In an effort to lure customers away from more established e-commerce sites Amazon.com and BN.com, the new Borders.com is offering a free audiobook download of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild. You can listen to it on your computer, burn it onto a CD, or put it on your iPod or other MP3 player. That's a pretty sweet deal! Here' the Publisher's Weekly review:
After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta in 1992, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska, where he went to live in the wilderness. Four months later, he turned up dead. His diary, letters and two notes found at a remote campsite tell of his desperate effort to survive, apparently stranded by an injury and slowly starving. They also reflect the posturing of a confused young man, raised in affluent Annandale, Va., who self-consciously adopted a Tolstoyan renunciation of wealth and return to nature. Krakauer, a contributing editor to Outside and Men's Journal, retraces McCandless's ill-fated antagonism toward his father, Walt, an eminent aerospace engineer. Krakauer also draws parallels to his own reckless youthful exploit in 1977 when he climbed Devils Thumb, a mountain on the Alaska-British Columbia border, partly as a symbolic act of rebellion against his autocratic father. In a moving narrative, Krakauer probes the mystery of McCandless's death, which he attributes to logistical blunders and to accidental poisoning from eating toxic seed pods.
The CD would set you back $13.59 on Amazon. The anticipation of the upcoming movie starring Sean Penn should make this a pretty popular Fantastic Freebie, but a cynical person might suggest that Borders.com will need to sell stuff -- in exchange for money -- in order to turn around the company's sagging stock price.
Fantastic Freebies: Jon Krakauer's 'Into the Wild' Audiobook