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The Call of the Wild (1903)

by Jack London

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,505253272 (3.78)1 / 487
The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part Scotch shepherd, that is forcibly taken to the Klondike gold fields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack.
  1. 151
    White Fang by Jack London (Anonymous user, kxlly)
    Anonymous user: Jack London's other famous tale of dogs in the wild.
  2. 52
    Watership Down by Richard Adams (mcenroeucsb)
  3. 30
    War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (LipstickAndAviators)
    LipstickAndAviators: Both are tales of an animal going through various hardships, many different masters and lots of adventures. The setting is very different, being about a cavalary horse in World War 1 but often the themes and scenarios are very similar.
  4. 10
    Sixteen in Nome by Max Brand (VictoriaPL)
  5. 21
    The Wolfling by Sterling North (bookel)
  6. 10
    Howl at the Moon by Robert J. Hogan (bookel)
  7. 10
    The Good Dog by Avi (bookel)
  8. 21
    Finn the Wolfhound by A. J. Dawson (infiniteletters)
  9. 10
    A Dog Named Wolf by Erik Munsterhjelm (bookel)
  10. 11
    Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow (fundevogel)
  11. 02
    The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna (hippietrail)
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English (243)  French (4)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (251)
Showing 1-5 of 243 (next | show all)
A Classic

I didn’t recognized this as a classic until the Art of Manliness podcast #575, which was an interview with Earle Labor, a Jack London scholar.

I was not disappointed. One might not agree with the trajectory of the book, but it is engrossing. ( )
  bread2u | Jul 1, 2020 |
Once again, I read The Call of the Wild because Jack London is on a list of authors who was born in January. I am doing this birthday challenge from The Dead Writers Society Literary Birthday Challenge.

For such a short story, this packs a huge emotional punch. Told in the third person, we follow a domestic dog named Buck as he is sold from a family to a life on the frontier in Alaska as a sled dog during the Klondike Gold Rush.

We have Buck learning that man was not to be trusted, though some men he would grow to tolerate, respect, and love. There of course were men and one woman that learned to have disdain for during his journey as well.

I swear, London managed to make me feel as if I was right there with Buck while he was traveling through Alaska. He managed to make all of the dogs feel like real live breathing dogs along with the humans who they were forced to take back and forth on trials. I seriously loathed the characters of Mercedes, Hal, and Charles. The character of John Thornton I found to be complex and moving with his love of Buck and Buck's love of him.

Reading about how Buck changed from a domestic dog to a half-wild thing to a wild dog running with his wolf brothers was astounding. Jack London had a way with words. Parts of the narrative were so brutal that it took my breath away.

“He felt strangely numb. As though from a great distance, he was aware that he was being beaten. The last sensations of pain left him. He no longer felt anything, though very faintly he could hear the impact of the club upon his body. But it was no longer his body, it seemed so far away.”

Reading about how Buck forced himself to survive and then eventually thrived under the love of John Thornton was moving. The flow of the book was excellent and London builds the story up until we get to the end.

The ending was heartbreaking and uplifting in turn. I really loved this book. First five star read of 2016 that went on my favorite list.

“But he is not always alone. When the long winter nights come on and the wolves follow their meat into the lower valleys, he may be seen running at the head of the pack through the pale moonlight or glimmering borealis, leaping gigantic above his fellows, his great throat a-bellow as he sings a song of the younger world, which is the song of the pack.” ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Re-read with a buddy!

Back in the day... like when I was a kid, I read this and enjoyed the whole concept of a novel written from the PoV of a dog, but oddly, I read Cujo before this.

The results?

A skewed perspective. :) I love dogs and love the whole idea that London UNDERSTOOD them... but since then? I have the sneaking suspicion we're not even talking about dogs so much as the desire to run away from Victorian civilization.

Why was this so popular back in the day? Because everyone was sick of being so progressive. It's better to be an animal rather than a subject of Her Majesty.

How Rebellious! How delicious!

No, no, we don't understand that concept today. *applies just a little more colored gel to his mowhawk*

( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Rated: B
Adventure story of Buck, a big dog "dog-napped" from easy living in Northern California to harsh realities in the Canadian Yukon. ( )
  jmcdbooks | May 24, 2020 |
Moving, powerful, and beautifully written. I leaked from my eyes more than once. ( )
  amcheri | Apr 29, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 243 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (272 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
London, Jackprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, DouglasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
AviIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Backman, KerstinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Backman, OlleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Banus, TudorIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bartos, Zoltánsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Behre, IngalillTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berton, PierreIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bourrières, SylvainIllustrationssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bull, Charles LivingstonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burgess, MelvinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bylock, MajTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Callender, Wesley P., Jr.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniels, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AndrewIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dèttore, UgoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drangel, MathildaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dressler, RogerNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Engene, GeneNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galard, Mme deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galard, Raymonde deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gascoigne, MartinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodwin, Philip R.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gregori, LeeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lagerstedt, GeorgIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laverdet, MarcelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawlor, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leclere, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minor, WendellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munch, PhilippeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nagar, Sachinsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nyberg, OlaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palmquist, EricIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paulsen, GaryForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poor, Henry VarnumIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Todd, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vajda, MiklósTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagner, Lloyd S.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerlund, Hans G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tide-water dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego.
Quotations
[it was] because men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland. These men wanted dogs, and the dogs they wanted were heavy dogs, with strong muscles by which to toil and furry coats to protect them from the frost.
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Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for The Call of the Wild by Jack London. Do not combine with any adaptation, abridgement, or omnibus containing additional works.

For example, don't combine this work with the Companion Library edition that also has Black Beauty. THIS belongs to the PUBLISHER'S SERIES and the other DOES NOT.

Unabridged editions include: Tor(0812504321),
This work should not be combined with either film adaptations or with the book by Jack London; it cannot be distinguished from either. If you have a copy of this work, please consider supplying the author's name (if it is a book) or the director's name (if it is a film adaptation).
This work contains additional material. Do not combine with the original work.
Be aware that the ISBN 1580495842 belongs to editions of both The Call of the Wild and an omnibus edition of both The Call of the Wild and "To Build a Fire".
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Book description
Buck, a sturdy crossbreed canine (half St. Bernard, half Shepard), is a dog born to luxury and raised in a sheltered Californian home. But then he is kidnapped and sold to be a sled dog in the harsh and frozen Yukon Territory. Passed from master to master, Buck embarks on an extraordinary journey, proving his unbreakable spirit...
First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is regarded as Jack London’s masterpiece. Based on London’s experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike.
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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141321059, 014119488X, 0141336544

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100941, 1400108535

Library of America Paperback Classics

An edition of this book was published by Library of America Paperback Classics.

» Publisher information page

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1907832777, 1907832769

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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