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The Call of the Wild

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First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is regarded as Jack London's masterpiece. Based on London's experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike.

172 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1903

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About the author

Jack London

8,454 books6,615 followers
John Griffith Chaney (1876-1916), better known as Jack London, was an American novelist, journalist, and social activist. A pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazines, he was one of the first American authors to become an international celebrity and earn a large fortune from writing. He was also an innovator in the genre that would later become known as science fiction.

His most famous works include The Call of the Wild and White Fang, both set in the Klondike Gold Rush, as well as the short stories, "To Build a Fire", "An Odyssey of the North", and "Love of Life". He also wrote about the South Pacific in stories such as "The Pearls of Parlay", and "The Heathen".

London was part of the radical literary group, "The Crowd," in San Francisco and a passionate advocate of unionization, workers' rights, and socialism. He wrote several works dealing with these topics, such as his dystopian novel, The Iron Heel, his non-fiction exposé The People of the Abyss, War of the Classes, and Before Adam.

London died November 22, 1916, in a sleeping porch in a cottage on his ranch. London's ashes were buried on his property, not far from the Wolf House. The grave is marked by a mossy boulder. The buildings and property were later preserved as Jack London State Historic Park, in Glen Ellen, California.

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Profile Image for Alex.
1,419 reviews4,501 followers
November 26, 2020
I guess it's important to remember that this isn't just a socialist fable: it's also a book about a dog. That's certainly all I thought, when I was ten and I read and re-read this for the first several times. I just really liked dogs, and we couldn't have one, so I read a lot of books about them. Here's a book about Buck the Yukon sled dog. His bond with his human is so strong that they'll perform miracles for each other. That scene with the thousand pound sled is like the Rudy-sacks-the-quarterback of dog stories.

Now, as a grown up, I finally get to have my own dog, and he likes to point his ass right at my face. He’s between us in bed at this very moment, his head buried down in the blankets, ass up. It’s my wife, then my dog's butt, then me.

But socialism. After being about a dog, it's - actually the second thing is it's dark, holy shit. People are like here, kid, here's a book about a dog, kids love dogs, and ten-year-old me cracks it and it's all "He had killed man, the noblest game of all, and he had killed in the face of the law of club and fang. He sniffed the bodies curiously. They had died so easily." When they're not hunting the most dangerous game, dogs keep getting slashed open to the bone or starving piteously to death. Jack London spent some time grubbing for gold in the Yukon wilderness himself - and he was awful at it, so he knows from hardship.

Jack London

So the third thing is that London also happened to be a socialist, and as an adult it's hard not to read Call of the Wild as an allegory. You could hardly find a better socialist allegory than a team of sled dogs, right? Everyone harnessed together, running together to pull a mighty load. They grow to love it so much that when one dog gets sick he pulls a Boxer. Buck starts the book as a pampered bourgeois and finishes it as a pack animal.

Here's Blair Braverman, the face of modern dogsledding and quite a good tweeter.

London also brings in a healthy dose of naturalism, the then-fashionable (now obvious) idea that the environment shapes character. And there's a great deal of somewhat confused Darwinism: London, like lots of other people, has confused evolution for memory, so Buck keeps having dreams about Neanderthals. There's some yikesy stuff about women and minorities, not definitely offensive but you get the idea that if you got him going it'd be definite eventually. (I've heard that it was indeed.)

So you see why sometimes you have to remind yourself that this is a book about a dog. It's about a brave dog running in the wilderness. I remember how wild and romantic it seemed to me, when I read it as a child. Now I read it to my dog. Does it awaken, for him too, some wild and romantic memory? Does he hear the faint echoing of that primordial call? He sighs deeply, from under the covers, and farts.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
April 11, 2020
Men are so cruel. The way they break animals is deplorable; they use them, exploit them and abuse them all in the name of sport, entertainment and human convenience. Men are cruel. They try to conquer rather than living in a world of mutual respect; it’s man who has lost his nature, and he imposes such a thing on everything he comes across, but the animals will fight back:

“With a roar that was almost lion like in its ferocity, he again hurled himself at the man”

Buck is kidnapped (dognapped is probably more appropriate) and forced into submission by a brutal overseer. He is forced to be a sledge dog, a life of servitude he initially enjoys. The dogs enjoy the sense of purpose and quickly form their own pack. However, like trade goods, the animals are sold off to a new owner, one who is foolish and inexperienced when it comes to animal care. He pushes the dogs too far; they start to die, and he pushes the remainder even further. He cares not for the fallen, and leaves them discarded in the snow without as much as a second thought: they are nothing to him.

It’s this kind of attitude that is almost the death of Buck, but he comes back. For all man’s wickedness, he also has the capability for good. Buck experiences human kindness for the first time, forming the deep bond that dog can have with man. He relishes in the friendship. It’s the only affection he has received in a long, long, time. He doesn’t want to lose it; he become possessive and violent in regards to his master’s attention: he becomes a pet. He fights other dogs for the right to sit by his human’s side. But such a thing is unnatural to him, and what starts to form is an internal war within his mind. He wants to find his true self again.

“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.”


Indeed, the importance of this work resides in the title. The real issue isn’t a debate of ethics associated with animal treatment, but the act of being separated from one’s true self. Buck’s innate drive calls for only one thing, to be with his own kind. That’s what human kind has deprived him of. His natural instincts are at war with the obedient behaviour that has been bred into his psyche after domestication.

He wants freedom, he longs for it, and the wild calls him home.

