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The Turtles of Tasman Paperback – Feb 20 2007
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About the Author
John Griffith "Jack" London (born John Griffith Chaney, January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916) was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In the opening story, "By the Turtles of Tasman", Frederic Travers, a responsible man of high standing, gets a visit from his dying brother Tom, a globetrotting vagabond. It's a study in contrast between the two men, who each embody opposing aspects of London's character: the successful workaholic vs. the wandering adventurer. The writing is very mature and insightful, indicative of some of the more accomplished work of London's later career.
Another noteworthy story is "Told in the Drooling Ward", a first-person narrative as told by a feeble-minded inmate of a mental institution. London does an admirable job with the narrator's voice and treats the character with sensitivity and respect.
A story I had never heard of that really blew me away was "Finis". A starving man, stranded along the Yukon River in winter, waits to prey upon an unsuspecting traveler in order to save himself. It is as bleak and visceral as London's famous story "To Build a Fire". Suspenseful and skillfully told, it's an excellent story that deserves to be better known.
The other five stories in the collection are "The Eternity of Forms", "The Prodigal Father", "The Hobo and the Fairy", "The First Poet", and "The End of the Story". These range in quality from the disappointing to the forgettable. Like many of London's collections, you have to sift through a few pans of dirt to find the gold nuggets.
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