Jon Krakauer strives to educate and entertain his readers with a trio of styles used in his books, Into Thin Air, Into the Wild and Under the Banner of Heaven. Each story contains detailed passages to make the reader an expert and engage them in the story. Krakauer spends time in each of the books reflecting on what makes people undertake a mountain or a murder. By using suspense, Krakauer pulls the reader into the story and makes it exciting.
Excruciating detail is what sets Krakauer apart. There is no doubt that extensive research was conducted for each of his books. His memory and notes are crisp and brilliant. He makes the reader feel as if they are climbing the mountain along with him. He educates the reader on every possible aspect of the story.
Another way he connects to the reader is his introspection. There are times in all of his novels in which he stops the story to reflect on his personal experiences and question human nature in each situation. By doing this, Krakauer makes the reader inspect and question themselves. Do we have the guts to climb a mountain with little or no experience or walk into the wilderness with nothing but a bag of rice? Would we have the unshakeable faith to murder family members?
Suspense is the driving factor in Into Thin Air. Krakauer uses it artfully to keep his story moving. Because of his detail and introspection, Krakauer has to throw in little tidbits of suspense to keep the reader engaged. Although this was the main failure of Under the Banner of Heaven, Into Thin Air is chockfull of the device.
On one last note, Krakauer is known for his connection with the western United States. Born in Oregon, the west is a part of his personality and therefore his writing style. He chooses his topics because of his mountaineering, western background. He climbed mountains from the time he was 8 years old. Mountaineering is exciting, dangerous and unpredictable, just like his writing. The west and its open pioneering personality works right into every story.