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Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews50 followers
August 23, 2021
The Call of the Wild, Jack London

The Call of the Wild is a short adventure novel by Jack London, published in 1903. The central character of the novel is a dog named Buck.

The story opens at a ranch in Santa Clara Valley, California, when Buck is stolen from his home and sold into service as a sled dog in Alaska.

He becomes progressively feral in the harsh environment, where he is forced to fight to survive and dominate other dogs. By the end, he sheds the veneer of civilization, and relies on primordial instinct and learned experience to emerge as a leader in the wild.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه ژانویه سال 1970میلادی

عنوان: آوای وحش؛ نویسنده: جک لندن؛ مترجم: پرویز داریوش؛ تهران، صفیعلیشاه، 1334؛ 148ص؛ چاپ سوم تهران، فرانکلین، 1352؛ در 163ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، اساطیر، 1366، در 148ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، امیرکبیر، 1380، در 200ص؛ شابک 9643030423؛ چاپ بعدی 1384؛ چاپ هفتم 1387؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، علمی فرهنگی؛ 1383، در 120ص، شابک 9786001211584؛ چاپ دیگر 1389؛ 1394 در 159ص؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

عنوان: آوای وحش؛ نویسنده: جک لندن؛ مترجم: م. فرخزاد نراقی؛ تهران، کتابفروشی ایمنی، چاپ دوم 1348؛ در 212ص؛ چاپ دیگر اصفهان، کتابفروشی نیما، در 212ص؛

مترجمهای دیگر: خانمها و آقایان: «ام‍ی‍ر اس‍م‍اع‍ی‍ل‍ی، در 1363، در 89ص، چاپ چهارم 1369، توسن 1368؛»؛ «خ‍س‍رو ش‍ای‍س‍ت‍ه، سپیده، 1364، در 119ص، چاپ چهارم 1370، چاپ هفتم 1377»؛ «علی‌اکبر داودی‌پور، 1398، در 96ص»؛ «فری‍ده‌ م‍ح‍م‍دی، 1371، در 95ص»؛ «ث‍ری‍ا ن‍ظم‍ی، 1364، در 170ص»؛ «م‍ژگ‍ان‌ ح‍ائ‍ری، نهال نویدان، 1374، در 160ص؛ چاپ پنجم 1397»؛ «ع‍ل‍ی‌ ف‍اطم‍ی‍ان‌، وزارت فرهنگ، 1379، در 239ص»؛ «اح‍م‍د ق‍ل‍ی‌زاده‌‌م‍ق‍دم‌، دبیر اکباتان، 1388، در 87ص، چاپ سوم 1388»؛ «ح‍ب‍ی‍ب‌ا... آت‍ش‍ی، اصفهان، جنگل، 1382، در 96ص»؛ «ص‍دی‍ق‍ه‌ اب‍راه‍ی‍م‍ی‌ (ف‍خ‍ار)، پنجره، 1383، در104ص»؛ «حسن زمانی، همشهری، 1391، در 55ص»؛ «غلامحسين اعرابی٬ فخرنور رزاق‌پرست، نشر بهنود، 1398، در 89ص»؛ «پروین ادیب، نگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب پارسه‏، 1395، در 236ص، چاپ دوم 1397»؛ «امين شكارچيان، نشر اسحق، 1396، در 84ص»؛ «هوشنگ اسدی، ثالث، 1396، در 136ص،»؛ « آرزو علیزاده، پر، 1396، 128ص، باران خرد، 1396، در 148ص، آسو، 1396، در 116ص، قم، پدیده دانش، 1396؛ در 127ص، زنجان هلال نقره ای، 1396، در 127ص»؛ «شیما محمدی، پنگوئن، 1396، در 132ص»؛ «فهیمه ممبینی، مشهد، آفتاب طوس، 1398، در 224ص»؛ «علیرضا سربندی‌فراهانی، تهران، ایجاز، 1398، در 111ص»؛ «سارا فیضی، گوهر اندیشه، 1398؛ در 168ص»؛ «محدثه زردکانلو، قزوین: سایه گستر، 1399، در 72ص»؛ «کیومرث پارسای، در چلچله، 1395، در 126ص؛ چاپ چهارم 1397؛»؛ «بهار اشراق، قدیانی، 1393، در 147ص»؛ «حسین مولوی‌اسکویی، قافی، 1397، در 64ص»؛ «مریم نفیسی‌راد، کرج، شانی، 1398، در 174ص؛»؛ «فاطمه نظرآهاری، تهران: گوهر اندیشه، 1397، در 248ص»؛ «امین دادور، آریا نگار، 1396، در 61ص؛»؛ «افرا خاکزاد، نودا، 1398، در 74ص»؛ «مهدی غبرائی، ناژ، 1392، در 110ص»؛ «محمدصادق شریعتی، گویش نو، 1396، در 79ص»؛ «سوسن اردکانی، قم، نظاره، 1396، در 224ص»؛ و متنهای کوتاه شده بسیار دیگر

نسخه اصلی این رمان در سال 1903میلادی منتشر شد، و ترجمه های بسیاری از این کتاب به فارسی چاپ و نشر شده است؛ «جک لندن» در این رمان داستان «باک»، سگ اهلی و محبوب یک قاضی را، تصویر می‌کند، که در پی ماجراهایی، سر از محیط خشن، و بی‌رحم «کلوندایک»، در روزگار هجوم جویندگان طلا، به ایالت «یوکان»، درمی‌آورد؛ این رمان تأثیرگذارترین رمان «جک لندن» به شمار می‌رود؛ «باک» سگی است، که از محیط انسان‌ها، به دنیای وحش می‌رود؛ «جک لندن» در رمان دیگر خود «سپید دندان»، داستان «سگ-گرگی» را حکایت می‌کند، که از میان گله ی «گرگها» به جهان انسان‌ها وارد می‌شود؛ این دو رمان را «رمان‌های سگی» «جک لندن» خوانده‌ اند؛ «آوای وحش» نخستین بار با ترجمه جناب «پرویز داریوش» به فارسی برگردان شده است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 31/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for brian   .
248 reviews3,127 followers
March 29, 2008
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 wanna know you.

