I love this story. A definite keeper on my shelf. Classic LOndon book.
This is another in a box of old books I came across recently, which I haven't read in decades, and I thought I would give them another once-over before I pass them on to new homes for new generations of readers to enjoy. This was also another I purchased from the Scholastic Book Club, although, having read it on several occasions previously, I'm always a little surprised that it's marketed as a book for children. Yes, it's about a dog, sort of, as the people in the lives of Jack London's animal characters are as significant as their four-legged co-stars, but the brutality of much of his writing seems a bit beyond what I would recommend for children.
That said, some of my earliest memories of living in the San Francisco Bay area were of trips to Jack London Square, so it's not surprising that I've read many of his books, even in childhood. Most of the things I read under about age ten were "animal stories" in any event, mostly horse stories, which I still love. London was something of a radical, part of the literary group "The Crowd" in always-hip San Francisco, who, in addition to the more rugged, outdoors-oriented novels that brought him worldwide acclaim, he also wrote several dystopic novels and stories, including The Iron Heel and non-fiction works such as The War of the Classes.
The Call of the Wild, arguably one of his more famous adventure novels (which is somewhat surprising, considering that he became more well-known for his science fiction), started life as a serial published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1903. It was later published in book form, although the book is fairly short. It's since made the rounds on celluloid as well, having endured several theatrical renditions, but none as successful as the novel. London hit upon the idea after spending a year in the Yukon, so he probably witnessed many of the events described in the book first hand, as one who endured the harshness of that unforgiving land, which carried off many soft Southlanders, man and beast. He reportedly stated on one occasion, "it was in the Klondike that I found myself," including at his residence in a temporary encampment where he holed up all winter, reading the likes of Charles Darwin and John Milton. After an illness, however, he decided to return to California, by rafting 2,000 miles down the Yukon River.
The primary character is the 140-pound St. Bernard cross, Buck, who was stolen from his owner, Judge Miller, in California's Santa Clara Valley, by the gardener, who sells him to a broker, who first takes him to Seattle and then to the Yukon territory of Canada. Brutalized from the outset, this unfortunate pup shortly learns the law of kill or be killed, and, there's a lot of killing in this story, which is often billed as a children's book, more for the length than the content. There's a veritable parade of characters, both man and dog, in the book, which include Buck's fellow sled dogs, and a succession of owners and drivers. When his last beloved master is killed, Buck heads off into the wild, forsaking human contact forever to take up with a pack of wild wolves. It's narrated from the dog's point of view, though not in the first person, unlike stories such as Black Beauty, another highly successful, realistic portrait of the plight animals in the late 19th century.
Buck was reportedly based on an actual St. Bernard crossbred, owned by friends of London's who lived in Dawson City. There is an actual surviving picture of the dog, taken during London's stay in 1897, so if you're really invested, you can see the real Buck, which is now housed at the Beinecke Library at Yale. Although not one of my favorite adventure stories, it's a quick and entertaining read, although many will doubtlessly find the incessant incidences of animal abuse disheartening.
The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part Scotch shepherd, forcibly taken to the Klondike gold fields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack.
Illustrated Classics Edition- specially adapted for young readers with illustrations. My son loved this so much!
one of my favorite stories growing up excellent!
A favorite of the whole family.
Jack London - what else is there to say!
How does one lowly reader review such a classic? I loved it of course, I wanted to save Buck so many times - and was so happy at his freedom.
This book was chosen by my book club for this month's selection. I did not read this when I was in school, but I'm really glad I finally did. This is a wonderful tale of a dog named Buck who is stolen, sold and taking to the Yukon. It tells of his hardships and how he learns to survive and love. This is definitely will be one of my all time favorite classics.
Each member of my family has enjoyed this book. A timeless classic.
The moving story of a proud dog who escapes captivity to become the leader of a wolf pack. Buck is a dog born to luxury, but betrayed and sold to be a sledge dog in the the harsh and frozen Yukon. This is the remarkable story of how Buck rises above his enemies to become one of the most feared and admired dogs in the north.
This is an excellent book of courage. Highly recommended.
The Call of the Wild is the story of the unbreakable spirit and the unflagging fortitude of the canine hero, Buck. He began life as a big, beloved suburban dog, but one night he was stolen and sold to assist with the Alaskan gold rush. Told through the eyes and emotions of Buck, we follow his journey from city life to wild life. It's a poignant tale of sadness, triumph, and longing. In it we see Buck overcome many obstacles and achieve glory in his world. In this classic tale by Jack London, listeners will surely cry and thrill with each step in the adventure as Buck hears the call of the wild. (inside of cover)
Dogs, Alaska, gold-rush, and well written. This is a classic.
this is a smaller version of the classic! Great for young readers!
This is a children's classic version. It is not the full version of the book. I did not feel this was adequately displayed via the picture nor description.
This year, I decided to concentrate on the classics, thus, CALL OF THE WILD. This book is meant for 8-10-year-olds. I was stunned by the violence in the story. I'm sorry to admit that I skip-read over some of the violent parts. Our family has always had multiple dogs in our home and I grieved for Buck. I had a hard time with this story.
I've read extensively about the Klondike rush and life in Alaska (in general) and feel that the life that Jack London portrays is accurate. I've read a lot about the annual Iditarod races. However, in those races, the animals are prized and well-cared for. The world Jack London tells about is different. I have no doubt that his portrayal is true, but I grieved over the story, nonetheless. This is an exciting, fast-paced story that will appeal to many. I would be careful about whom I might recommend this story to; it is definitely not for the tender-hearted.