who gave away his inheritance to Oxfam.
Is it not even remotely possible that he no longer felt intellectually connected to his sister during this particular moment in time?

Because why did he never contact her? The only possible answer is this is: Because he didn't want to. He chose not to.
One could surmise that while he indeed loved his sister, perhaps he felt they no longer had anything in common. That is how he may have felt as a very young man yearning to realize his own identity. It is a snap-shot in time but the author attempts to draw long-range and meaningful conclusions that simply don't make sense. If our lives end in our early 20s, and we fail to come full-circle to realize the fullness of our experiences, we become frozen in a moment: we are forever 22, or 24, or whatever age we were. Anyone who has reached middle-age can look back and admit that they've changed a great deal...we lighten up, we are no longer perpetually outraged. Chris never reached middle-age. He didn't even make it to age 25. And because of this, the author looks for someone to blame: the parents.

Regardless, the disturbing lack of contact between Chris and Carine deserved analysis and there is none. This obvious decision on his part - to exclude his family from any communication - is not remotely explained in this book which, to me, was a glaring omission. Again, he sent postcards to people he'd just met. But didn't send a single one to his sister.

Carine McClandless has three failed marriages under her belt at the age of 42 and she seems to regard this is a badge of courage; a word she likes to use repeatedly. She's "courageous" for leaving men who didn't "respect" her. Conversely, her mother is not courageous because she stayed. Carine McCandless comes through the page (to me) as someone who could use some therapy. Granted, their parents were hardly ideal. But neither are mine. The father was bad-tempered. So was mine. And I did not have parents who took me on cruises, paid for my education and cars, helped set me up in a business, or took me out for nice dinners. Do these things indicate that the parents were ideal? No. They were not functional in many aspects - but not in all.
If these two people were so awful that their son felt compelled to take off into the wild without so much as a message left on a post-it note, the author fails completely to present a convincing case.

We forget that Chris McCandless left for his adventure at the age of 22. He was just a kid. If he had survived; had he not starved to death; chances are he'd be sitting behind a desk somewhere, paying a mortgage, raising a family of his own, and chuckling over his experiences. At 22, the world seems phony. Your parents are phony, nothing seems "genuine" or "authentic" and you have the time, freedom, health, and vigor of youth, to head out into the wood or the mountains or Sri Lanka, to sew your wild oats. It's been happening since human beings first began to document their existences. But because Chris McCandless met with staggering misfortune - on a scale that is mind boggling and heart-wrenching - we look for clues. There has to be a mystery; there must be some hidden underlying reason. According to Carine McCandless, it was because his parents were so awful. Their hypocrisy and phoniness drove their son to die alone in a bus in Alaska.

I just don't see it. Seven out of eight kids in that family went on to lead relatively normal lives. There isn't a train-wreck left in Walt and Billie's wake of drug abuse, violence, and shattered lives. The offspring of this unfortunate union seem like decent human beings. Parents can never take all the blame or all the credit for how their children turn out.

And now I shall await the deluge of outraged the store reviewers who feel incensed if a reader does not arrive at the same conclusions as they. I did not like this book. I did not particularly like the author. If you did, that's lovely, but I didn't - and this is my review. Chris McCandless appeared to be a deeply private person and one could imagine how appalled he would be by this sort of exposure. I wonder if he would find it as cringe-worthy as I do.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
caroline owens
I really enjoyed The Wild Truth. I've seen reviews tearing down Carine McCandless for the writing style, her personal "back-patting", and "for telling us way too much about herself". I got a bit more insight into Carine's current life, and the road that led up to her current life, than I anticipated. But guess what? I also gained one hell of an insight into the McCandless family as a whole via the most important person in the world to Chris - his sister. Abused kids are used to having their word invalidated, so it's no surprise to me that Carine bends over backwards to declare that she is attempting to fairly represent her family's crap. She does a good job of this here. I don't think Ms. McCandless ever declared she was the next Hemingway, so why are people ragging on her writing style? In my opinion she wrote the way she probably speaks and thinks. And the back-patting? I don't know. She is human. She has some annoying traits and some super awesome ones. The point here was to get to gain more insight into Chris' mindset. We'll never BE Chris, so I think the mission was accomplished. I enjoyed reading about their dynamic, and how Chris took Carine to task on occasion.

Also notable in this book are the plentiful photos. They are brand new stuff as far as I am concerned. Many of them, if not all, have background information (i.e. what was going when a photo was taken, why someone had a particular look on their face, etc). As a human voyeur, that stuff is fascinating. As to what I learned about Chris, I think this book reinforced what I already knew while deepening it a bit. Primarily, this is Carine's story. She appears to have done what her parents have not, which is learn from her mistakes and take honest looks at her life. I thought it was cool that she owns, and works in, a mechanic shop. Overall, The Wild Truth does something invaluable - it exposes everyone as human. I think the best thing that could happen to a legacy is to realize that if you met the legend - well, you may not have even liked him. (Ok, personally I think Chris McCandless and I would have gotten along great, but still.) The story of Chris McCandless means a lot to me, in ways I probably can never explain. He would have done something awesome with his life, regardless of how he was raised. As it went, he was raised by abusive lunatics so the awesome thing was to follow his heart to freedom in the wilds of Alaska. I am sorry Carine lost her brother, but I believe he found his freedom.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
caroline wilson
I sincerely commend Carine for shining a light on exactly why her brother marched away from everything he had ever known. I also commend her for her bravery in telling a story that some people are going to simply write-off and question her motives. I grew up in a violent, horrible environment as a kid and understand the humiliation, loneliness, and lack of hope that are inevitable with that type of childhood. Yet she face her fears head on and steps into the hopeful abyss, just like her older brother. I loved their bond, how she described it back then and how it continues to persist to this day. It is beautiful and she should be grateful every day that she had somebody like Chris to help her though the hard times.