so, i kinda can't not like this book. and it's weird that i've never read it. well, today i did. picked up this new puffin edition and polished it off in one sitting.

good goddamn is this a great book. as an adventure story it's just incredible and then all that regression shit? wow. Buck, the main dog, goes back through his bloodline, down his ancestry... where he watches a primitive man, all hunched over and furry, peer out the mouth of a cave into the cold blackness of the UNKNOWN. there's some seriously badass jungian shit going on here. spooky and ineffable and just fucking gorgeous. masterpiece, baby, masterpiece.

and check this passage in which Buck and the other dogs chase a rabbit through a snowy, moonlit forest:

"All that stirring of old instincts which at stated periods drives men out from the sounding cities to forest and plains to kill things by chemically propelled leaden pellets, the blood lust, the joy to kill - all this was Buck's, only it was infinitely more intimate. He was ranging at the head of the pack, running the wild thing down, the living meat, to kill with his own teeth and wash his muzzle to the eyes in warm blood.

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 on 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. He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time. 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 and over the face of dead matter that did not move."


Profile Image for Kenny.
507 reviews937 followers
April 1, 2023
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.


When I was younger, my mother bought me a copy of The Call Of The Wild. It was part of a series of books for boys. I wish I had read it back then. It is a marvelous book. I'm only sorry that it took me so long to get around to reading it.

Jack London seems to possess an intuition of this dog's life, and, more importantly the dog's heart, an insight which must have come from intimacy and communion with sled dogs during his time in Alaska; I can't help but think that John Thornton is partially based upon London himself. Buck's story is related with a simple, direct, dramatic force which enchains interest; and which is literature at its best.

The Call Of The Wild is the story of Buck, a great dog. Buck's father was a huge Saint Bernard, and Buck's mother, a huge Scotch shepherd dog; he was shaggy, big of body, strong of muscle and stout of heart. He was stolen from a California ranch and taken to live in the far glacier land of the North, where he was put in a team with work dogs and made to carry the Yukon mail.


During his years as a puppy in California, Buck had lived the life of a pampered pet; he loved the hunt, swimming in the cement pond and hunting, but was ignorant of brutality, hardship and toil. Stolen and taken into the Yukon country, his character changed and he became hardened under the brutal conditions he must endure, a leader and master among dogs, turning back toward savage instincts. As time goes on Buck hearkens more and more to the call of the wild until, at last, he surrenders himself to his primitive instincts—to the call of the wild within himself as he regresses to savagery in the great. London writing on Buck’s spiraling to savage is achieved slowly and is written with absorbing interest.


The Call Of The Wild is an absorbing tale of wild life, love, friendship and abounding in striking incidents of frontier town, camp and adventure. London explores society from a dog's perspective. However the deeper, darker messages of unbound greed, ambition and ultimately the necessity of adaptability to change are easy to spot.

Profile Image for Mark Lawrence.
Author 72 books51.7k followers
December 1, 2022
I remembered discovering either Call of the Wild or Whitefang when I was a boy and really liking it, so on finding this on our shelves I read it to Celyn (12 but too disabled to read).

I found myself translating on the hoof as the book was written in 1903 and much of the language is quite Dickensian. Celyn's vocabulary, whilst largely unknown to me, must be derived from books and conversations, and neither of those would have supplied her with many of the words in Call of the Wild.

I found myself having to find more comprehensible substitutions for sentences in the style of: "His primeval perspicuity endured the ardor of robust toil." as I read them. I also took time to precis what had happened every few pages.

The book wasn't written for children. It was first published in sections in a national newspaper and satisfied the readers' curiosity about life in the Alaskan wilds during the recent (ongoing?) gold rush. Jack London spent a lot of time out in the wilds with the men, sleds, and dogs, researching for the story, so the technical detail is accurate and serves as reportage.

It's a pretty grim tale told with as little anthropomorphism as can be achieved without destroying comprehension. Our hero, the dog Buck, is stolen from a loving home to satisfy the need for sled dogs in the gold rush. We meet a whole succession of some 20+ dogs and . Some of the dogs meet very moving ends. The human cast changes swiftly and many of them fare little better.

The story structure is unusual and the whole book very short (somewhere in the 30-40,000 word range). It is, however, (or perhaps because) engaging and 'educational'. I thought it was a good read, though now it's reaching for 4* whereas the boy-Mark would have given 5* without a second thought ... though perhaps he read Whitefang instead...

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Profile Image for Orsodimondo.
2,197 reviews1,820 followers
April 21, 2022

Buck è figlio di un maschio sanbernardo e di una madre pastore scozzese, e ha l'aspetto di un lupo.

Nonostante l’ambientazione sia principalmente all’aria aperta, questo romanzo è è un capostipite del genere ‘carcerario’, autentica discesa agli inferi: perché Buck viene strappato alla sua vita di cane domestico, fatta di ozio riposo coccole e sicurezza, e sbattuto in un attimo in un mondo di cattività, violenza, repressione, prevaricazione – da un’esistenza protetta, da pari a pari, scagliato nell’inferno dove domina la legge del più forte – dal sole della California ai ghiacci dell’Alaska.

