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The Call of the Wild and White Fang [School & Library Binding]

Jack London , Abraham Rothberg
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1981 0613027000 978-0613027007
"The Call Of The Wild" is the story of Buck, a dog stolen from his home and thrust into the merciless life of the Arctic north to endure hardship, bitter cold, and the savage lawlessness of man and beast. "White Fang" is the adventure of an animal -- part dog, part wolf --turned vicious by cruel abuse, then transformed by the patience and affection of one man.

Jack London's superb ability as a storyteller and his uncanny understanding of animal and human natures give these tales a striking vitality and power, and have earned him a reputation as a distinguished American writer.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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One hundred and one years after its publication, it is still enthralling. The opening chapters are haunting, their depiction of the wilderness of snow, ice and forest faced by gold prospectors exquisite and terrifying. The menace of ever-present death, for man, dog and wolf alike, in a setting of remorseless beauty, is bracing and humbling Herald Raw narratives of visceral appeal whose cinematic energy cry out for film adaptation -- Robert McCrum Observer A searing book about man and animals and the inherent wildness in the nature of the dog. It's a very stark book in some ways but it really conjures up the atmosphere of Gold Rush-era Yukon Daily Express

From the Publisher

The Call Of The Wild is the story of Buck, a dog stolen from his home and thrust into the merciless life of the Arctic north to endure hardship, bitter cold, and the savage lawlessness of man and beast. White Fang is the adventure of an animal -- part dog, part wolf --turned vicious by cruel abuse, then transformed by the patience and affection of one man.

