The Call of the Wild
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The Call of the Wild

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  168,390 ratings  ·  4,044 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 W...more
Paperback, Annotated and Illustrated Edition, 324 pages
Published June 15th 1997 by University of Oklahoma Press (first published 1903)
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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...more
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
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...more
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.
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.
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...more
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...more
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...more
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,...more
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...more
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...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...more
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...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
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
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...more
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...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...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
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...more
Carol
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.

Hannah Colvin
Let's go run around the Arctic trying to prove our "dog strength"!
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
Mallory
What if you were torn away from your home, your life, your family, and everything that was ever familiar to you, and got thrown into harsh, life threatening situations? In Jack London’s book “Call of the Wild”, it shows that anyone or thing can be taken from its surroundings and thrown into a world where it has to learn to survive. Buck, a domestic dog from Santa Clara Valley is forced into the Yukon because of mans need for money, gold and sled dogs . His life starts to change in a hurry and he...more
Lennongirl
A classic novella about a dog being forced to embrace his inner wild animal. It's short and fast and powerful - not just Buck, the main dog and narrator, but the whole structure of it. The prose is direct and raw, it all fits. I just flew through this and, at the end, thought I heard the call of the wild myself, that's how direct and powerful this was.

And my, Buck's life changes from peaceful and (apparently) good to dangerous and exhausting, yet this dog never loses his spirit but always deals...more
Stephanie
the descriptions of violence put upon animals was very disturbing,but I thought the book was excellent.
Charles
Definitely not just for young adults. I really enjoyed this book.
Joey
While reading this, there were four things bubbling in the chambers of my mind:

(1) Charles Darwin’s idea of “survival of the fittest”
(2) Nature vs. Nurture in psychology
(3) The vampire movie I have seen.
(4) Timbuktu, the dog in the novel of Paul Auster

Buck is accustomed to living in an uncivilized place where he has no idea of how horrible life is, for his masters are indifferent to him. Unfortunately, exposed to the law of club and fang, he needs intestinal fortitude, ignoring his ‘pure conscie...more
Mark
Mark McConnell

Mrs. Ebarvia
World Lit
10/21/08
Online Book Review
The novel I chose to read was The Call of the Wild written by Jack London. Other famous books by Jack London include White Fang, The Sea Wolf, and The Scarlet Plague. The Call of the Wild is about a dog named Buck who has an trouble-free life living on an estate in San Diego. However, Buck gets captured and sold as a sled dog to gold hunters. Buck is new to the sled dog life, and he must learn about it quickly if he wants to survive....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...more
More about Jack London...
White Fang The Call of the Wild/White Fang The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Other Stories The Sea Wolf To Build A Fire

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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.” 973 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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