E dovrà imparare in fretta, se vorrà sopravvivere.

Charlton Heston nel film omonimo del 1972, diretto da Ken Annakin. Accanto a Heston, Michèle Mercier.

Ma è una strada senza vero ritorno: perché alla fine del viaggio, il cerchio si chiude portandolo a un luogo molto ma molto più lontano della California: è il ritorno al branco, all’istinto primordiale, alla natura selvaggia.

White Fang-Zanna Bianca.

Nel cuore della foresta risuonava un richiamo emozionante, misterioso e attraente; tutte le volte che lo udiva si sentiva costretto a voltare le spalle al fuoco e alla terra battuta che lo circondava per addentrarsi nella foresta, sempre più avanti…

Il documentario del 2007 diretto da Rom Lamothe che ha lo stesso titolo del romanzo di London, ‘The Call of the Wind’, indaga la morte di Christopher McCandless, giungendo a conclusioni diverse dal libro di Jon Krakauer e dal film di Sean Penn.

È un libro che mi porto dietro da sempre, letto e riletto a ogni passaggio d'età, in originale o tradotto. Un puro evergreen.
Ho sempre preferito Buck a Zanna Bianca: ma entrambi dimostrano che Jack London è scrittore grande grande grande.

Klondike, Alaska, 1897: un cercatore d’oro in cui alcuni hanno riconosciuto Jack London.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
April 1, 2012

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 slow down for spoilers, except for the very end, as I assume most people reading this are pretty familiar with the story. Plus, in this case, knowing the story elements shouldn't have much of an impact on the reader's enjoyment, since it's the experience of the journey that holds the power. Of course, if you disagree, than you are welcome to go blurry-eyed over the words and just focus on the pics...that's why they're there.

Our main character is Buck, a Saint Bernard. When we are first introduced to our husky headliner, the Buckster is Doggymesticated and living a happy, carefree existence with his kindly owner.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your opinion of how Buck’s life turns out in the end, Buck is puppynapped by an odious offalhead with a gambling problem**.

**WHOOOOAAAA there tonto!! As a life long resident of the wholesome, family-friendly City of Las Vegas, I feel the need to pause briefly and toss out some support to my hometown casinos that are currently struggling through revenue declines due to the economic slowdown and remind those of you considering a trip to Sin City that
.......Oh, almost forgot. On a related note, I've also been asked by the Institute for Alcohol Awesomeness Awareness to inform you that drinking alcohol can lead to the development of super powers, so go ahead and pick up a twelve pack on the way home and who knows, you may be flying to work tomorrow…........

Okay, now back on review.

This is where things start to go really FUBAR for Buck. Our young hero is shipped to Alaska, where he's sold to a pair of French Canadians to be trained as a sled dog. Having a lot of spunky spirit, Buck doesn't take kindly to being stolen, starved and struck, and so goes into rather violent attack mode when finally released from his cage after the long journey.

Sadly, Buck is quickly “beat down” and seemingly “broken” as part of his training as a sled dog. In reality (and just between you and me), Buck isn’t broken at all, but learns enough “self control” to act the part while secretly maintaining his desire to be free. You know, like this poor fella:

While held by the Frenchies from North of the border, Buck is introduced to other dogs being housed there, and quickly learns the ugly reality of “survival of the fittest” by which the dogs live. Eventually, Buckers becomes a pack leader due to his size, strength and intelligence (remember we are talking a big Saint Bernard here):

Later, Buck is sold to a man named Charles and his family. These people are all kinds of stupid and know exatcly zippo about sledding or surviving in the Alaskan wilderness. They are simply caught up in the fever of the Klondike Gold Rush and trying to strike it rich. Initially, Buck is, sigh, resigned to follow their lead even though he senses their overabundance of incompetence is going to lead to some fugly mishap for him. Photobucket

However, it soon becomes apparent that the family’s bungling stupidity and complete lack of understanding regarding everything from sledding, to the harsh Alaskan environment, to the fact that snow is cold, is leading everyone to a "DANGER Will Robinson" moment. Having no comprehension of how long or hard the journey to the Yukon will be, Charles and his family initially waste the food supply by overfeeding the dogs thinking it will make them more able to endure the long work day. Holy Moly Canolli is this a bad idea!! Anyone who owns a dog knows they will continue to eat as long as you continue to feed...even to the point of:

As you might expect, the food supply soon dwindles. Charles and the other wizards begin to basically starve the dogs while expecting them to work even harder and sled longer during the day.  Uh....anyone else see trouble-a-brewing.

Eventually (thank the stars), the group runs into an experienced mountain man named John Thornton. I won’t give away what happens next except to say that John rescues Buck from the group and nurses him back to health. This is such sweet, tender moment in the story that I thought it deserved an equally sweet picture, thus:

Buck comes to love Thornton and grows devoted to him, though he still feels a calling to be free (no marriage jokes, please....please). During his time with Thornton, Buck begins exploring the wilderness and becomes acquainted with the wolves from the area.


Okay, for those of you still with me, one night, Buck returns from hunting to find that Thornton has been brutally killed by a group of local Indians. As you can imagine, Buck is a wee bit upset at this and decides that maybe the Indians... Photobucket .......
And so Buck goes absolutely BUCK WILD (yep, that's where the expression came from, how cool is that). From there, as far as the Indians are concerned, it is:

You mess with Buck's friend and you are just asking for five varieties of trouble.

