The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Other Stories

Growing up in California almost equidistant from their hometowns, John Steinbeck resonated with methan Jack London Other than reading “To Build a Fire” (thank you, Mr Libolt!), I knew almost nothing about London I didn’t even know that we attended the same school (U.C Berkeley), much less that he led such a fascinating life I like to think that I can appreciate himnow that I also have time to enjoy animals and the outdoors This Oxford collection is the best place to start It is edited and introduced by London’s leading biographer, Earle Labor The Notes, Chronology and selected bibliography are most helpful,but beware, the “Introduction” contains far too many spoilers All seven stories feature man’s best friend, a wolf or hybrid of the two “The Call of the Wild” and “White Fang” really should be read together and not just because the former begins and the latter ends in my birthplace, Santa Clara (AKA Silicon) Valley! Both feature descents into Hell and the capacity for growth and redemption.Two stories included, “Brown Wolf” and “That Spot” rarely appear in other collections and are quite good I would save “That Spot” for last, especially if you have not read “To Build a Fire” before I would skip “Batard” and “MoonFace.” I found no redeeming qualities in either dark tale.The thing I found most fascinating about this collection is London’s efforts to get inside the heads of his canine protagonists The human characters are constantly amazed at how smart a dog/wolf can be London puts it best in “That Spot” when he observes, “I can’t express myself about that intelligence It is beyond mere words I saw it, that’s all At times it was like gazing into a human soul, to look into his eyes, and what I saw there frightened me and started all sorts of ideas in my mind about reincarnation and all the rest” (p 332) Even though this is a work of fiction, I didn’t find myself suspending disbelief, except when London describes White Fang as getting angry when people laugh at him Implausible, right? Unfortunately, London’s intermittent racism seeps through at times He refers to his most prominent Native American character as a “savage” and his spouse a “squaw” and baby as a “papoose”making it all the easier to justify killing or corralling members of the “First Nation.” In London’s defense, the vast majority of leaders, even in my beloved California, were like the Trumpster a century ago Also, almost no one residing in the Klondike comes across well Bottom line: I will definitely be readingJack London “Sea Wolf” is at the top of my list. Enjoyed these stories muchthan I thought I would Really enjoyed both The Call of the Wild and White Fang The most obvious reason being that they were, despite everything else, riveting adventures set during the harsh/romantic Klondike Gold Rush White Fang started off slower, and wasdepressing, but also rewards the reader with the sweetest ending imaginableit was good Not sure if London's portrayal of dogs and their intelligence is in any way accurate but when London giveslife to these fictional dogs than other writers give to their fictional humans, it's hard not to root for their triumphs or feel their pain when they are mistreated.The short stories disappointed me with their lack of substance and onedimensional themes, with the exception of To Build a Fire, which was wellwritten and chilling. This collection has a fine introduction written by James Dickey that informs the reader prior to reading the stories of the wild including White Fang and Call of the Wild.Following those are very interesting notes on Jack London's life and works For such a short life, Jack London experienced countless crazily wild adventures We are told that some of his early difficult experiences can be found in his novel Martin Eden A summary of high and low points of his life is remarkable considering all he did manage to do and to write before his death at age 40. What a wonderful book I haven't read this since I was in 7th grade and didn't finish it before my book report was due my teacher caught on and really got after me for trying to turn in a book report on a book i didn't finish I read this to my 8 year old and we both loved it The story of Buck, a mild southland dog that is stolen and sold to work in the Yukon pulling dog sleds for gold seekers He finds his wild roots and becomes one of the hardest working and most loved dogs of the north We both enjoyed getting inside the mind of Buck and the experiences Jack London brings to life Its fun, descriptive, a bit violent at times and a story that will stay with you for years. Of all Jack London's fictions none has been as popular as his dog stories In addition to The Call of the Wild, the epic tale of a Californian dog's adventures during the Klondike gold rush, this edition includes White Fang, and five famous short storiesB tard, MoonFace, Brown Wolf, That Spot, and To Build a Fire ❰PDF / Epub❯ ☀ Poltergeist (Greywalker, Author Kat Richardson – the epic tale of a Californian dog's