I applaud you, Carine! You have made quite a life for yourself. You've built business and achieved high success that most people could only ever dream of. The only complaint I had while reading this title was that I felt like she was a little blind, especially when it came to her parents. She should have gotten' the heck away from those lunatics long before she actually did. Her writing at times, was, in my eyes, childish and naive, but most of her prose was deep, introspective, and honest. Good for you!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
aden bliss
The writer has strong opinions about her family situation, but only suceeds in trashing her parents and, I'm sure, embarrassing her siblings by airing their dirty laundry in public. I believe that if her brother could speak to her, he would advise her to leave the story within the paramaters of John Krakaur's story. Nothing she wrote will make anyone change. It only appears that she hopes to profit financially from her family's undeniable tragedy. Hers isn't the only disfunctional family and won't be the last. I don't see others mending their ways because of her expose'. Forgive and move on. It's a gift one gives oneself. Otherwise one just, like Sisyphus, keeps rolling that stone up and down the hill.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
While this book is about a brother and sister who lived through an horrible childhood, the central characters to me were the two people who refused to see the reality of the terrible consequences of their dysfunction; their parents. I think the author did a great job of honoring her brother, purging some demons and even starting to accept the deep flaws that her parents still posess. This book answered the main question that I had after reading "Into the wild": why did he break so completely from his family. I recommend reading "Into the Wild" before this book, but then again, I highly suggest reading ALL of Krakauers' books.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
The author, Carine McCandless, attempts to fill in the blanks that she asked be left out of Into the Wild. Complete with family photos that span decades, this book allows the reader to experience Chris' life from his childhood and put his journey into perspective. As the family member closest to him, Carine is the perfect person to tell their story. Although it is definitely not a happy read, I am glad that I have had the opportunity to learn more about the person that inspired Into the Wild.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Raised in a dysfunctional and violent family, Carine and her brother Chris McCandless form an unbreakable bond. In the Wild Truth, she reveals the untold story of what lay behind the journey of self-discovery that resulted in his tragic death by starvation in the Alaskan Wilderness: the secret of their father’s prior marriage and the resulting violence that bound the parents together and in the telling finds her own redemption.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jacqueline hill
For the readers of Into the Wild, this book is a must read, period. Ms. McCandless stands tall for her beloved brother Chris, and in her own way, is every bit as brave. She is a new heroine for me and an inspiration for all who seek and honor the truth. Chris would be so proud of her. I certainly am, as no doubt are all of her siblings. This book is gift to the world, and especially to those who have traveled a path similar to Chris and Carine.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
My sons, now in their twenties, were fascinated by the book Into The Wild when they were teens. So I read it, too, and was likewise fascinated. I started that book with the common misconception that Chris was a stupid tenderfoot, but finished it with the firm knowledge that he was anything but that. It is so gratifying to learn about Chris's motivation, to learn more about his personality. It's heartening to know that his legacy is safe and cherished with Carine and their siblings. Anyone who loves Chris's story will love this book; I feel it completes the adventure. I'm glad it was written.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
j trott
If you read _Into the Wild_ and enjoyed it then you will definitely want to read this book written by his sister who explains what really was happening in their family. This will answer the question of why would he ever want to do what he did. While the writing seems repetitive at times, it s indicative of the efforts of children desperate to establish a good relationship with their parents and damage that emotional abuse can wreck.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
carolyn gross
Years ago, I read Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild." Despite the fact that this book is being marketed as some kind of tell-all or sequel to that excellent work, I learned very little from reading it that I had not already inferred from the former. Although Krakauer did not dwell extensively on Chris McCandless' family or background, I recall that it wasn't difficult to guess there might have been parental issues at least partially driving the decisions he made. In her memoir, Carine McCandless leaves little doubt as to that assumption and paints a stark picture of a highly dysfunctional family history. She does devote significant attention to the film based on Krakauer's book of the same name, especially her own contributions in working with Sean Penn and the role she played in the production of the movie. But make no mistake; this is a book about the author, her childhood, her relationships, her marriages, her children, etc., with just enough references to her brother to support the notion that it's the "real" truth behind his unfortunate demise. Without that connection, it's just a memoir and in my opinion, not a particularly good one.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
The author is well-intentioned but is so invested in the hero worship of her older brother that we really learn very little about him and he's never really fleshed out as a whole person. Ironically, Carine seems to doing the same thing that her parents always had done - "white washing" any negative aspects of the lives of Carine and of all her siblings. We are none of us perfect humans.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lee wilson
Loved the book "Into the Wild" and found it interesting that the sister wrote her side of the story. Although, lucky to have such supportive siblings, It seems as though her brother's death will probably haunt her for the rest of her life. Sad that the parents won't ever accept responsibility for their actions. They seem very narcissistic and Carine is probably better off without them in her life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alain raymond
I have been fascinated by Chris and his story for a long time. I felt a connection to him and his love of nature, truth and simple pleasures, as did many. I always wondered what was behind his decision to cut off his parents. This story is a sad account of what happens when people with narcissistic tendencies have children. Unfortunately both their parents seem to be extremely self centered (being raised by one is bad enough but having both parents like this is a nightmare.) Even Billie's decision on where to place Chris's final remains was so inconsiderate to what Chris would have wanted, it's hard to fathom. Their siblings may have had less money but they got a better deal because their mom sounds like a wonderful person. Sad story but I don't blame Chris for leaving. Anyone familiar with narcissistic personalities will see red flags everywhere in this story. I highly recommend this book if you always wanted to know the full story.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
brett turner
Why did I think this book read like a cousin to V.C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic? Still can't put my finger on it --maybe it's the self-satisfied tone? Well, I wanted to read it, and now I have. I'm sorry I didn't wait to get it from the library, however.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The missing element of story that needed to be told. So much may be inferred by those who have lived similar lives, but confirmation from Ms. McCandless allows for the circle to close. She evokes crystal clear emotions in her retelling of such a torturous past. I found myself walking through my own life decades past evaluating and examining. Ultimately forgiveness follows for actions long ago perpetrated against those who are so young. Thank you for allowing us to quietly view Chris's and your lives in such an unveiling.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jason shugars
Well written book and it explained a lot about Chris and why he did what he did. His story has always stayed with me through the years, just one of Krakauer's excellent books. But Carine's story is amazing as well, and it's probably safe to say that she endured more than her brother even, but she seems like an amazing woman. And the parents? Well, they're just horrible....
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
It is a "hate letter" to her parents. I thought it might offer some more insight into Chris and his desire to trek out into the wild. Instead I felt like this was Carine's opportunity to lash out at her parents and justify her dysfunctional life and poor choices. I am not saying her parents are right. They sound pretty messed up but at the same time she almost seemed to dwell too much on their issues as a way to explain why she has no responsibility for her life turning out the way it did. I felt like she was grasping at straws in order to dig up whatever she could to make them look bad. Again, I don't think they were saints by any means but I just felt like the whole book was me being subjected to her rantings on why I should hate her parents too.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nina silvia
I enjoyed the book. It's very difficult to not take on our parents characteristics, good and bad because they seem so normal growing up. I love that the kids all came together. Any person that throws around a possible inheritance for their child is a sicko. Good for the author for choosing sanity over her parents money. Carine reminds me of me and my sibs. If the parents ever did leave her their $$. She'd split it with sibs.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
edith weisenbogger
I saw the movie when it came out and am still haunted by the story so when I saw this book I had to get it. Although it was sad, I felt it was very well written and honest. Being the product of a dysfunctional family, I related to how we all pretended to be the perfect family only to know the truth. There is no one to blame but yourself if you don't learn from it and live your true life differently.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
melanie jacobson
I bought this book because of the connection to her brother and his story. Reading this book, I couldn't avoid the feeling that Carine was trying to profit off of her brothers life and death. She plays the role of victim in every part of this book, from her parents to her ex-husbands. The entire book also seems like a big middle finger to her parents. I understand that they don't at all seem like good people, but please don't use the amazing story of your brother to continue to air dirty laundry.

