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The Call of the Wild

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  211,184 Ratings  ·  5,270 Reviews
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 Wi
ebook, 85 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Start Publishing LLC (first published 1903)
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Michelle I think this book is great for all ages, although the language and style are older, so it could be difficult for a child to understand and get into…moreI think this book is great for all ages, although the language and style are older, so it could be difficult for a child to understand and get into without some guidance. Children will understand it as a grand adventure story told through the eyes of a dog. Adults will see the deeper themes about society, human nature and justice.

There is quite a bit of violence in the book (dog fights, dog deaths, animal abuse), so that is something to consider if giving it to a child to read, as well. (less)
Bodhi It is a short novel, a novella. Some editions have only 100 pages! It has seven (VII) separately named parts or "chapters".
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Community Reviews

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Please be aware that, while the following review contains a number of adorable animals pics, young Ricky Schroder, who starred in the movie version of the novel, will NOT appear...I feared that would raise the sugar content of this report to diabetically dangerous levels.

Awwwwwww.....the classic “coming of age” story, with the nifty twister of having the main character be a pawky puppy going on doggiehood. I really licked it liked it, so two paws up there.

BTW, I'm not going to
Mar 29, 2008 brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i am a dog obsessive. i'm nuts. dogs are my moby dick. they're my opera-house in the jungle. if i had a genie in a bottle, i'd wish away all human life (including my own) so dogs could take over the world. wait. that'd be wish number two. number one would be that i had an olympic sized swimming pool filled with dogs and i could do a few laps. then i'd erase humanity. seriously. my dog is the coolest guy i've ever met, my best friend, and love of my life. if it sounds weird: piss off. i don't wan ...more
Ben Winch
Jan 07, 2013 Ben Winch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, anglo, 5-stars
I defy anyone - man, woman or child - not to like The Call of the Wild. It's the most exciting adventure, the most moving love story, the deepest meditation on a creature and its place in nature. If you aren't cheering for Buck the dog by the end of this you're either hard-hearted or a cat-lover.
Lynne King
“Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time. This he had never experienced at Judge Miller’s down in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley. With the Judge’s sons, hunting and tramping, it had been a working partnership; with the Judge’s grandsons, a sort of pompous guardianship; and with the Judge himself, a stately and dignified friendship. But love that was feverish and burning, that was adoration, that was madness, it had taken John Thornton to arouse.”

In reading this book, I had
Apr 12, 2008 Scoobs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Scoobs by: Juliet Echo Whisky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 15, 2015 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Novels narrated from a dog’s point of view are rarities. I distinctly remember reading two, Fluke by the late great James Herbert, and Cujo by Stephen King (only partly from the dog’s POV). If the author’s talent is up to the task, it is quite a nice change in perspective (though I am sure you wouldn't want to read fiction from a canine perspective all the time unless you are a dog, even actual dogs don't want to do that, I have asked a few).

Set in the Yukon during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush,
First off I should say that London is a great writer. This is the first book I've read of his. His description of the Alaskan terrain is incredible. I have never been to Alaska but when I read this book I could picture it in my head very clearly.

However, that does not take away what I think of the story itself. It wasn't bad. It was interesting, but I could not seem to grasp exactly what London's point was. Was it animal cruelty? Was it the wild should be kept wild? Or is there some hidden soci
Jan 09, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“He was beaten (he knew that); but he was not broken. He saw, once for all, that he stood no chance against a man with a club. He had learned the lesson, and in all his after life he never forgot it. That club was a revelation. It was his introduction to the reign of primitive law, and he met the introduction halfway. The facts of life took on a fiercer aspect; and while he faced that aspect uncowed, he faced it with all the latent cunning of his nature aroused.” Jack London, The Call of the Wil ...more
A poignant and triumphant tale of a great creature in the wild. He feels the bitterness and savagery of men and his pack, there has been a dividing line in his relations with humans by no fault but their own due to their constant usage of this canine Buck in work, in pulling in the snow, they have not shown any kindness, but there is hope he will soon be blessed with some.
One man shows a kindness that helps Buck, who has had a life of toil and enduring of hardships, its a warming to the heart to
Oct 21, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2fiction, 1audio
Wrong edition, but after going through 10 pages of different editions with no end in sight, I got tired. Mine is by Random House in 2009 & read by Jeff Daniels (the star of Newsroom on HBO). Daniels' reading of this story is FANTASTIC.

I let far too many years go by between reads of this story. London paints a wonderfully brutal picture of the Klondike gold rush as seen in relation to Buck. He doesn't anthropomorphize terribly, but I found the hereditary memories of the primitive man a bit mu
Apr 30, 2015 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-2015
Loved this story!!! (Although, not thinking for young kids!!)

