The Wild Truth

The Wild Truth

Book - 2014
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A New York Times Bestseller

" The Wild Truth is an important book on two fronts: It sets the record straight about a story that has touched thousands of readers, and it opens up a conversation about hideous domestic violence hidden behind a mask of prosperity and propriety."

In the more than twenty years since the body of Chris McCandless was discovered in the wilds of Alaska, his spellbinding story has captivated millions who have either read Jon Krakauer's iconic Into the Wild or seen Sean Penn's acclaimed film of the same name.

And yet, only one person has truly understood what motivated Chris's unconventional decision to forsake his belongings, abandon his family, and embrace the harsh wilderness. In The Wild Truth , his beloved sister Carine McCandless finally provides a deeply personal account of the many misconceptions about Chris, revealing the truth behind his fateful journey while sharing the remarkable details of her own.

Exposing the dark reality that existed behind the McCandless's seemingly idyllic home in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Carine details a violent home life, one where both parents manipulated the truth about a second family--a deception that pushed Chris over the edge and set the stage for his willing departure into the wild. And though he cut off all family ties, Carine understood--through their indelible bond and some cryptic communication--what Chris was seeking.

This understanding, kept under wraps for years as Carine struggled to maintain a relationship with her parents, now comes to spectacular light in the pages of The Wild Truth . In the decades since Chris's death, Carine and her half-siblings have come together to find their own truth and build their own beauty in his absence. In each other, they've found absolution, just as Chris found absolution in the wild before he died.

Beautiful and haunting, told with candor and heartbreaking insight, The Wild Truth presents a man the world only thought they knew--and the sister who has finally found redemption in sharing the rest of their story.

Publisher: New York : HarperOne, c2014
ISBN: 9780062325143
Branch Call Number: 979 .805 MCC
Characteristics: xv, 277 p., [40] p. of plates :,ill. (chiefly col.), col. ports. ;,24 cm


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ArapahoeHollyR Mar 23, 2017

This book pairs beautifully with Jon Krakauer's now-famous "Into the Wild" as it includes crucial information about Chris and Carine McCandless' family life that Krakauer was not allowed to include in his book.

Unfortunately, this also means Chris' story threatens to overshadow Carine's book, which I found interesting almost solely because of the broader context it provides for Chris tale. While Carine's life is certainly interesting on its own merit, I found myself most drawn to the sections pertinent to Chris' experience. This is my own failing, not that of the author, and an issue I imagine other readers who come to Carine's book through "Into the Wild" may find.

ArapahoeSarahD Aug 27, 2016

I am only a couple of chapters in but I had to comment. Carine McCandless is a shockingly beautiful writer. I cannot tell you what it is but the way she composes sentences is staggeringly beautiful. Even if I were less interested in the content, I would still read her books simply out of my love for her ability to write well.
But don't take my word for it. ;)

Apr 08, 2015

Carine McCandless, the sister of Chris McCandless who died in the Alaskan wilderness in 1992, shares her story of their abusive upbringing in Virginia. The memoir also details her journey to make sense of Chris' death and her, ultimately unsuccessful, attempts to create an adult relationship with her parents. An interesting addition to the "Into the Wild" cannon of literature.

Feb 28, 2015

This book further explains the mystery and reasoning of why Chris McCandless after graduating from university decided to leave his family to travel alone throughout the States without plans and very little money or possessions.

The author is his sister Carine McCandless. She wants to share the story behind her dysfunctional family and the unfortunate chains of events that led Chris into the wilds of Alaska and eventually his tragic death.

Heartfelt tale, however most of the story follows the life of the author more than the subject of the book, Chris McCandless.

However I found the book intriguing and worth reading.

Feb 24, 2015

I found this book disappointing with respect to Chris McCandless. It is, in fact, Carine's story. I was really looking forward to learning more about Chris after reading "Into the Wild" which left me with many questions. She tells her own story well, but it should not be billed as Chris' story. She did not do him justice.

JCLBlakeO Jan 31, 2015

Illuminating, tragic, and, honestly, hard to listen to at times. Carine McCandless narrates her memoir with a emotionally charged voice. But, be warned: though Chris appears in these pages, it focuses primarily on Carine's multiple marriages and conflicts with her parents. Though far from the artistic triumph of Krakauer's book or Penn's movie, Carine does provide an intimate glimpse into her dysfunctional family, both before and after Chris's death.

Dec 23, 2014

I wanted to like this book but it fell way short of expectations, namely, it revealed very limited new information about Chris McCandless himself. Given the complete lack of communication between Carine and Chris in his last two years, we can only be told of Carine's guesses as to Chris's state of mind. Her much touted extremely close relationship with her brother was a thing of the past; the fact that he did not contact her during his journey nor did he leave her a personal message strongly indicates that she too was part of the life he chose to leave behind. Carine's exhaustive descriptions of her parents' abuses and of her failed marriages veer into petty tirades where she always comes out the moral victor. I am not saying that I disbelieve her claims, but my lasting impression of this book is that the author would greatly benefit from intensive counseling.

kelleypoole Dec 07, 2014

I was mesmorized by the Chris McCandless story from the moment the Outside Magazine piece came out. I had high hopes for this book with the inside details on his family. However, Ms McCandless exploits the interest in her brother and uses this book as a stage upon which to tout her own life. There are boringly long details about Christmas gifts she gave her step daughter, numerous modeling and posed photos of herself looking beautiful, photos of her with stars. I was saddened that she greedily took her brother's tragedy as a platform for her own aggrandizement.

hgeng63 Nov 26, 2014

Not as gripping as Into the Wild. Doesn't really get into why Chris McCandless behaved as he did, or how his background made him behave as he did. After reading the entire 277 pages of this bk, I had the suspicion that Carine McCandless's The Wild Truth could have been covered as a magazine article or as a Kindle Single.

Sep 04, 2014

The fact that Chris McCandless had a less-than-wonderful home life feels as though it is not a surprise to me; even if it was not expressly stated in INTO THE WILD, it was clear to this reader that he had something he was both striving toward and escaping from.

His sister Carine has now shared that part of the story from her perspective, giving details about their childhood and home life, the relationships with their half-siblings, and their parents. This book is as much about Carine as Chris, and does indeed offer the last piece of a fuller picture of Chris's story.

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Jan 14, 2019

LZdomingo thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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