The Call of the Wild
In 1897 Jack London was one of thousands of people who went to Alaska for the Klondike gold rush. Within two years he returned to California ill and with a different wealth than gold. He now had the imagery that gave him a wealth of writing material. The Call of the Wild is based on happenings of the time during the gold fever era in the cold North.
Buck was a dog in San Francisco who lived genteelly. His father was a St. Bernard and his mother a German Shepherd. One of the servants in the household betrayed him. His origins made him valuable. He was dognapped and sold to work in Alaska.
Now Buck has to learn to live a very different life from his first four years. He quickly learns to avoid the clubs that men may wield. He also learns he likes the new life even if the work is hard. His first owners treat him well and make sure he is paired up with dogs who would teach him what he needs to know to become a sled dog.
As time goes on Buck has different owners, some better, some much worse. When Buck comes to John Thornton he finds the man he can love the rest of their lives. Even so, Buck has these dreams that become more vivid the longer he lives in Alaska. Then he meets a wolf.
The Call of the Wild was written over 100 years ago. It is written from Buck's perspective. The animal abuse is graphic at times but fits into the actions of the times. London doesn't avoid the abuse, like when Buck is undergoing his first training after being kidnapped, but he doesn't make a huge issue out of it either. It is all part of the story of the Alaska Gold Rush.
This is a short, easy to read book, with a lot of punch. The Call of the Wild is a book of Buck's triumph. Jack London showed us at what cost Buck earns it. It paints a vivid picture of Alaska in the late 1800's and the people who went north to become rich from the gold available. This may be assigned reading for school - if so (or even if not) it's worth reading.
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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