The reason that i know strongly dislike, verging on hate Alexander Supertramp (Christopher McCandless)
I really enjoyed the movie Into the Wild so am now reading the book version and my gosh, is it different.
For a great many different reason is McCandless an idiot, but the reason i almost hate him for is his bulldozing of Ron Franz’s heart.
Ron was a soldier who was away fighting when in 1957, when a drunk driver killed his wife and son. At first he couldnt cope and became an alcoholic. Eventually he went cold turkey, rediscovered his faith and focussed on taking in street children, teaching them, paying for their education and just generally helping people. Overall, a very decent guy.
Ron picked Alex up as a hitchhiker and gave him a lift home. Something about Alex stuck with him and they ended up forming a friendship. Over the weeks Alex was with Ron, Ron would let him use his house to wash his clothes, taking him out to eat and they’d hang out as friend. When Alex eventually leaves to find work Ron asks to adopt him, Alex says no. Its all very sad, like in the movie. (Only in the book, Ron says he never really expected Alex to say yes, he thought he’d squirm)
Alex writes a few letters and everything ticks along. Ron gives up his flat and takes up the nomadic lifestyle, buying a van and camping where Alex used to.
Now the final extract from Ron’s chapter:
For more than 8 months after he said goodbye to McCandless, Franz remained at his campsite, scanning the road for the approach of a young man with a large pack, waiting patiently for Alex to return. During the last week of 1992, the day after Christmas, he picked up 2 hitchhikers on his way back from a trip into Salton City to check his mail. “One fella was from Mississippi i think; the other was a Native American,” Franz remembers “On the way out to the hot springs, I started telling them about my friend Alex, and the adventure he’d set out to have in Alaska.”
Suddenly the Indian youth interrupted: “Was his name Alex McCandless?”
“Yes, thats right. So you’ve met him, then—”
“I hate to tell you this mister, but your friend is dead. Froze to death up on the tundra. Just read about it in Outdoor magazine.”
In shock, Franz interrogated the hitchhiker at length. The details rang true; his story added up. Something had gone horribly wrong. McCandless would never be coming back.
“When Alex left for Alaska,” Franz remembers, “I prayed. I asked God to keep his finger on the shoulder of that one; I told him that boy was special. But he let Alex die. So on December 26, when i learned what happened, I renounced the Lord. I withdrew my church membership and became an atheist. I decided I couldn’t believe in a God who would let something that terrible happen to a boy like Alex.
“After I dropped off the hitchhikers, I turned my van around, drove back to the store and bought a bottle of whiskey. And then I went out into the desert and drank it. I wasn’t used to drinking, so it made me sick. Hoped it’d kill me, but it didn’t. Just made me real, real sick.”
I guess im just angry that he hurt poor Ron like that.
Iv also not cried that much at a book since the last third of The Book Thief.