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Tales of the Fish Patrol

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  273 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
In this classic collection of stories drawn from his own experiences, the author looks back on his days as a teenager aboard the fishing boats of San Francisco Bay. In the early 1900s, men of all stripes descended on these waters to plunder its rich oyster beds. To stop the run on the waters, a patrol was established. Jack London began his youthful adventures on the wrong ...more
Hardcover, 243 pages
Published 1905 by The Macmillan Co.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jason Koivu
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been rather critical of London. Maybe that comes from the importance I place on freedom and the negative feelings created by having his work forced upon me in school. But because of stories like this I'm starting to come around to London as an author (the jury's still out on my judgement of him as a man.) These are just downright fun tales about catching fish poachers. Those who like stories about sailing, smugglers, San Franciscan waters and perhaps other S words I've missed will lap up th ...more
Tom Willard
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was ok

I thought this would be a fun collection of short stories written early in London's life. London himself was an oyster pirate, as the oyster beds in the San Francisco Bay were privatized. He then went on to work for the opposition; the fish patrols sailed throughout the bay busting Chinamen with fishnets with illegal mesh, and angry greeks who shoot with no notice. In Haley's biography, which I am reading now, these exploits seemed fairly amazing. Sadly, London's depictions devolve into muddy ac
...more
Jonathan
This is a book that I read on my Kindle to the kids at bedtime. It's taken quite a while, because their mom usually reads to them at bedtime. I enjoyed this book, but the kids received it with mixed reviews. When we finished tonight, Braedi asked if there was a second book, and Dyllan cheered that it was finally over.

One thing I enjoyed about the book is that it is believable. There's just enough detail that you can immerse yourself in the setting, but no too much to overwhelm you with the detai
...more
Sylvester
(Okay, now I'm thoroughly confused - do I like Jack London or not?! Some of what I'd read recently comes across as racist - and then, this - ?) This was wonderful, about his experiences on the fish patrol (as a 16 year old, mind you, which only adds to my distress, because he's a plucky, indomitable lad, someone I could not help rooting for). Lots of adventure and fun in these stories, and none of the stuff I can't stand. At his best, London writes with verve and colour, whatever your opinion of ...more
Karen Chung
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting vignettes taken from London's two years working with the California Fish Patrol in his youth. London is very good at building up suspense, then seeing it to a satisfying conclusion. The character voices of the reader (I listened to it as a Librivox audio book) were mostly a bit too high and nasal to be convincing, but the rest of the reading, in the role of the narrator, was very good and well suited to the genre.
Christina
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Интересно скорее с точки зрения рыбацкого быта начала прошлого века. Остроумные технические решения проблем с браконьерами, полиэтничный состав последних в заливе Сан-Франциско, подробности промысла лосося и устриц.
Bruce Deming
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tales of the Fish Patrol was an interesting look into life on San Francisco Bay during scrappier times (1905) when brawls, guns, knives and piracy wasn't uncommon.

I picked this book up to read after a visit from a independent book sales rep when working in Berkeley as a buyer for a small bookstore chain and then visited the publisher in Oakland who was living in a historic house on 14th Street where Jack London himself had lived which bore a plaque on the front verifying the house was indeed a h
...more
David Macpherson
These are related stories about three people stationed out of San Fransisco who are tasked with stopping poachers taking fish and clams and what not. It is stolidly written and pretty racist but still a good view of the world of law enforcment a hundred years ago. One fascinating aspect is that the fish patrol make no money but live off of capturing poachers and getting either the reward or a portion of their court fine. The sense of right and wrong is very unclear as there is the sense that wha ...more
John
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book for Bay Area residents who like the history of the Bay and its various denizens. Written from Jack London's actual experience as a young (16 years old) member of the Fish Patrol, an early Dep't of Fish and Game which enforced fishing regulations on the Bay, the book is outdated in its ethnic characterizations of Chinese, Greek and other minority groups, but it is a terrific eye into a different time on the beloved SF Bay.