I got suckered into buying this book, based on Chris and his story. Don't make the same mistake.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This makes for a wonderful companion. To a family drama and opinion of madness vs life religion with lies vs nature and truth. Who gets to decide what and how? What factors in society matter when they always get defined after the fact. When being nice is pathetic and being human is getting your needs meet.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
corey vilhauer
As a huge fan of Jon Krakauer and Into the Wild, I appreciated seeing this favorite book from a different angle. Carine's details of her parents' abuse was hinted at in Kraukauer's book so not a surprise but still disturbing. However her chalking up Chris McCandless' journey as a reaction to his parents' abuse is way too pat - his quest was much more existential ; I gather that he saw his parents' crass materialism and phoniness as symptoms of a larger disease in American culture and his journey was an attempt to find who he was and another way to live. That quest is what gives meaning and power to his story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
marga ayers
The book was fascinating and one of my favorite books that I read in the last 10 years. I had no idea of the back story in a way of the movie "into the wild" and I am so glad that I do after reading Carine's well thought out book about her and her brother.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
nzbook girl
This is probably unfair of me, but I don't like mis-titled books. While I'm sorry that Carine had such a horrible childhood, frankly I'm not that interested in HER life, which arguably makes up the majority of this book. I dunno, maybe the editor is to blame, but I think a lot should have been cut. Also, does a memoir really need an epilogue, author's note and afterword?
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
As other posters have written, if you are compelled to learn all the minutia of Carine McCandless' life you should read this poorly written and mundane book. It offers a small amount of info that pertains to the life of Chris and a few interesting things that went into the making of the movie. Overall, I think this book would have been much better as a magazine article or a short, 80 page memoir.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rebecca winner
Enjoyed it and gave the reader insight into the family dynamics, especially the parents. Carine writes well, and it is a fast, fascinating read. I appreciated her interaction with Jon Krakauer (one of my favorite adventure writers)and Senn Penn. Recommended.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kris isom
Chatty. I think the author is trying to deal with self doubt about what she knows is true but is met with entrenched denial by the opposition (the parents). Her view is not as far fetched as one might believe. But it is one of those situations that has to be experienced, unfortunately. She shows a lot of bravado to help her through but cannot let go. I am not sure what the status of her current relationship with her parents is after this publication but I would like to think that she has gained independence and renounced any inheritance. She tries to explain her brother's actions and only he knew for sure what he had gotten into. He did walk away and he did donate his inheritance and he would have kept going if he could have. She doesn't seem to have reached that point as yet.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
If you've wondered why Chris decided to check out of society and roam and the USA, this book gives the answers. This has to be one of the most dysfuntional families in history. Its amazing the rest of the kids survived.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
h sid
Into The Wild (I.T.W) is one of my favorite books I have ever read. I.T.W. was also a wonderful movie. This book is a prequel to that story & it fills in a few gaps. Beautifully written by Chris's sister Carine. I would recommend this book to everyone who has read I.T.W. If you haven't read I.T.W., read it now, then read this book when you are done.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I read "Into the Wild" and came away angry that a young man would so recklessly waste his life. However, through this candid book that illuminates his life and the dysfunctional family situation into which he was born, I at last understood the need that drove Chris into the wild. Author Carina McCandless showed me his death was neither futile nor in vain.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I got this book for Christmas. I read "Into the Wild" and I've seen the movie about five times. However, this book was a bit disappointing. One finds out why Christopher left home after the first 30 pages...his parents. Carine's narrative about her parents relationship with her and Chris were quite riveting; as was the story from her perspective about Chris himself. However, the book didn't do much for me when she discussed her marriages with her first husband; with Fish; and her third husband. Nor, did I really care about the relationship she describes with her daughters and her special needs daughter. From that standpoint, I give the book three stars. However, I think it's worthwhile if you've read the book and seen the movie on Chris's life. This completes the story.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I wish I could give it more…