adventures during the Klondike gold rush ➣ [Epub] ➝ OBaby By Geoffrey Johnson ➭ – this edition includes White Fang ❰Download❯ ➽ Defiant (MacKinnons Rangers, Author Pamela Clare – and five famous short storiesB tard ❥ [KINDLE] ❂ 21 Divisiones de Los Misterios Sanses By Ernesto Bravo Estrada ➢ – MoonFace ❴EPUB❵ ✺ Nightfall (Dark Age Dawning, Author Ellen Connor – Brown Wolf [KINDLE] ❅ The Good Daughter ❥ Karin Slaughter – That Spot [Read] ➵ Crysis Author Peter Watts – and To Build a Fire These two classics took me longer to read than I expected, mostly because I got to a point in White Fang where I knew there was going to be some violence and intense cruelty toward animals I wasn't wrong, but I'm glad I pushed past it and finally finished yesterday It's been hard to read since my workplace sent us all home after March 12 Other than these two novellas, I've finished only one other book while staying at home My library job has been intense, and when I'm not working, mental escape has been tough Physical escape in the form of exercise has been easier When I was able to return to reading, it was appropriate to return to Jack London, especially these two stories told from the pointofview of animals who don't worry about what comes next, even when what comes next is unimaginable suffering I reveled in the descriptions of the Alaskan landscape I was also impressed with London's ability to make his two main dog characters, Buck and White Fang, easy for a human being to sympathize with while taking nothing away from their essential canine natures There is the racism of the time toward Native Americans, which rings painfully in the ear of the modern reader, and my teenage daughter would point out that there are no women characters to speak of (other than White Fang's formidable mother, Kiche; does a shewolf count? she was welldrawn enough that I think she should) But again, I'm glad I pushed past all that Both Buck's surrender to the Wild and White Fang's final shelter from it satisfied me May we all find our Wild, and our final shelter, too. Though I cringed with horror and disgust at the brutal and realistic ways of London's depiction of events, I found within the stories a beauty to which I resonate, a solidarity towards animals and a call to freedom of such Buck felt There are reflections not only upon the character of beasts but upon that of man, the mananimal as White Fang first thought of it, and they gave me much to think about, to mold them with my own reflections of what I have learned about my own behavior and that of other people. One of the best books I ever read I found myself inside this book Thank you Jack London. This is the first time I've ever read White Fang, and what struck me was that White Fang and Buck (from Call of the Wild), while different stories, show a reverse progression in two dogs' lives White Fang is born wild, Buck born in captivity I don't want to say too much to give away spoilers, but these and the short stories really show that Jack London wrote what he knew He also vividly illustrated the horrors of breaking dogs and dog abuse in these adventurous tales Of course, To Build a Fire is the one of the first Jack London stories I ever read in my life, and who could ever forget it? It was startling, at times, to see places in these books important to my family story (my parents' first date was rowing on Great Slave Lake, and I lived in San Francisco for a while when I was growing up, for two examples).Sure, these are 3 stars for me as they are not my cup of tea, but they deserve to be classics. I'm no animal lover (although I wouldn't want to hurt one either), so I began to read this with very low expectations The reason why I picked up the book was because I do love the most northern regions of our planet and because Jack London is referred to several times as a source of inspiration to Christopher McCandless in 'Into the Wild'.But much to my surprise I really liked the stories I think some situations are described and analyzed remarkably well, and London definitely knew how to build up suspense ('Love of Life', the story of the famished man being haunted by a famished wolf).I did my have my doubts from time to time whether everything was correct from a scientific point of view, but that certainly did not spoil the stories as a whole.Obviously, we don't know for certain what goes on in the minds of dogs and wolves and other wild animals, but London does a mighty good job at divining that.I am definitely going to check outof London's work. The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Other Stories

About the Author: Jack London

Jack London was an American novelist, journalist, social activist and short story writer whose works deal romantically with elemental struggles for survival At his peak, he was the highest paid and the most popular of all living writers Because of early financial difficulties, he was largely self educated past grammar school.London drew heavily on his life experiences in his writing He spent ti

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