Afterwards, Buck comes to understand that his old life is over and follows the wolves into the wild to live as a part of the pack.



Overall, being an animal lover, I couldn't help but love Buck and his story was interesting. There were also parts that were difficult to deal with for the same reason. I loved the final resolution of the story and the contrast between puppy Buck at the beginning of the story and the doggie Buck at the end. I didn't rate this higher because I didn't love the prose as much as the puppy and the pacing, even for such a short book, was a little uneven.

Still, there is much to recommend this and I would certainly support your checking this classic out.

3.5 stars. RECOMMENDED.
Profile Image for Ben Winch.
Author 4 books359 followers
January 8, 2013
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.
Profile Image for Andy Marr.
Author 3 books785 followers
October 12, 2022
Fascinating, but also far too brutal for my tender little brain.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.7k followers
May 15, 2018
my goodness, this is a tough one for me to review. the abundance of violence and animal cruelty made this such an emotional read for me. i can understand why this is a classic and so well loved - there are many great themes in this book and the resolution is quite satisfying, but i struggled with most of the content. this was not a bad book, it just wasnt as enjoyable for me personally.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Ron.
394 reviews97 followers
November 21, 2020
My thoughts on reading The Call of the Wild continue to change as I age. The status says that I've read this book 3 times, but it's more than that. I will not alter my rating, as I did after a reread in 2016 (see below), but my early childhood love for this story has waned, if only a tad. London wrote Buck as if he were an indestructible force of nature. When growing up, that's how I probably imagined my own dog. Maybe it's the progress of time that changes our enthusiasm and feelings to something closer to reality. Yet, I still love this dog. Finally, I am more accepting of Buck's answer to that ending call of the wild. He must go. It is the right place for him.

2016 review

**Spoilers ahead**

The Call of the Wild was not the first book that I remember reading as a boy, but it’s the first book that I remember loving. I had a growing enthusiasm for reading. I loved dogs. These two things fit together. That was around the age of nine or ten. (A few years later, I would pick up Cujo by Stephen King. Another dog book. Not at all the same!) Anyway, the story of Buck resonated with me because he never gave up, and through London’s words I felt like I caught of glimpse inside a dog’s mind.

There came a point near the end of the story, when Buck realizes deep loss. It is the final straw that breaks his connection to man and domesticity. His mourning still struck me with sadness. But Buck’s mourning didn’t last long because he felt the pull of the wild: The Call, and of course by that time, this was the only place for him. As a kid, and even now, I was pulled in two directions by this action. Every man, save one, had used or beaten Buck for their own gain and purposes. But, the leaving kind of meant saying goodbye to Buck.
” Again Buck knew them as things heard in that other world which persisted in his memory. He walked to the centre of the open space and listened. It was the call, the many-noted call, sounding more luringly and compellingly than ever before. And as never before, he was ready to obey... The last tie was broken. Man and the claims of man no longer bound him.”

Then versus Now: Before today, I had given The Call of the Wild 5 stars without a second thought. It was my favorite childhood book. How could I rate it less? Now I know that things change, including those childhood memories of the story that I loved. I’ve read a lot of books between then and now, many of those have been very, very good. In short, that’s the reason for the change in my rating. The Call of the Wild is one of those books that will remain a sentimental favorite - still very good, worth reading, and one that this boy will not forget.

Side note: Found my cat studying me while listening to this audiobook. I’m pretty sure that look said, “What‘s this dog sh Ron?” before sauntering out of the room, tail held high ...... Okay I’m joking - his tail may have been down. :)
Profile Image for Lynne King.
494 reviews676 followers
December 6, 2013
“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 my long standing belief confirmed that one cannot know how much one has loved another human being until the latter has been removed for whatever reason and that also applies to non-humans. And we are talking about a dog here:

“From his St Bernard father he had inherited size and weight, but it was his shepherd mother who had given shape to that size and weight. His muzzle was the long wolf muzzle, save it was larger than the muzzle of any wolf; and his head, somewhat broader, was the wolf head on a massive scale.”

Buck’s cosy lifestyle was to change forever in the fall of 1897, when the lure of gold with the Klondike strike had men rushing to northern Canada to take advantage of what they perceived to be instant wealth. The one necessity to achieve this was having sled dogs and consequently Buck was taken, subjected to very rough treatment, and ended up as one of them.

But Buck is no ordinary dog. He soon realizes that he has to fight for survival in his new unwanted lifestyle both with living on the meagre food rations he was given and the aggressivity of his fellow dogs. Nevertheless, this is a great dog and he soon becomes a legend in these northern lands with his prowess of pulling heavy loads and his sheer excellence as a sled dog. He even won his owners $1,600 (rather a lot of money then) when he pulled a load of 1,000 lbs a distance of 100 metres.

His primordial instincts, however, gradually come to the fore and I have no doubt that when he met the first wolf and spent a day with him, that he would have reverted to type but then choice unexpectedly had come into the equation with that one word “love” and that came in the form of John Thornton who had saved his life.

And as a result with that choice there are two roads that he can follow and so what does Buck decide to do?

I don’t know why this book has had such a dramatic effect on me. Perhaps the era had something to do with it, the immense lands of Canada, and Buck’s continual fight for survival. How could one not admire and love this incredible dog? But imperceptibly he is changing too:

“The blood longing became stronger than ever before. He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survived.”

And finally the following poem states it all with ancestry, instincts, and history:

It is taken from "Atavism," a poem by John Myers O’Hara:

“Old longings nomadic leap,
Chafing at custom’s chain;
Apart from its brumal sleep
Wakes the ferine strain”

And Buck was indeed awakened.