Buck (the dog) was an awesome narrator and the journey of his life from beloved pet to back to the wild was an exciting one...

Jack London was able to evoke the whole range of emotions with this story.... sad, scared, excited, inspired... WOW!!!

I am an animal lover and some of the more violent parts were a little bit too realistic for me. Given that, I think that they were appropriate to the description of the life of a sled-dog in Alas
Nov 26, 2015 Chy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Invalid reasons for not reading this:

1.) Hundred-year-old-books are written in an inaccessible style.
---The Call of the Wild has a very accessible style, with beautiful prose and imagery---beautiful prose and imagery that's light and very accessible.

2.) I don't like dog stories.
---This is a Buck story. Sure, he's a dog, but this isn't a dog story. It's Buck's story. And he's a complex, sympathetic character. He just happens to be a dog.

3.) What do I care about the Klondike gold rush?
---Don't mat
Mar 15, 2015 Afshar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
آواي وحش شاید بهترين كتابي است كه درباره حيوانات نوشته شده است

سگ و گرگ يك جورايي پسر عموي نژادي هم هستند.یکی آزاد و دیگری در بند انسان
از زمان هاي بسيار دور، انسان ها نتوانسته اند آزادی گرگها را تحمل کنند و میخواهند انها را هم سگ بار بیاورند
باک توله گرگی است که در خانه انسان ها بزرگ شده و اسیر جویندگان طلا می افتد یعنی گرگان واقعی

هربار با حادثه ای صاحبانش عوض می شدند و بدست گرگان انسان نمای دیگری می افتاد.تا اینکه تورنتون صاحب جديدش،باک را از عذاب جان کندن نجات می بخشد. در این هنگام و در نز
Dec 04, 2012 Caris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, environmental
I don’t like fictional books about animals.

Animal behavior? Sure. But not anthropomorphic dog thoughts. Hell, I’d rather watch a full day of the Dog Whisperer than read this shit again.

That is, of course, not to say the book is without merit. It is a classic, after all. It has withstood the test of a little bit of time. Almost no time at all in the grand scheme of things. Barely a moment if you really think about it.

But the writing is certainly capable. It is there. There are words and they are
Greg Zink
I found The Call of the Wild to be a pretty enjoyable quick read, though I didn't really find a lot of deeper significance to it. It is a straightforward tale of a dog who gradually returns to a wilder state after being forced from a content life in the civilized world. Along the way there are adventures and scrapes with various humans and animals which make the story interesting, as is the transformation of the main character.

This book is told from the point of view of the dog, Buck. Having ani
Moses Kilolo
Oct 06, 2013 Moses Kilolo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bucks story is a beautiful, multilayered tale that shows the basic plot of the journey towards the call of destiny. There is what we are all meant to be, and if we but hear the call, then our duty is but to obey.

Like happened to Buck, the dog, there is ever a process, ranging from our familiar comforts to our deepest defeats, to our highest achievements – all of which we must transcended in our journey to being free and self accomplished.

Though Buck was comfortable in the Judge’s backyard, pla
Written more than a century ago, Jack London's tale of a family dog kidnapped and sent to Alaska to work pulling sleds still works well today as a story of adventure and survival. As well as telling the story of Buck's transition from family pet to hardened work dog and eventually wild creature through Buck's eyes, we also learn about the lives of the men who settled and worked in the rugged north of Canada and Alaska. The scenery is so well described you can almost visualise it and feel the col ...more
Feb 01, 2008 Tess rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeannette Nikolova
Read on the WondrousBooks blog.

I read this book as a sort of a buddy-read and to be honest, that was the only reason I decided to read it at all. I'm going to be fair and admit that I knew I wasn't going to like it. I've never been a fan of books or movies about animals. I don't seem to be able to feel any emotional connection with them. I guess that applies to all things non-human.

