And you thought the guy on the train next to you inching over the invisible line between the seats was irritating, and your Metro-North conductor a bit rude.
From Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild:
I’m a hobo now! That’s right, I’m riding the rails now. What fun, I wish I had jumped trains earlier. The rails have some drawbacks, however. First is that one becomes absolutely filthy. Second is that one must tangle with these crazy bulls. I was sitting in a hotshot in L.A. when a bull found me with his flashlight about 10 P.M. “Get outta there before I KILL ya!” screamed the bull. I got out and saw he had drawn his revolver. He interrogated me at gunpoint, then growled, “If I ever see you around this train again I’ll kill ya! Hit the road!” What a lunatic!
With Sean Penn’s film version of Into the Wild out, there’s renewed interest in the book, about a bright, relatively normal young guy who becomes a tramp and ends up starving to death in the wilds of Alaska. While Krakauer tends to overwrite–at one point he refers to a letter as an “epistle”–he does an amazing job of amassing a ton of detail about a very complicated and endlessly intriguing man. His subject, Chris McCandless, has something of a Jesus-like quality to him–walking the earth, growing his beard, leaving a lasting impression on everyone he meets.
Trainjotting recommends ITW for commuters for two reasons: Like, say, On the Road, tales of itinerants venturing way, way off the beaten path can be particularly engaging for those stuck in humdrum, 9-to-6 lives, such as a few people we know.
Secondly, it’s a wispy 200-page paperback–also well-suited for those who, like McCandless, lug all their worldly possessions around with them each day.