I can never be more grateful that I came across this children’s classic. Where was I in my youth that I was never told about this spellbinding book? It’s not long but I actually browsed through the book again after finishing it. I didn’t want to let go of those incredibly moving words by Jack London.

Profile Image for Mohsin Maqbool.
85 reviews69 followers
December 19, 2017
I FIRST read Jack London's "The Call of the Wild" as a Classics Illustrated comic-book in the 1960s. I was in my early teens and was hardly interested in who Mr. London was or what he did for a living. All I was interested in was reading comic-books and enjoying them.
Finally, I was able to read the 32,000-word adventure novella this year in September-October. The book ended up in my list of favourite books. I also felt somewhat disappointed with myself for not having read the tome during my schoolboy days or even my 20s. Anyway, better late than never!
The lead character of the book is Buck, a large and powerful St. Bernard-Scotch Shepherd. The first chapter opens with the first quatrain of John Myers O'Hara's poem, Atavism. The stanza outlines one of the main themes of The Call of the Wild: that Buck, when removed from the peaceful Santa Clara Valley of California, where he was raised at a judge's house, will revert to his wolf heritage with its inborn instincts and characteristics.
Here is O'Hara's poem "Atavism" in its entirety so that you can enjoy it as well as grasp its significance as to why Mr. London used its first stanza to start his book.

Old longings nomadic leap,
Chafing at custom's chain ;
Again from its brumal sleep
Wakens the ferine strain.

Helots of houses no more,
Let us be out, be free ;
Fragrance through the window and door
Wafts from the woods, the sea.

After the torpor of will,
Morbid the inner strife,
Welcome the animal thrill.
Lending a zest to life.

Banish the volumes revered,
Sever from centuries dead ;
Ceilings the lamp flicker cheered
Barter for stars instead.

Temple thy dreams with the trees,
Nature thy god alone ;
Worship the sun and the breeze,
Altars where none atone.

Voices of Solitude call,
Whisper of sedge and stream ;
Loosen the fetters that gall,
Back to the primal scheme.

Feel the great throbbing terrene
Pulse in thy body beat,
Conscious again of the green
Verdure beneath the feet.

Callous to pain as the rose,
Breathe with instinct's delight ;
Live the existence that goes
Soulless into the night.

The suffering that the dog goes through in the first few chapters is bound to make you cringe. Sometimes you truly wonder how Homo sapiens can be so heartless. But then again all kinds of people make this world.
London spent almost a year in the Yukon collecting material for the book. The story was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in the summer of 1903 in four parts before being published a month later in book form. The tome’s great success immediately made London rich and popular. More than that it had his name included in the canon of world-famous American writers. Authors like Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner were influenced by his writing.

The Call of the Wild (cover of the Saturday Evening Post shown) is about the survival of the fittest.

If you have not read the book, make sure to do so in 2017. I guarantee that you won't be disappointed. It has thrills, chills and spills. Thrills as in thrilling chases; chills as in chilling icy weather and spills as in dog fights to the death with spilling blood.
A few nights back I was able to watch the 1972 version of "The Call of the Wild" directed by Ken Annakin and starring Charlton Heston, Michèle Mercier, Raimund Harmstorf, George Eastman and Maria Rohm. It is a co-production between the UK, France, Italy, Spain and West Germany, which is why it has a multi-star cast with actors from all these countries. It was made in Finland which is exactly why the film has a breathtaking winter landscape. John Cabrera has done a magnificent job of the cinematography.
Even though the director has skipped some of the initial parts of the book and has made some changes probably because of avoiding not to make the film too long, he has still done a pretty good job by making quite an exciting film.

The DVD cover of "The Call of the Wild".

A dog is indeed a man's best friend. Buck shakes hand with a human friend.

Charlton Heston, who plays Thornton, with his pet Buck.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews9,006 followers
November 11, 2020
An interesting and poetic look at a domesticated animal returning to its wild roots. Also, not very long, so a nice "palate cleanser" between longer reads. I think those with an appreciation for dogs will get even more out of this book.
Profile Image for Trish.
2,021 reviews3,437 followers
January 7, 2019
Like many others, I'm sure, my first encounter with Jack London was through Disney's beloved 1991 classic movie Wolfsblut (or White Fang) starring Ethan Hawke. I fell in love with the rough and wild landscape as well as the dog portraying the halfbreed.

This is "the other story" Jack London wrote about a dog. It's a novella, technically, but like the novel that he's now known for the most, this also tells of the wild north, of snow and ice and of a hard life.

We meet Buck, a dog living in the United States with a family that is fairly well off. The gardener has a gambling problem so he leads Buck away and has him kidnapped to be sold. Ever since the Gold Rush started, strong dogs are in ever increasing demand and Buck (being half Collie and half Saint Bernard) is definitely strong.
Thus, Buck ends up in Canada, going through the hands of several owners.
Despite his strength, he has a lot to learn since this is quite a different life from what he's used to.
He's delivering mail, gets beaten, survives attacks, stages coups, almost gets killed and even finds love.

While many of Buck's experiences throughout the story are based on some of the philosophies with which the author was grappling while writing The Call of the Wild, Buck himself was based on a real dog. When London first arrived in Alaska in 1897, he became the tenant of two brothers, Marshall and Louis Whitford Bond. Their dog made an immediate impression on London, for they shared the name Jack (I can say with absolute certainty that the dog would have made a lasting impression on me for a totally different reason).