Like many, I found ITW haunting, and Chris' story was achingly frustrating and lamentable. I felt for Carine and was eager to know her story - but didn't find this book compelling or even terribly interesting, and the writing awkward. The early photos were fantastic, although I wish there were more of Chris. When Jon Krakauer released ITW I was so frustrated with the constant references to photographs that were not included in the book, and Carine does not include them either, while also describing them. You can find them on youtube now for crying out loud - but a true memorial to her brother should have had them there.

Carine seems to want to tell us about her parents, marriages and family, and perhaps quell the notions that Chris was just an immature fool. I never thought that, and while the full extent of their family dysfunction was let off lightly perhaps in ITW, I think enough was said in Krakauer's book to let the reader know where Chris's profound disgust came from. The endless stories of her parents and her inability to make her own break were frustrating and tiresome.

More interesting was her fascination and eventual career in auto mechanics, and kudos to her for finding a vocation she was good at and making a success of it. Not so much with the men in her life…

Like many I also wondered why Chris had not contacted the sister he was so close to. I could see now that he probably did not know how since they both moved about at that time, but I also think that would be a weak excuse. He would have found out how if he wanted to. It did seem as though he intended to return to civilization, but what he would have done at that point - we will never know.

I say RIP Chris McCandless - you had an important message to impart, and know that you have made a profound impact in your short life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jo o martins
Many years ago when I first read Into the Wild, I never could come to terms with why Chris had went off the grid. It makes complete sense now. This was an incredibly powerful read, Carine, thank you for sharing!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
heather blair
I was a huge fan of Into the Wild, and I found the family history in this book enlightening, and brought more clarity into who Chris was and why he made the choices he did.
With that said, I grew a bit tired of the on going descriptions of Walt and Billie’s horrible behavior. Could just be my own discomfort with DV
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
iris cox
Just finished reading this book. It was a story that involved tragedy, love, and acceptance. She writes about her family which included Chris McCandless, the young man who tragically dies. She tells what she believes were the reasons her brother left family and friends.....Never to be heard from again. Although the story she tells is not one of a "normal" family she exposes us to the abuse she and her siblings experienced. The story is compelling. At times I was in tears listening to the hardships, it causes one to re examine what the important things are in life. Well said Carine.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissa ruiz
I got this book at the library. I previously read "Into the Wild" and saw the movie. I read this book in 3 sittings. Would have been 2 but I had to go to bed. I could not put it down. And once finished, I keep thinking about it. She writes very well. This could not have been an easy book to write, but I thank her for having written it. It explains why her brother left.

