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The Call of the Wild

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  191,926 ratings  ·  4,748 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
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Paperback, 172 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Scholastic (first published 1903)
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Popular Answered Questions

Bodhi It is a short novel, a novella. Some editions have only 100 pages! It has seven (VII) separately named parts or "chapters".
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)
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Stephen
REVIEW ADVISORY:

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
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brian
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
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
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Scoobs
Apr 12, 2008 Scoobs rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Valerie
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
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Lou
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
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Jim
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
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Afshar
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
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Apatt
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,
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Stephanie
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
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Tess
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caris
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
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Moses Kilolo
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
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David
Dec 18, 2014 David rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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Loren Rines
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
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Carolyn
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
Chy
Invalid reasons for not reading this:

1.) Hundred-year-old-books are written in an inaccessible style.
---The Call of the Wild has 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 matte
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Sandra
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
Connie
Jack London drew on his experiences in the Klondike gold rush when writing The Call of the Wild. He headed north to Canada in 1987 to search for gold, and published this book in 1903. The Call of the Wild is a book about the fight for survival and the transformation of a St Bernard/shepherd mix dog named Buck. The dog was a pet in California before he was stolen and shipped north. The gold rush had created a huge demand for strong sled dogs. Buck and the other dogs were clubbed by the dog trader ...more
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
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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
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Nina Rapsodia
Jun 18, 2015 Nina Rapsodia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Todo el mundo
Recommended to Nina by: Nadie
Shelves: 2015, english, favoritos
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 Rice
This should have been on the "read-in-my-youth" shelf but actually read in the early 2000s before I began keeping lists, let's guestimate 2003. I had the audiobook and listened during the commute. Judging from tidbits I picked up from The Great Gatsby, when The Call of the Wild was written, there would have been just the American East (sophisticated? decadent?) and the West, that is, before our current situation of the two coasts and the "fly-over zone" (vs. the heartland--take your pick); the b ...more
Jim Peterson
I downloaded this because it is a highly regarded classic. I didn’t read it because I found out the main character is a dog. I later forgot about it because I wasn’t interested in a dog story. I’m way too mature for that kind of thing. Way too mature.

Over a year later, I saw it swimming around in the back of my kindle, and, seeing that it was short and remembering how much I had enjoyed Jack Londons short story “To build a fire”, I decided to give it a try.

Then I remembered the story was about
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Antonio


Otro buen Libro de London, no sé como lo hace pero logra describirte la vida de un animal como si estuvieras dentro de su cabeza, pierdes tu humanidad y quieres ir a corretear por los bosques. El titulo en español de este libro debería ser lo salvaje llama(y no La llamada de la selva como aparece en la mayoría de las ediciones en castellano), ya que no veremos ni una pisca de selva, sino bosques nevados, nuestro personaje principal será Buck un perro de gran tamaño que por cuestiones del destino
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Brenda
From belonging to Judge Miller in the Santa Clara Valley to his life on the frozen landscapes of Alaska, Buck, part St Bernard, part Shepherd went through a myriad of owners and situations as he learned the cunning of his species and the wiles he needed to be the best. He learned hate, but he also learned a deep love, and found an indomitable spirit which kept him alive when things were at their worst.

The Call of the Wild is a brilliant book, and definitely worth reading. I was caught up in the
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A.K. Amirov
Jul 25, 2015 A.K. Amirov rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to A.K. by: It was required reading.
Shelves: classics, borrowed
The Call of the Wild by Jack London

This book is like a sleeping pill. I'm serious. It's not a bad book by any means, but it's just incredibly boring. It shouldn't be, it really shouldn't have, but it was.

It has a decent plot and the such, but the book itself is sort of pointless. I'm not quite sure what it's supposed to be about- with the exception of the "primordial beast" mentioned every few pages (I really should have kept count of how many times that phrase was used.). But there's not reall
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Duffy Pratt
I read this when I was a kid, and then again a few years ago, and this makes my third reading. That's quite a bit for a book that I have many problems with. The main problem I have is that I always get the feeling that London let his prejudices get in the way of his observations. As far as I know, this book and White Fang pretty much invented the genre of books being told from the animal's point of view. But it's not really the animal point of view we get. Rather, we get the viewpoint of the ani ...more
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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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More about Jack London...
White Fang The Call of the Wild/White Fang The Sea Wolf The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Other Stories Martin Eden

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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.” 1025 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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