(Here is Jack the human with Jack the dog.)

The dog was a St. Bernard-Collie mix, as Buck would be in London's novella. In a letter London wrote to Marshall Bond in 1903, he explicitly states, “Yes, Buck was based on your dog.”

What got to me while listening to none other than Pablo Schreiber narrating this story, was the intense descriptions of the magnificent landscape most of this story takes place in (the cold, the wind, the snow, the danger come spring, the hunger and physical pain), of the human stupidity, of the stark contrast between the environment Buck grew up in and the one he later grew to actually love, of the hard work these people and dogs had to perform, of the life in the wild and how not everyone is cut out for it (and what happens if you don't heed advice). It's clear that London knew what he was talking about, having seen and experienced most of what he was writing about for himself and it makes all the difference.

An enchanting story full of harshness but also unexpected tenderness. Just like the wild it depicts.
Profile Image for Apatt.
507 reviews806 followers
November 9, 2016
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, The Call of the Wild is narrated in the third person but almost entirely from the dog’s point of view. The protagonist is Buck, a huge St. Bernard-Scotch Collie.

At the beginning of the book he is living a happy life as a pet of a judge but is soon stolen by the judge’s gardener and sold to dog traders, one of whom beat the stuffing out of him to teach him his place in the world (as the trader sees it). After this traumatic and transformative experience he is soon sold off to Canadian mail dispatchers. The story of his life as a sled dog is quite harrowing, featuring a fight for supremacy among his teammates, being sold off again to inhumane ignoramus and almost starving to death. Buck goes through the wringer and survives admirably thanks to his tenacity, cunning, fortitude and general badassery. The title of the book The Call of the Wild only becomes a theme toward the end of the book, but I won’t spoil the book by elaborating on this.

The book is generally very well written though but there is very little dialog, as the dogs are not Disneyfied / anthromorphosised talking animals. The hardship and abuse endured by the sled dogs is quite harrowing. If you think you’ve got it bad try being a sled dog (though if you are reading this the contingency is an unlikely one). The author Jack London clearly has a lot of affinity for dogs and feels a moral outrage at the abusive treatment they often receive from human beings. He also has an insight into dogs’ mentality as this passage demonstrates:

“But the club of the man in the red sweater had beaten into him a more fundamental and primitive code. Civilized, he could have died for a moral consideration, say the defence of Judge Miller's riding-whip; but the completeness of his decivilization was now evidenced by his ability to flee from the defence of a moral consideration and so save his hide.”

“In short, the things he did were done because it was easier to do them than not to do them.”

Ah! I wish my dog was so eloquent! The process of “decivilization” of Buck is a fascinating one, in order to survive he has to turn feral and it later transpires that Buck has some kind of primordial instinct for turning wild. That said he also has an almost conflicting desire to be loved by a human master, and for doing the best job he can as a sled dog, and later as a bodyguard and companion. What he also has above all other characters in this book is an indomitable will to live, and eventually to be free.

If you love dogs this is a novel not to be missed. It is quite short, only about 170 pages, and there is an excellent free audiobook version from Librivox, very well read by Mark F. Smith (thank you sir!).

Art by nikogeyer
Profile Image for Fabian {Councillor}.
232 reviews488 followers
May 12, 2016
The Call of the Wild is the classic dog novella, the book to check out if you want to know how dogs were portrayed in classic literature. Nobody could deny Jack London's reputation in his genre, and thousands of readers seem to love his dog stories. He was certainly a good author, as it is almost impossible to think of any other author who might have been able to paint such a dark, realistic and captivating picture of the Alaskan landscape, of nature's rudeness and the frameworks of the laws of nature.

This is the story of Buck, a dog who has suffered through almost everything a dog could have to suffer through in his life. He is a dog born to luxury and kidnapped into wilderness, who has to learn to adapt himself to the rules of nature in order to survive, who has to realize that Charles Darwin's quote from Origin of Species is not merely a quote: "In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment."

The point of this novel completely forgot to make its presence felt to me, however. Maybe London wrote about how you have to accept the rules of nature, maybe he wrote about the strong connections between human beings and dogs, maybe he wrote about the cruelty of humans, maybe even about the cruelty of nature - all those are motifs certainly recognizable in this novel. To me, they appeared as if they were randomly interspersed into the book just for the sake of being included. However, that doesn't mean this book doesn't earn its classic status. It is a good book after all, I just didn't care about it as much as I did about White Fang.

In my opinion, White Fang is way more intriguing than this novel, yet for some reason, The Call of the Wild is the more popular and beloved one, so I recommend reading this first and White Fang afterwards as it seems like I was let down by my high expectations after having read and loved White Fang years ago.
Profile Image for Miltos S..
119 reviews52 followers
January 25, 2020
Κλασσικό και αγαπημένο.
Περιπέτεια, ανεξερεύνητες περιοχές, η τρέλα του χρυσού και η δύναμη της φύσης, σε μια τόσο άγνωστη για εμάς εποχή.
Αλλά το βιβλίο είναι πολύ περισσότερο από αυτά. Είναι η αναζήτηση του καθενός από μας και η πορεία προς την πραγματική φύση μας. Είναι ο τρόπος που το περιβάλλον πλάθει το χαρακτήρα μας. Και είναι βέβαια και η ακατανίκητη δύναμη της θέλησης και του πάθους για τη ζωή.
Το ότι όλα αυτά δίνονται μέσα από τα μάτια ενός σκύλου, σε μια φαινομενικά απλή ιστορία, κάνει το βιβλίο αυτό ακόμα πιο σημαντικό.
Profile Image for Chrissie.
2,784 reviews1,458 followers
September 19, 2021
Time for a reread? Yes, read again in March 2019.