I hope she keeps on writing. I will be purchasing a copy of her book (from the store of course).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I read this book beause I wanted to learn more about Christopher McCandless' family and, especially, his relationship with his sister. Into the Wild is one of my favorite books and I have always admired Christopher McCandless' story, mostly because it seemed he had the courage to go it alone and sought the truth about himself, his family, the world, and his place in it. Most people don't have the commitment or stomach for that. I really enjoyed this book because of some of the background it gives about Christopher McCandless (his childhood, excerpts of letters). And while I do wish there was more about him, because the story really does revolve around the author's life, I enjoyed learning about Carine McCandless, her life, her truths, and experiences. Is this a book that is a tell-all about Christopher McCandless? No, it isn't (although it does provide insight into his background, his mindset, and a little more of his motivation). But it's a great book and I would recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sameha alshakhsi
What a shame that the first reviewer who left one star was so uniformed, jealous or suffered with just plain sour grapes.
The Wild Truth was written by a survivor of the same demons as the first reader but just didn't know how to put words to paper.
Please ignore the one star review and read a real book. I to the wild
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
When I picked up this book I was hoping for further insight into why Chris McCandless hiked, unprepared, into the Alaska wilderness back in the 90's. I'm also curious why so many people still make pilgrimages to his Magic Bus, as if he were a guru, prophet or cult hero. This book did nothing to enlighten me, instead it further confused me as to motive and clarity involving this young man. Clearly, these kids were abused and clearly Chris ran away from his family as soon as he could. But now, over twenty years later, Carine McCandless just seems stuck. Yes, we know her parents suck and we know she wants revenge - she makes that very clear throughout, with her superior, narcissistic rants. But maybe it's time to let Chris rest in peace. How much more money and faux fame must be garnered off his story, especially from a sister who just can't move on.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brett ortler
The author does a wonderful job describing life as a child and as the sister of Chris mccandless going through their rough childhood. It was sad what these kids had to endure and live through. It helps to understand why Chris left home and cut ties to his parents. I liked this memoir very much.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
terri clark
I read this in one sitting because I kept searching for more information about Chris; I finished the book with more questions than answers. Overall, I was disappointed. It was written well enough, but was redundant in the telling. I got it early on that the parents were, as the psychiatrist stated, #Q&%# up! I feel Chris rose above and beyond the abuse, recognized his parents were clueless, and made the choice to take charge of his own happiness. However, it required more maturity and hard lessons in life before Carine could follow him to that level. Children always want to believe their parents will change and love them unconditionally, but there comes a time when you accept life as it is, move forward and create your own security, love and peace. Chris did that! It has made me desire to re-read INTO THE WILD.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
anthony hairston
I decided to reread and review this because for some reason Chris McCandless has been popping up again, most often on facebook. It's not a very good book at all and not many people are going to be satisfied with it as an explanation of why he did what he did. The author obviously adored her brother and can't stand the idea of any of this tragedy being his fault, but let's be honest. Many people have crazy parents and they don't all run away, burn cash, change their name to Alexander Supertramp, and go off into a supposed wilderness a few miles from the main road to the entrance to a national park and die out there. We don't know her brother, but her perceptions of her brother are all she's got and like the author of Into The Wild, it's all colored by her personal experience and perception. There's some more info in it, but not enough to explain or justify, as she says she's going to do, why this young man did what he did.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I am a big fan of Jon krakauer, so was excited to read Into the Wild. I liked the book, but I was not sure how to feel about Chris McCandless. When The Wild Truth by his sister came out, I was hoping to better understand this young man's motivation. But, this book was not really about Chris. It was Carrie's story, which would have been OK, but it was just not that interesting, and I found myself skimming through much of it. It's kind of sad to piggy back a tragic death into her own story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
david wegley
I read Krakauers book then saw the film version. It's obvious there's more to Chris story and I'm thankful his sister is willing to explain him and bring light and healing into lives affected by his own story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
A deeper honest look at a story that despite more answers always leaves more questions. Most of all, the what if questions.
thanks for the courage to write it and faith to know that despite evil and past pain, there is Hope and Joy if we press on.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rose ann
I don't think Chris would ever have gotten married because of seeing his parents fighting and their marriage. I think if the mother had asked forgiveness of her children and admitted to her own sins, things would have been much different. There would be no more play-acting on her part or denying. They could have moved on. I also wish Carine had stayed married to Heather's father. This would be a good example to Heather. She has two wonderful daughters and she is a wonderful wonderful mother to them.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nick mendoza
What a toxic set of parents to cause such pain to their children. Carine gave them far too many chances to redeem themselves. So sad that even Chris's death failed to move them from their state of denial.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It is a compelling story. A truthful accounting of the of both the love and misery of their life. It is an emotionally moving account of the struggles of a loving but dysfunctional family. I recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nisa ch
Were they all the same? We are who we are because of them, so we must assume they are/were who they are/were because of their parents. It's it a circle or ever changing? Hmmm. Good story, he found peace and happiness through forgiveness while still young. What a shame he didn't get to live a long, happy life after that.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mike rumley wells
Carine pulls away the veil of mystery surrounding Chris' motives for leaving his family and severing communications with his parents as he ventured Into the Wild. Carine openly discusses the childhood that she, Chris, and the rest of their siblings lived through. She highlights the effects that physical and emotional abuse had on her family at the hands of narcissistic parents, with a level of honesty and candor not previously seen by the public. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to know more about Chris, but especially to anyone who has suffered abuse. Carine is a remarkable example of someone who has put her foot down and broken the cycle of abuse.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
meredith hartley
I read Into the Wild last year, and though I thought I understood Chris, this book made me realize I still had many misconceptions about him and his reasons for going to Alaska. From the very beginning, this book is powerful and moving. A must read.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
tonya tolmeijer
I wish I hadn't read this book. Why be so fascinated by Chris M. and his life and foolish death? I feel bad for him, and I wish he hadn't died is all. But why write this book? Why expose his parents for the abuse and dysfunction? There really isn't any point to the world knowing this about them, and I don't believe that Chris would have wanted his story told this way, either. Chris believed in love, truth and peace. He wanted to disengage from his family so he could live his values. He didn't believe in greed and he didn't want to be around greedy people. I just can't believe that he wanted his story retold, rehashed and producing profit for people twenty years after his death. He wouldn't have wanted to be honored this way.

This leads me to think that his sister inherited some of the narcissism of her parents. She isn't abusive like they were, but she saw a way to profit by writing this expose, so she did. It is possible Chris saw that his sister was somewhat like his parents and disowned his sister at the same time he disowned his parents. Cruel thing to say, but is it any crueler than profiting from the death of your brother? That is the ultimate betrayal.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
One of the worst and most boring books I've ever read. Writer and her family are a very very dysfunctional group of people and the whole book is about that dysfunction and trying to rationalize and romanticize her very very inexperienced brother taking off to go live in the woods in Alaska with no survival gear or provisions and not knowing in the least how to survive. Waste of my time and money and the people of Alaska's money having to clean up the mess her brother left.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Don't waste your time if you're looking for insights into Chris' life beyond childhood. There is a documentary that she participated in that was actually good. This book seems more about getting even with her parents.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
casey rock
I loved Into the Wild - both the movie and the book. So I figured this would be a good read. Overall it was pretty awful. I learned very little new information about Chris. Most of the book is comprised of complaining about the parents and telling about the authors failed marriages and home life. No offense but I didn't pick up this book to read about you. I just wanted to learn more about your brother. And this might sound mean but why am I to believe her over the parents? Guess I should have stuck to the original book.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
marie fred
Unfortunately, this book did not add anything of substance to the story of Chris McCandless. I hope it was cathartic for the author, but I couldn't help wondering, if she found her relationship with her parents so painful and exasperating, why she kept trying to get them to "wake up" and alter their thinking and behavior when it was clear it was never going to happen and was unrealistic in the first place. This is a memoir focused squarely on the life of the author with little, if any, insight into her brother.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kristen plachuta
This is Carine's story....
I am sad for all the family and friends who loved and lost Chris McCandless.
Carine has a right to tell her story.
I wish she had made this HER story.
Carine has obviously been greatly grieved by the loss of her brother.
She has also experienced indifference and denial from her parents
She has a right to tell HER story!
Jon Krakauer's story was about Chris.
This is about Carine..