The book is a collection of stories originally published serial
...more
Jan C
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: water, california, 2012
Probably actually a 3.75 for me.

Most of it very enjoyable, especially when they are trying to outwit and outsail the Greek and Chinese salmon poachers.

Tales from Jack London's youth when he was earning to enough money to finish high school.

He'd started out as a poacher but was persuaded to come over on to the fish patrol's side. Both were dangerous but it seemed a lot safer on the legal side.

Very fine sailing stories from a skillful sailor and a skillful storyteller. It was very hard for me to b
...more
Caroline
Tales of a teenaged Fish Patrolman in the Pacific Northwest at the turn of the 20th century, all of which Jack London was. The stories are engaging and fresh, if somewhat repetitive, and show London as a masterful story-teller who effortlessly and believably creates and resolves narrative suspense. The stories are also an interesting historical window onto a bygone time and place and ethos, of un-self conscious conventional masculine grace and law-enforcement rectitude.
Jill
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eric and I listened to this on our road trip and were highly entertained. The kids have listened to a few of the stories too and really liked them. Fun stories from a great author. They are stories from when he was 18 and served as a deputy on the fish patrol, whose job it was to bring all breakers of fish laws to justice. He was in the San Fransisco Bay area.
Kate
Apr 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining! What I believe sailors would call 'rip roaring yarns'. Some racism inherent - a product of its time. I had no idea Jack London wrote anything other than Call of the Wild, so this was a rather nice surprise for me. A good read for airports as the chapters of the ongoing story are also self contained short stories.
Jozef Melichár
Intersting autobiographical short stories about times that are already gone. These were quiet funny and happy stories, but how dangerous it was in real life! And London was just sixteen. After this book one want to go outside and experience something adventurous.
Spike Pedersen
May 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favs from my favorite author. A story full of youth and determination and danger and it is all true. Sailing, chinese pirates, and Greek bull-headed foes all done with grit and wit. Ah yes a good read.
Sebastián Alarcón
I rate it as an entretaining snack before a more intense readi I'm going to tackle now. It's a great headstart for Jack Londi: having written it when he was 16 is a great marker about his talent as a writer.
Ted Powell
Quite interesting. Such an early work. Thanks Chris Barry for the reccomendation. Thank you for visiting me in Visalia. It meant a lot to me at a very dark time along with visit here. Now to read American Idiot.
Tom Schulte
London's chronological, tightly coupled tales of Fish Patrol fights with oyster pirates, Greek scofflaw salmon poachers and more is marred by this 1982 audio production with low audio quality and a narrator that is just phoning it in.
Courtney
London, Jack
The Unabridged Jack London

In compilation only.

1) White and Yellow
2) The King of the Greeks
3) A Raid on the Oyster Pirates
4) The Siege of the "Lancashire Queen"
5) Charley's Coup
6) Demetrios Contos
7) "Yellow Handkerchief"
Amy
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Wonderful short stories, I suppose when Jack London served on the Fish Patrol in the S.F. Bay.
Bruce Thomas
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SF Bay ~100 years ago - great
Caitlin
Of special interest to me, because London's fish patrol work was done along the Richmond shoreline. Lots of references to places in my area!
Terry Graap
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent reading by Jack London. I have not read any books by him in awhile. You might find it more geared to young readers. But, I thought it was very good.
Jennifer
It was interesting to read about the shape and geography of the San Francisco Bay. However, it is hard to follow the arc of each adventure without some knowledge of shipping mechanics.
Jared Murphy
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the first works that I read of London. Great stories in this work. Definitely recommend.
Joe Clark
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book especially the last chapter. It is episodic and formulaic. The episodes tend to be very similar. By the third one it's easy to guess what is going to happen.
Peter
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anyone who knows the bay
Andrej
rated it liked it
May 08, 2011
Lisa van Vliet
rated it really liked it
Jul 22, 2013
Jonathan
rated it it was amazing
May 11, 2016
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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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