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Best Short Stories of Jack London
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Best Short Stories of Jack London

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  754 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Poetic, swift with violence and action.
1 To the Man on Trial
2 Law of Life
3 Wit of Porportuk
4 To build a Fire
5 Heatmen
6 A piece of Steak
7 Love of Life
8 Lost Face
9 Pearls of Parlay
10 Odyssey of the North
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 12th 1986 by Fawcett (first published 1945)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,406)
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Jamie VW
I've been reading this over the past few months - London is masterful at drawing the reader into the mind of his characters, especially when expressing desperation or the descent into madness as so many of his subjects, more often than not lost in the wilds of Alaska. It is hard not to feel the freezing cold, the pangs of hunger, the desire for warmth and comfort that his subjects crave. However the story that stuck out to me the most is titled "The Mexican", oddly enough a boxing story and take ...more
Tia
Short stories, one of my new favorite genres. As of now, I'm reading quite a few short story selections from some well-known authors, Jack London included (obviously). I was actually very surprised to learn that London had a collection of short stories, although, I may just be living under a rock. While London's stories did not quite appeal to me, I'm not one to be extremely excited by the outdoors during winter, they were no doubt written with a great amount of detail. In my opinion, one of Lon ...more
Tim Stiller
What more can I say than I loved this collection. There's not one story that bored me or went on too long. If I had to pick one favorite, it would have to be "Lost Face." Great stuff. I think I prefer his shorts to his novels, and I really like all his known novels, so that says a lot. They weren't kidding when they named the book "Best Short Stories" of London. They really are. The book cover is quite nicely done as well.
Eleanor
Jul 05, 2007 Eleanor rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who have dreams of leading sled dogs, and crying "mush! mush!"
Mixed bag of short stories. Picked this up because it included "To Build A Fire", one of the first "survival lit" stories I'd read as a teenager, and one which left an indelible impression on me back then.

I think much of what fascinates me about survival lit in general is that it centers on man's hubris in believing he can win the war against Mother Nature - that he can outwit, outarm, outlast her. He cannot. At the very least, he may get lucky, and the best survival literature explores the lim
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Frauke
I wish I could express myself the way Jack London did, because it's the only way to serve him justice. I am quite sad to announce I can't, but my admiration for this author is still existent and true. His ability to describe is marvellous and I thank him for his description of Captain Oudouse in 'The Heathen': "He was a large, fleshy man, weighing at least two hundred pounds, and he quickly became a faithful representation of a quivering jelly mountain of fat."

My favourite short stories from thi
...more
Brian
Feb 25, 2014 Brian added it
I feel as though me and Jack have been on one intense and remarkable journey ever since that brilliant Northern Exposure episode where Chris in the Morning inadvertently introduced me to his work as he narrates The Call of the Wild. London's greatest attribute is that he never fails to take you on a journey and this quite wonderful collection of his short stories fully encapsulates a boyish sense of 'adventure', albeit based on experience and no little imagination. Jack's adventures are never gl ...more
John
Jack London reduces life experiences to their purest, most pessimistic form. His stories are uncomfortable because we hope there's more to our lives than how much protein we ate in our last meal and how cold it is outside.
Bill
I'd read White Fang and Call of the Wild many years ago, but never read any of Jack London's short stories before now. This is a good collection of those and validates the view that London was better as a short story writer than as a novelist. He can create memorable figures but is not capable of making them fully-rounded characters.

His prose vividly evokes the harsh environment of Alaska and how it takes its toll on humans. Despite the emphasis on action, London consistently shows a more refin
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Abhishek
Makes you wanna travel to desolate , windy islands !!
Sam Chiang
Mr. Chiang...test.
Chris Bushman
This collection sat on my bookshelf untouched for years and years. One insomniac night last summer, I casually cracked it and was sucked in.

The South Seas stories are fantastic, a window into a harsh world of seafaring colonialism, indentured servitude, cannibals, fools and heroes.

The tales of the Industrial Revolution and petty crime in turn of the century San Francisco get an equally severe description as does the Alaskan wilderness.

I never knew what I was missing.
Hatice
Yaşadığı kırk yıl boyunca maceranın çağrısına her zaman cevap veren büyük usta iyi ki öyle yapmış. Yoksa bu muhteşem öyküler yazılamazdı.
Onun şu düsturunu çok beğeniyorum: " İnsanın işlevi yaşamaktır, öylece var olmak değil. Günlerimi onları uzatmaya çalışarak ziyan etmeyeceğim. Zamanımı kullanacağım."
Harry
Jack London is a fantastic author, with a disturbing fascination with darkness and death that I just couldn't look away from. My favorite story in this collection was definitely 'Lost Face' - the ending at first shocked me and then had me chuckling. Well worth the read, even if for Lost Face and the very popular, disturbing, 'To Build a Fire'.
Beverly Maher
To build a fire was the most emotionally draining story I had ever read! I don't know why it took so long to read his short stories, they are realistic and sometimes very frightening.
Ann M
I read two stories and am temporarily Londoned out, similarity of tone. He men and dumb savages, ho hum. The first story, about the man trying to get to his camp in record-breaking cold, is good. It might eventually get bumped up to four stars.
Kathleen Young
The Cruise of the Dazzler: A boy anxious to see the world leaves home too early without decorous schooling. From middle class to a pirate ship he finds himself maturing through his conscious, connected responsibilities, and family loyalty.
Charles
Not only the best stories of Jack London, but among the best stories ever written in the English Language. "To Build a Fire" and "A Piece of Steak" are absolute masterpieces.
Tim Addison
I picked this one up now and again over the summer. Some good tales, topics from Alaska good rush, survival , South pacific cultures and sailing.
Katie
His stories have a great arc; they are a study in short story writing. They're a little too macho for me to really enjoy, though.
Deb
Jack London...this man is a genius. I can't wait to read more of him. "An Odyssey of the North" simply haunted me!
MiChAeLPaUl
Jul 19, 2013 MiChAeLPaUl marked it as fini
Shelves: books, short-fiction
A selection of short stories by JL depicting the brutality and reality of nature.
Joe  Noir
Contains two of my all time favorite short stories: "Lost Face" and "To Build a Fire".
Jesse Mcwhirk
Amazing! Everyone should read this book
Toni
Even better than I remembered...
Nyan2010
i like jack london's books.
Keely
'To Build a Fire' is AMAZING.
Tim Gehring
master storyteller...
Caleb
Dec 26, 2011 Caleb marked it as to-read
Shelves: torchlight-list
'A Piece of Steak'
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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...
The Call of the Wild White Fang The Call of the Wild/White Fang The Sea Wolf The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Other Stories

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