Jon Krakauer's book and Outside Magazine story were attempts to explore the what and why that led Chris into that Alaskan wilderness
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jordan weinstein
Some interesting background info for the story of Chris mccandless, but much of this book is just a diatribe from a daughter to her parents on why she is right and they are wrong. If you're into reality TV shows about the Kardashians, then this book is right up your alley. The Chris McCandless story is extremely interesting. This book is not.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I was so excited when I first heard about this book. Then I started reading it. The author is about as narcissistic as they come. No wonder Chris left his entire family without staying in contact with any of them. What a bunch of nuts. She says she wrote this book to show the truth about why Chris left. Anyone with half a brain would know from reading the first book it was because he was unhappy in his current life and family. This book is basically the sisters' life memoir and by the end of the book, I was left with a sense of 'who cares'? Just another family member trying to make a buck. Don't waste your money.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A life well lived--- and Chris's too! Both books draw people to them because of the strength of your intellect, humor, memories, and hope for mending are the best part of the human spirit. We all must find our way.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
constance scharff
Jon's book, Into the Wild, gives a much clearer story about Chris. Carine's book rings false. She writes on and on about what extraordinary individuals she and Chris are and what terrible people her parents are. Her father, Walt, led a double life with two separate families but Carine and her half siblings love each other so much there is never any strife between them. Carine complains throughout the whole book about her parents denying the truth and their money, yet she always maintains a relationship with them so she has access to that money when she needs it. Carine justifies writing this book by saying she wants the public to know the whole truth. The public did not need to know the truth about her family. Jon's book told a beautiful story about a young man trying to find himself with a tragic end. Carine's book is about airing family dysfunction to make a buck. She tries to prove that she is not like her mother, in constant denial, but in reality, she is just like her. I am sorry I spent money to buy this book and even sorrier that I read it. It ruined Jon's story about Chris. If Carine truly wanted to help other people because of the abuse she and Chris suffered, she could have done so with dignity by volunteering, in private, with domestic abuse organizations. An example of Carine's story not being honest: Carine writes several times about how Chris did not have a phone when he went away to college and she did not have communication with him except thru letters but on page 67, Chris all of a sudden has a phone when she needs to complain about her parents treatment of her when she tells her parents she has slept with her boyfriend. Don't waste your money unless you want to read 252 pages from a middle aged woman trying to justify her bad decisions and prove to everyone that she, Chris and their half siblings are wonderful, perfect people that are better human beings than their parents.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reading about Chris and Carine's childhood has reminded me of the importance of displaying unconditional love to your children at all times. I hope that even though the book brings to light some harsh realities that the truth coming out will help bring healing to their family.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lisa hanselman
I was eager to read The Wild Truth but disappointed. It was the story of a bad childhood - over & over again. Editing was sorely lacking. It would have been a great short story, but in my opinion did not have enough "meat" for a full length memoir. Carine is very caring and straightforward, but unfortunately that doesn't translate into good writing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kendall loeber
Carine opens up secrets that would have otherwise been left in the dark about Chris McCandless. Chris' story inspires people all over the world to drop what they are doing and second guess conventional lifestyles and evaluate why they are going through the motions. Knowing the truth behind his actions brings you even closer to understanding why. Possibly, more importantly Carine brings forward a discussion of domestic violence that plagues so many individuals. I would recommend this book to anyone. However, I think this book belongs on your bookshelf right next to your beat up adventure copy of Into the Wild. Of course that is after you read it. On that note, you should probably stop reading this review and get the dang book already ;)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
john magee
"Change doesn’t come to someone who doesn’t really want it.” Ms. Carine McCandless

This is definitely one of the best books I have ever read besides the Bible, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Trains Make U turn just to name a few. What I have learned for Mr. Sherwood, author of the Trains Make U turn , is that investing your money to purchase this book like The Wild Truth, can make a HUGE impact in someone's life. Money is not even enough to repay how the book Into the Wild has improved my life. I live in Mr. Supertramp's philosophy about life and now adding more great insight with Miss Carine McCandless will definitely make me become a better individual. I am very happy and very supportive on this book. So far I have bought 4 copies for my friends, relatives and I would not mind buying this book because there is a great message behind it. I highly recommend the book and the money that you will pay is worth it. Please support this book and share it to your friends, relatives or anyone you meet who needs support. I am telling you, you could make a difference In this world by recommending the book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
First of all I want to thank Carin McCandless for writing the book. After reading Into The Wild, I was puzzled at Cris McCandless actions, just as many other people were. I understood from that book that he had problems with his father, but that his father took them on camping trips, skiing trips etc. and seemed to spend a lot of loving time with him and Carin as they were growing up. I know some fathers can be mean but the combination of mean and loving is outside my experience and understanding. However, Carin is convincing in her portrayal of her parents as sometimes unbearable verbally mean. The arguments between their parents must have been frightening.

So I kind of understand Chris McCandless's leaving. However, it was a little cowardly and not a little cruel not to be open with his parents.. He could have said that he needed to be away from them and wasn't coming back for a few of years. And that in his absence, he hoped that they would get counselling or something.

One thing that Carin McCanless wrote near the end of the book did kind of surprise me. She tried to convince us that Chris's journey to the bus on the stampeders trail was not foolhardy. Everyone who fishes, hunts, camps, and climbs has done something foolhardy at one time or another.
So it's not uncommon, but most don't pay with their lives for their foolishness. The truth is as she quotes Roman Dial, "living completely off the land is incredibly difficult." The fact is that Chris couldn't kill enough little birds or squirrels or gather enough berries, and so he lost weight every day that he was out there. Jon Krakaner, who's book is excellent, has tried to come up with multiple reasons for Cris's demise, which were repeated by Carine, such as "poisonous potato seed", "toxic mold", and finally "liquid chromatography mass spectrometry discovered....seeds contained a toxic, non protein amino acid....known to cause illness". Totally unconvincing. The truth is that Chris needed 2000 more calories per day then he could find in the wild.

