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The Call of the Wild (1903)

by Jack London

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
17,695304240 (3.79)1 / 518
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. 10
    A Dog Named Wolf by Erik Munsterhjelm (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. 11
    The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service (Curran2)
  10. 11
    Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow (fundevogel)
  11. 11
    The Wolfling by Sterling North (bookel)
  12. 02
    The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna (hippietrail)
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» See also 518 mentions

English (280)  French (4)  Catalan (2)  German (2)  Danish (2)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (293)
Showing 1-5 of 280 (next | show all)
The Call of the Wild by Jack London. I read this when I was about 10 years old. A long time ago. This book is included in the book "1000 Books to Read Before You Die" by James Mustich published in 2019. I've got a long way to go to finish this list. Posted on Vintage Paperback FB page. 10/20/22 ( )
  capewood | Oct 20, 2022 |
This short novel was another book I managed to avoid throughout junior high and high school, and now that I'm firmly ensconced in middle age, I decided to give it a go. I'm glad I did.

Buck is a half-St. Bernard, half-shepherd dog living the lazy life with a judge and his extended family. He is kidnapped and sold by one of the judge's employees, and is shipped off to the Klondike Gold Rush, where he is mercilessly beaten and broken, and turned into a work dog. London tells Buck's story from the dog's point of view, as different owners come and go, until Buck finds his ideal master in John Thornton. Buck learns to survive, then thrive, but he is often drawn by an (un?)imagined call to the wild to be as free as his wolf ancestors.

All my reading life, I was led to believe this was a mild, wishy-washy story about a man and his dog (*yawn*) and their adventures. Instead, "The Call of the Wild" is a harsh, often violent and gory, tale of Buck's survival. This might explain the failure of some recent film adaptations, which seem to be stuck in the "family-friendly" reputation of the book. I was captivated by Buck's situations and repulsed by the harsh realities. Reading as Buck "goes wild" is both exhilarating and melancholy. London's reputation has suffered over the past few years- he was an alcoholic, free-love-practicing Socialist who was terrible with money (oh, almost every Theater Arts major I met in college?) and held troublesome racial beliefs.

I happened upon this copy in a book lot I received a long time ago, and this edition was complete and unabridged. The foreword and afterword were written by Dwight Shain, but the afterword gets John Thornton's name wrong THREE different times on one page, which is just sloppy editing. I don't know if I'll happen on another London story, but color me pleasantly surprised at this; just don't get me started on the anti-septic film adaptation starring Harrison Ford. ( )
  CTTatumJr | Oct 18, 2022 |
The Call of the Wild is the classic dog novella, the book to check out if you want to know how dogs were portrayed in classic literature. Nobody could deny Jack London's reputation in his genre, and thousands of readers seem to love his dog stories. He was certainly a good author, as it is almost impossible to think of any other author who might have been able to paint such a dark, realistic and captivating picture of the Alaskan landscape, of nature's rudeness and the frameworks of the laws of nature.

This is the story of Buck, a dog who has suffered through almost everything a dog could have to suffer through in his life. He is a dog born to luxury and kidnapped into wilderness, who has to learn to adapt himself to the rules of nature in order to survive, who has to realize that Charles Darwin's quote from Origin of Species is not merely a quote: "In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment."

The point of this novel completely forgot to make its presence felt to me, however. Maybe London wrote about how you have to accept the rules of nature, maybe he wrote about the strong connections between human beings and dogs, maybe he wrote about the cruelty of humans, maybe even about the cruelty of nature - all those are motifs certainly recognizable in this novel. To me, they appeared as if they were randomly interspersed into the book just for the sake of being included. However, that doesn't mean this book doesn't earn its classic status. It is a good book after all, I just didn't care about it as much as I did about [b:White Fang|43035|White Fang|Jack London|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348472847s/43035.jpg|2949952].

In my opinion, White Fang is way more intriguing than this novel, yet for some reason, The Call of the Wild is the more popular and beloved one, so I recommend reading this first and White Fang afterwards as it seems like I was let down by my high expectations after having read and loved White Fang years ago. ( )
  Councillor3004 | Sep 1, 2022 |
Excellent writing but I can see why I didn't like this in junior high - the cruelty to animals is pretty difficult to take. I saw recently that this is on a "banned book" list - have no idea why. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Aug 30, 2022 |
Uma comovente e emocionante história sobre ... um cachorro. Primeiro raptado, habituado e condicionado à sua nova condição de trabalhador da neve, depois aos dias de desventuras e desastre, à maturidade e liberação dos grilhões, à reintegração à amplidão verde, ligada à reconquista da liberdade, para então o desenvolvimento final do seu chamado, ideia interior, vertigem da liberdade do selvagem. Li quando estava com dengue, uma doença 5 em 1 de múltipla sintomatologia. Talvez pelo cansaço e sofrimento, fiquei profundamente emocionado ao ler. ( )
  henrique_iwao | Aug 30, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 280 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (374 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
Dressler, RogerNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary 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
Hootkins, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Husmann, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Killavey, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kramer, MichaelNarratorsecondary 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
Munro, AlanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nagar, Sachinsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nyberg, OlaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palmquist, EricIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paulsen, GaryForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poor, Henry VarnumIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schreiber, PabloNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Mark F.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Todd, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vajda, MiklósTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagner, Lloyd S.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerlund, Hans G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimmermann, WalterNarratorsecondary 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.
[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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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.

No library descriptions found.

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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