I could not really make myself care for this kidnapped dog. I found the world it lived in completely revolting -
Dec 18, 2014 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog-lovers, sled-drivers, gold prospectors, NOT bears, moose, or Indians
Wow! I don't know if I've ever actually read a Jack London story before. I suppose I must have in elementary school. But The Call of the Wild, a short novel of 84 pages, is really an excellent adventure - simple, straightforward, but with crisp prose, rousing adventure, and who doesn't love a dog story? And no sentimental tail-wagging doggie here, but a metaphor for the ancient struggle between civilization and nature, the blessings and disadvantages of giving up our ancestral survival instincts ...more
Loren Rines
Dec 12, 2013 Loren Rines rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Call of the Wild is a great book that I really enjoyed reading. It was exciting, scary, sad and inspiring in places. The book is about a dog named Buck that was taken from his comfortable ranch in California and forced to live the life of a sled dog in the harsh Alaskan Yukon. It was exciting to read how Buck learned to handle his change in scenery and take charge of his life.
Buck had a really hard and physically punishing time adjusting to his new life and had many dangerous and almost deadly e
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
Aah.! If Buck was a man,he would have been one of the most eligible bachelors in literature.. The journey of a dog to his destiny,which in this case is a walk back to the past,is what's this story is about. It could be interpreted as the story of a man-his journey towards his destiny. There are many things in this story that might make you think that way. Like
-the call of the future(in this case the call of the wild)
-the recognition or remembering of the power within(Buck recognizing the wildn
Andrei Tamaş
Jan 20, 2016 Andrei Tamaş rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Chemarea străbunilor" este unul dintre romanele la care, citindu-l, adolescent precoce fiind, am plâns. Pe lângă faptul că are un puternic impact asupra imaginaţiei, purtându-l pe cititor pe tărâmuri ascunse chiar şi literaturii, are o idee filosofică ezoterică: Buck, "personajul" principal al cărţii, reprezintă tipologia umană, care simte chemarea către rădăcinile sale, către originile sale... Aşa şi omul: este condamnat mereu să se întoarcă la originile sale, însă înainte de a se întoarce la ...more
Aug 24, 2014 Sandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to a 92 year old woman who loved dogs. She was dying and caring for a shaggy little white dog with three legs. Needless to say, I was not prepared for all the violence and heaviness of the whole thing. Why didn't I just read her Because of Winn-Dixie or something of that nature? This book was a rough ride. And even though I had a revelation where I said 'oh my god, I'm buck' and excused myself to the restroom so I didn't cry in front of my dying companion, the rumors that London ...more
Apr 22, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, ya, read-2014
Jack London's 1903 classic was a very tough read for me as it is pretty much non-stop animal cruelty that is often taken to the extreme, but, I so loved Buck, his unbreakable spirit, ability to adapt and need to please.

A worthwhile book that I would still recommend.

Nina Rapsodia
Jun 18, 2015 Nina Rapsodia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Todo el mundo
Recommended to Nina by: Nadie
Shelves: favoritos, english
El año pasado me topé con una caseta de la fiesta del libro en la que había una sección de libros en inglés. No demasiada variedad en la oferta pero habría ediciones muy bonitas y algunos precios razonables. Ver libros en inglés en mi ciudad sigue siendo un poco novedad por eso estuve escogiendo un muy buen rato cual de todos me llevaría. Y en medio de todas esas ediciones bonitas estaba este librito. En mi caso particular desde muy niña me han gustado mucho los animales, gracias a mi hermano y ...more
Jan 26, 2016 orsodimondo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana, avventura
Nonostante l’ambientazione sia principalmente all’aria aperta, questo romanzo è una discesa agli inferi, è un capostipite del genere ‘carcerario’: perché Buck viene strappato alla sua vita di cane domestico, fatta di ozio riposo coccole e sicurezza, e sbattuto in un attimo in un mondo di cattività, violenza, repressione, prevaricazione – da un’esistenza protetta, da pari a pari, scagliato nell’inferno dove domina la legge del più forte – dal sole della California ai ghiacc
Janie Johnson
I first bought the book The Unabridged Jack London, because he had been a favorite of my Mom's, and I wanted to see what he was like. Well I fianlly got around to reading The Call of the Wild, and I gotta question what my mom saw in this book. It was such raw, horrifying violence nearly from begining to end. I could not understand the infactuation in the book or in Jack London.

It was pretty cool though that the book was wrote through the eyes of a dog called Buck. But it also made for a boring
Jan 27, 2016 Hugo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
"John Thornton e Buck entreolharam-se.
— Estás feito um pobre diabo — disse John Thornton e Buck lambeu-lhe a mão."

Está tudo nesse olhar. Buck, de simples cão doméstico a lenda, uma transformação marcada por muitas provações, desde o momento em que o roubam da sua pacífica casa na Califórnia para puxar trenós nas Terras do Norte, repletas de ouro. Buck não esconde a fera dentro de si, mas isso não o impede de se mostrar o mais altruísta e fiel dos cães. Fico triste por ainda não ter o Presa Branc
Jan 13, 2016 O rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 m
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Jack London was an American novelist, journalist, social-activist and short-story writer whose works deal romantically with elemental struggles for survival. At his peak, he was the highest paid and the most popular of all living writers. Because of early financial difficulties, he was largely self educated past grammar school.

London drew heavily on his life experiences in his writing. He spent ti
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“He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.” 1047 likes
“There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.
This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad in a stricken field and refusing quarter; and it came to Buck, leading the pack, sounding the old wolf-cry, straining after the food that was alive and that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight.”
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