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Book Review: The Call of the Wild by Jack London

January 11, 2011 12 comments

Wolf howling at the moon.Summary:
Buck is a spoiled southern dog enjoying a posh life when one of the family’s servants steals him and sells him away to be a sled dog for the Alaska gold rush.  Buck soon goes from an easy life to one of trials and tribulations as the result of humans fawning over a golden metal, but it might not be all bad for him in the wild Alaskan north.

Review:
How did I make it to be 24 years old without having read this American classic?  My shame was somewhat alleviated when my dad told me he was in his 20s too when he read it for the first time.  Honestly, I can see why this book is talked about so much.

Jack London understands animals.  He doesn’t present them as talking to each other the way humans speak, but he does present them as sentient beings with unique personalities and ways of interacting.  It’s not easy for them to understand what humans want, and yet humans expect them to figure it out.  Of course, London also highlights the wildness at the heart of every tamed animal.  That is part of what makes them amazing, beautiful creatures.

I can’t say too much more without spoiling the book.  I can say that I rarely cry for a book, but I cried for this one.  Animal advocates would do well to simply encourage people to read this book.  I have a hard time imagining anyone not sympathizing with animals more after reading it.

Beyond that, London’s writing is vivid, the story complex and engrossing.  I highly recommend it to everyone.

5 out of 5 stores

Source: Audiobooks app for the iTouch, iPhone, and iPad

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