Jack London's superb ability as a storyteller and his uncanny understanding of animal and human natures give these tales a striking vitality and power, and have earned him a reputation as a distinguished American writer. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars No book provides more powerful images of Life May 3 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This, in my opinion, is among the greatest sociological books existing. Unlike any other book you have read: there is no jealousy in this book, no bickering, no envy, no greed, no pettiness -- there is only life and the struggle for life. That life is good. That living is good. That making it through the day, or the hour, is good.
The book pounds the reader through the confines of the frozen north, where two men attempt to transport a decedent in his coffin. On the way, hungry wolves pursue the trail -- we can't blame them -- "their muscles are strings" -- the wolves are literally starving to death. The men understand this, but also that they have a job to do.
Later, one of these wolves delivers a few pups, and the pups struggle to live within their den while the mother attempts to find food that is virtually nonexistent. One of these wolves is White Fang -- in his struggle for survival, he must rise above his fears and his teachings, and in so doing, discovers that living is essential, that living is good.
Through trials and tribulations, White Fang understands that love is the highest pinnacle of existence, and that order is the highest essential of Life.
Crammed with so many wonderful scenes, so many poigant and solemn images of life, the struggle for life, the very act of living -- impossible to put down, impossible to ignore.
If you have doubts about your world, your doubts will be shaken if you read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars When the way of the wild was a fact of life April 5 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Written almost of century ago by Jack London, both of these stories have truly stood the test of time. Both of them are based on London's experience in the Yukon, and both are written from the point of view of dogs.
In "The Call of the Wild", the dog Buck is kidnapped from an easy life and sold to a sled team during the Klondike Gold Rush. In spite of the numerous cruelties inflicted on him, Buck learns to survive. Eventually, he returns to the wild and to run with the wolves.
In "White Fang", the story is reversed. White Fang is three-quarters wolf and was born in the wild. Through a series of events, he is domesticated and eventually becomes a tame and loving pet.
There is much to learn in both of these stories. One thing is the way of animals and their life in the wild. Another is of the way of life in the Yukon. And of the men, both brutal and kind, who rely on the dogs to pull the sleds.
Jack London used his words well. There's an elegant cadence and a vigorous spirit. His love for the animals comes through as well as his respect for the wild forces of nature. And the theme that life changes are really possible because of environmental forces.
London didn't set out to write a story about the glorification of nature or vanishing wildlife. Indeed, during his short lifetime (1876-1916) the way of the wild was a fact of life. London just simply wrote his stories. And through his words, left a legacy of work that will continue to enrich the lives of readers for many generations to come.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
I had mixed reactions to this book. I missed it as a kid, and as an adult I have read too many other books to miss its shortcomings. Now, reading it as an adult, I find I have two major objections to the book, difficulties with central elements that impede my enjoyment of it. First, there is the book's personification of animals. I don't enjoy books where the author projects human emotions and instincts into nonhuman animals. Too many of Buck's actions were inexplicable as as a dog but explicable as a human.
The second difficulty lies the poor understanding of animal behavior that the book projects. London didn't have the benefit of the work of ethologists like Konrad Lorenz and David Mech, but as readers we do, and their work makes much of the behavior of Buck unfathomable.
Finally, like the vast majority of people, I find Social Darwinism to be both unpalatable and outmoded. Philosophically, this book harkened from a completely different generation. Today we have trouble accepting survival of the fittest modes of thought.
On the other hand, despite these shortcomings and the naive philosophy, London does manage to tell a nice story, and I did find myself caring about what happened to Buck.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Two great novels. June 14 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In "The Call of the Wild," Buck, a dog living on a California estate in the Santa Clara Valley, is stolen and shipped to the Klondike where he is trained as a sled dog. After a series of adventures, he heeds "the call of the wild" and abandons human civilization. London was able to draw on his experiences in the Klondike in the late 1890s to provide accurate details of the life an environment. In a way, this book might be considered an alegory; about the return to one's roots, the fight for survival in a hostile environment, etc. In July of 1998, the editorial board of the Modern Library listed this book as one of the top 100 novels written in the English language for the twentieth century. London wrote "White Fang" to complement "The Call of the Wild" (note that Buck travels from California to the wild whereas White Fang makes the reverse trek). Again, he draws on his own experiences in the Klondike to provide accurate descriptions of life in that part of the world in the late 1890s. White Fang is part wolf and part dog. He is sold by his Indian owner to a man who tries to make him more savage so that money could be made from dogfights. White Fang is rescued by a mining engineer who takes him home to California. While there he rescues the family from an escaped convict. London shows how much environment can play in one's life. I recommend these two books highly.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Grandson is loving it
I put Call of the Wild and White Fang onto my Kindle for my 10-year old grandson. Now, one of the "best parts" of coming to Grandma's house for a sleep-over is the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by C Badenoch
3.0 out of 5 stars its sure a book
it was alright, I did read it and I might have totally not been completely board so thats good i guess
Published 16 months ago by Lori Powroznik
2.0 out of 5 stars The Gory Truth of Call of the Wild
I highly recrecommend Call of the Wild to Sick minded people who do nothing but sit around all day playing bloody gore war games rated M. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2004 by Nathan Fleer
3.0 out of 5 stars White Fang
This book was a very good book. I would suggest to those of you who like books about Nature. The book is about a young wolf who is beaten several different times and it is... Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2004 by Joey Longwill
3.0 out of 5 stars wilderness
both of these books are good. both have an animal as a main star. L has a way of describing how you adjust to the wild and how it influence you. Read more
Published on April 24 2003 by jan erik storeb°
5.0 out of 5 stars Boys and Girls will love "White Fang"
White Fang is a wonderful book. Although Jack London has some misconceptions of the nature of wolves, he has no misconceptions about the enduring power of love to heal a wounded... Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumph of the living spirit!
Jack London has written the finest of stories in White Fang. The bar has been raised never to be surpassed. White Fang is the story of life and the will to live. Nothing else! Read more
Published on Aug. 22 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars BOOOORING
BOOOOOORING DONT READ WASTE OF TIM
Published on Aug. 22 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars When I read this I got the chills.
This book is one of the best books ever. I read The Call of the wild first and cried when I was done I wished there was more.
Published on July 18 1999
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