Josh Steiner's Reviews > The Call of the Wild/White Fang/To Build a Fire

The Call of the Wild/White Fang/To Build a Fire by Jack London
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Sep 17, 11

Read from September 06 to 17, 2011

Remarkable.

Stated in the introduction, London considers White Fang a companion to Call of the Wild in that Fang is the "complete antithesis" of Wild. What makes both books so compelling are London's mutual arguments about the nobility and nature of the Wild vs. the Civilized. The themes are, I would guess, ones with which the author struggled with his entire life.

While the tale of Buck's return to the world of his ancestors is one of primal, ideal beauty, White Fang's gradual understanding and acceptance of love, safety, and the new world of men is equally complex and moving. As both stories occupy the same world and grapple with contrasting motivations, yet elevate the animals in both to a state of enlightenment is remarkable.

Additionally, "To Build a Fire" is a wonderful companion. London is able to distill the environment, action, and fatal struggle of life in the north in only a handful of pages like precious few of his peers. It left me eager to find a larger collection of his short stories to continue the journeys of his characters in that snowy hell.
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