One other minor point for those who want to adventure into the wild. Chris McCandless could have gotten out of his predicament by following the West side of the Teklanika River South to Denali Park. and caught the park bus at Mile 31 on the park road. It's 20 miles walk but others have walked it. He had a highway map that clearly would have shown him the course of the river and distance to the park. He was probably too hungry and probably too depressed to think clearly at that point.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Unfortunately I was immediately turned off by (1) the author's unsuccessful attempt to write well, using amateur word descriptions that were not necessary and (2) her immediate judgmental attitude toward the current owners of her childhood home. In fact thru-out the book I found Carine to be a major phony, one of her major complaints about her parents. She did not convince me that they were horrible parents. Actually, what she convinced me of was that she and her brother were giant spoiled brats who had grown up entitled.

Her parents were obviously not perfect but she has no idea what an abusive home looks like. Kids growing up in an abusive home don't stick around for high school graduation and the "fifteen grand" wedding. They either end up dead, in foster care, or running away at an early age.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Carine McCandless vascillates between the mythologizing of her brother, Chris, and the demonizing of her parents, Walt and Billie. One gets the sense that she, like her brother, cuts and runs from the flaws of Humanity. Her Afterward, in which she likens herself to the goddess Athena, perhaps best relays the depth of her self-absorption. Chris McCandless, after all, abandoned her as well as the remnants of his dysfunctional life when he left one type of "wildness" for another. I do not believe the author recognizes what is quite apparent to the reader.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
marie baker
The subplots about domestic violence were more interesting than the main story. I am still left with questions about the two years her brother was gone. It was cruel of him to not contact his family. What was his source of income? Was he celibate during that time? One wonders.

The writing style is engaging.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
vesra when she reads
Like so many others, I found this book to be badly written, a boring and shameless attempt to capitalize on her brother's death and the public interest generated by Krakauer's book. Carine, according to her portrait in Into the Wild, wanted to make" her first million at an early age" (129). Krakauer writes, "Chris, [Carine] confesses, used to poke fun at her capitalist zeal by calling her the duchess of York, Ivana Trump McCandless, and 'a rising successor to Leona Helmsley'" (129). Little did he know that his own death would provide the foundation of her empire. I guess she saw an opportunity in the success of Krakuer's book. It's hard to feel anything but pity for this author since respect for her project is out of the question and her purported reason--that she is trying to champion the rights of domestic abuse survivors--rings false. But mostly, it's a shitty book written by boring person who has no concept of the sacred. Yuck.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
The "Into the Wild" story first appeared as a magazine article... and that's what this should have been.

The best material is in the opening section where we find out SPOILER ALERT that Walt McCandless (the father, memorably portrayed by William Hurt) had two families. Now THAT'S interesting and seems to hold a clue, perhaps, to Chris's extreme journey. But then that's mostly dropped in the endless boring account of growing up. Nothing remarkable here except for some garden variety abuse and dysfunction.

That's not said to make light of what the family went through. At all. But the mystery of the McCandless story seems to call out for a more unique explaination. Or maybe it doesn't. Maybe we're left with the other side of the McCandless story: that he was nieve, ignorant, out of his depth, unlucky.

Again: interesting story spread too thin.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
katie schmid
Very disappointed in this book, I don't understand how this is a self help book for domestic violence. I learned more about the author,Carine McCandless and her struggles with love and money then about Chris. Wasn't worth buying.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I didn't know much about Chris - never saw the movie or read Jon's book - and frankly, I still know very little about Chris. This was Carine's story - hope it was cathartic, but I really didn't find it that insightful. Yes, Chris had reason to "divorce" his parents but he also left his siblings including Carine with no contact. After reading looked up some info re Chris and I found that more informative. She talks a lot but says very little.
Save your money.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Well, I can see that I am not alone in feeling somewhat slighted by this book. I was hoping that it would give the reader more of an insight of Chris. Sadly, it did not. In fact, during the first five pages of reading, I contemplated putting it down and not picking it back up again. I could not get past the abundant use of adjectives in every sentence. My first thought was, someone used a thesaurus! Normally I can get through anything but that overuse of words was painstaking in the beginning. I don't know if it suddenly dissipated as the book went on or if I just became immune it.

Regardless, the book seemed to tell Carine's story and not Chris's. I kept hoping that it would come back to Chris and yet page after page, it only told of her story. I suppose I was hoping she could somehow speak for Chris or shed some light about him as a child. Alas, this tale tells her story alone. Hopefully it was a cathartic experience for her to write the book and she is able to move on with a positive life. I feel even more sadness for Chris now than before. Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild told the story of a man on a quest to live on his own terms. I feel a little dirty thinking that I may have exploited Chris by somehow reading this book as it's not his story at all. It is Carine's story. I don't blame her, it's how she perceived their life to be. But sadly, it's one sided. I should have realized that before even picking up this book. Only Chris knows why he did what he did. Now I feel guilty for exploiting him too.

As a side note, where is the acknowledgment to Sean Penn for directing a deeply moving account of her brother's life. Sean's ability to tell the story in a touching and dramatic way perhaps spurred a lot of people to actually go out and read Jon Krakauer's book. Maybe I missed the credit to Sean in the acknowledgments but I can't find it?! Certainly, Carine writes that on several occasions, Sean agreed to her requests to change certain scenes in the movie. So why no great appreciation to him for helping to tell her brother's story?
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
The book was what my daughter wanted so she does not want to return it. I, on the other hand, am extremely disappointed in the quality of the book. There is specifically one area of the book where the pages have completely separated from each other and the inside of the spine shows through. I doubt this book will last through more than one reading before pages start falling out of the book. I realize this may not be the store's fault but I DO expect the store's quality control to not sell and ship a book that is so poorly put together.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
vivaswan pathak
Very disturbing. The author is bent on vilifying her parents and blaming them for everything wrong in her life including her brother's sad death.
The leads promise evidence from her brother's journals but in fact little is shared. Instead it s a self-absorbed trip through her perceived unhappy childhood and her three failed marriages. Shameful use of her brother's death and name dropping for her 15 minutes of fame. The author needs AlAnon and some really good therapy. Too bad she had to put a negative spin on what was originally a good story.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Don't bother with this one. The Krakauer documentary 20 yrs ago was a fascinating read; but in this work by Chris' sister Carine, we learn nothing new except that John Krakauer did a masterful job of journalism despite little cooperation from young Carine. The entire 280 page book dumps on the parents and describes into what a dysfunctional family these two were born and raised. There are plenty of problems in the world without having to once again delve into this disturbing tale. I can only assume Carine has come forward at this stage in her life because of a book deal. Wait on this one ... it is destined to become a $2 closeout in less than a year.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kate harris
Hear about the book, see it on a shelf, pass it by. It doesn't add anything to the gripping narrative that was Into the Wild.
The writing is plodding, the retelling of countlessly similar familial spasms either overwrought or maddening for what the author took 20 years to do - leave the madness.
While she takes a knife to her parents countless abuses, rightfully so, she manages to stay in their lives, or allow them to remain in hers, for any number of reasons in the moment, but clearly she uses them at the drop of a hat when she needs anything - money, a place to live, investment in her business, takes a whirlwind trip to France.
I don't think she did her brother any honor by publishing this self-interested account.
The only bright spot is raising a daughter not her own and one with special needs.
But we shouldn't have to wade through 200 pages of dreck first.
Put this book Into the Recycle Bin.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jess lilja
Trying to stay interested in a book which I feel is about a woman from privilege, who has jumped on a pity train, is hard enough, but when reading how Miss McCandless tries to discredit Wayne Westerberg's character, to say she is heartless is an understatement. If Miss McCandless would do this to Mr. Westerberg, how much is truth of what she writes about her father, Walt, or anyone else? In my opinion, this is a book to be taken out with the trash!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ben edwards
I had to stop reading it. Carine's portrayal of her life and her parents' is one dimensional and sadly immature. She fails to give her parents any credit for all that they gave and did for her and her brother's and sisters. While they did make mistakes and cause pain, they also seemed to try to give them the world. Parents are human too. They can be in love with two people at the same time; they can be confused; they can get angry with each other and their children and cuss and hit; they can lie and resent; they can regret and be sorry; and they can try to do anything they can to make amends. Love is still love even if it is not perfect. She was obviously loved and so was Chris. She glossed over family vacations, camping trips, the opportunity to go to good schools, live in a nice neighborhood, go to church, have nice clothing and warm meals, have a father who plays the piano, have a piano, have a father who cares enough to want to know his son's intinerary in case he gets stuck in a bus somewhere. Carine's sophmoric stance against her parents, and her failure to understand human complexities, makes me suspect that she can offer any meaningful insight into her brother's plight. This book only perpetuates the assumption that She and Chris are only spoiled brats which were given, by her parents, the luxury to complain with big words, and the skills and stamina to live-out an adventurous dream. Carine's hurt and love is real, but so is her parents'. Abuse manifests its ugly head in many ways.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
emma wetzel
Who doesn't have dysfunction in their family? If you want to read 427 pages of whining about parents, who didn't sound horrific IMHO, yet raised two PERFECT children in the author's opinion, this is the book for you. Boring and repetitive story of mental illness, which seems to be a family trait.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
matt walker
I do not like the book let me say that sraight out I think she wanted to be an author let me tell you why. The story was never really about Chris's sister or parents. Yes our young lives contibute to our personalities but that is not the only thing that does. That is like saying that all people who had difficult childhoods are justified in whatever they do. Carine did not grow up and abandon her family although I think this is the knife she has been waiting to throw at her parents on Chris and her own behalf. It is cruel. And, Carine and Chris had a much better childhood then many, many people who are postive people and good citizens like me. I think it is cruel to use her brother's story and his stupid, idiotic decisions to blame her parents and to write a book. No I don't need to hear how she thinks her parents behavior led to his decisions because it is simply not an excuse and not something I buy into. Yes the parents made mistakes so did Chris, so does Carine and those mistakes cannot all be blamed on the parents after all Chris had all the classic signs of mental illness and although there is the nature vs. nuture dispute about enviornmental impact on our young lives I still think is was by nature that he had the personality issues he did. Carine and Chris also had many advantages the rest of us did not. She needs to accept that her brother for the most part made the decisions he did because he was touched in the head. Move on and grow up it is one thing to mourn it is another to destory your parents' lives by publicly pointing the finger at them.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
yasser aly
This book comes across more as fiction than non-fiction. Carine is obviously riding the coat tales of Krakauer and Penn. Her brother left her alone to fend for herself. Not someone I would call my protector!! This book, in my opinion, was pointless and a waste of time/money. I regret purchasing and reading. Carine and her sister's are adults. Time to move on and stop making money off your deceased brother!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
john upchurch
The sister of Chris McCandless airs the family's dirty laundry in return for money. Her bitterness towards her parents is endless. I mean wow - her dad was having an affair with her Mom while still married to someone else. Read any biography of a star football player and you are likely to similar stories of baby mamas, etc. This girl needs to grow up. I am thankful that this one-sided story was
not given any credence by Into the Wild, the book or movie. This is trash by an untalented writer trying to squeeze every last penny from the tale of her brother's unfortunate demise.
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