This story made me happy. It left me in peace. This is reason enough to read the story.

I have read a lot of books about the intelligence of animals since I first read this. With all this information packed in my head, would I judge the book to be believable? Yeah, why not?!

This is my favorite by Jack London. It pulled my heartstrings. I want to believe it could be true.

The audiobook I listened to is read by Jeff Daniels. He speaks clearly, doesn’t overdramatize and I can recommend his narration even if I do not find it remarkable in any way.


Buck, the central protagonist of the novella, is inspired by a real dog named Jack: https://www.ranker.com/list/real-life...

I recommend reading the article AFTER you have read the book. Read the book and draw your own opinion first. The article has s-o-m-e interesting information, but I cannot say it captures what makes the book special. Buck may be based on Jack, but I strongly doubt that their lives unrolled similarly.


The Call of the Wild 4 stars
White Fang 3 stars
Martin Eden 3 stars
Profile Image for Peiman E iran.
1,432 reviews693 followers
December 6, 2016
‎دوستانِ گرانقدر، این داستان، یکی از شاهکارهایِ <جک لندن> میباشد که از 7 فصل تشکیل شده است و <جک لندن> این داستان را بر اساسِ مشاهدات و تجربیاتش در "قطب شمال" نوشته است و قهرمانِ داستانش همچون داستانِ معروفِ "سپید دندان"، بازهم یک سگ است... سگی با ابهت و با تنومند به نامِ <باک> که بر اساسِ نوشته هایِ <جک لندن> سگی بوده است که سلطانِ خزندگان و پرندگان و چرندگان آن منطقه بوده است و در بین اهالی و همچنین ساکنینِ خانهٔ صاحبش یعنی <قاضی میلر> از محبوبیت و احترام بالایی برخوردار بوده است
‎داستان از جایی شروع میشود که در سال 1897 که پای جویندگانِ طلا به آن منطقه باز میشود، یکی از کمک باغبانهای ویلایِ <قاضی میلر> به نامِ <مانوئل> که فردی کثیف و کلاش و قمار باز بوده است، شبی از شب ها، <باک> را از ویلا خارج کرده و به قیمت صد سکه میفروشد
‎در جای جایِ داستان، <جک لندن> به نوعی از این سگ سخن میگوید، گویی او از هر انسانی باشعور تر و فهمیده تر و با مرام تر است، لذا همین نوع نگرش و بینش، سبب شد تا منتقدانِ وی بی رحمانه به او حمله ور شوند، که چرا او تا این حد به سگ ها در داستانهایش جلوهٔ انسانی داده است
‎عزیزانم، بهتر است خودتان این داستانِ زیبا را بخوانید و از سرنوشتِ این سگِ با غیرت و بی باک، آگاه شوید و ببینید این سگ بیچاره که از زمانِ تولد در بین اشراف زندگی کرده است، چه سرنوشتی برایش رقم خورده است و پایش به چه مکانها و چه شرط بندی هایی باز میشود و چگونه میشود که <باک> به افسانه ای عجیب و هراس انگیز تبدیل میشود
‎اهالی از شبحِ سگی سخن میگویند که پیشاپیشِ دستهٔ گرگ ها میدود... آنها از این سگ وحشت دارند، چراکه بسیار زیرک تر از گرگ هاست... در زمستانهای سخت از اردوگاه های آنها دزدی میکند، شکارهایشان را به غارت میبرد، سگهایشان را میکشد و شجاع ترین شکارچیانشان را به مبارزه میطلبد
‎گاهی شکارچیان هرگز به اردوگاهشان بازنمیگردند و سرخپوستان جسدِ آنها را در حالی که گلویشان دریده است
‎امیدوارم از خواندنِ این داستان لذت ببرید
‎<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>
Profile Image for CYIReadBooks (Claire).
637 reviews107 followers
May 31, 2021
Why did I not read this book earlier? Such a great short story and a needed respite from some hard core mysteries and thrillers. A must read for dog lovers who don't mind a little tear-jerker.
Profile Image for Lori  Keeton.
487 reviews122 followers
December 22, 2021
”Never was there such a dog”…

The last time I remember reading this book I was 10 years old and in the 5th grade. After revisiting The Call of the Wild nearly 40 years later, I’m surprised that it was required reading. I didn’t like it then but remember that the boys favored it more than the girls. I don’t think I was quite old enough or mature enough (that’s me, not all 10 year olds necessarily) to grasp the concepts and appreciate the progress of it’s main character. This is not a happy, feel good sort of story about a dog that is treated well. London takes on some hefty themes for such a short novel. He takes on the ideas of kill or be killed, civilized vs uncivilized (in the natural world and the world of humans and beasts), suffering and persevering, pride and defeat as well as violence.

Buck, a part St. Bernard and shepherd mix and a comfortable king of his California domain, is suddenly stolen from his old cushy life and sold into a new world to the Arctic as a sled dog. In the Klondike where the frenzy of the gold rush is alive, Buck very quickly realizes that he must adapt in order to survive in the harsh, snowy conditions and in the new climate of cruelty and starvation.

He had been suddenly jerked from the heart of civilization and flung into the heart of things primordial.

Buck’s journey north and throughout the Arctic is adventurous yet so very cruel. He begins a transformation of not just his muscles but of his mind. Rather than a change towards civility, he is un-civilized, in a sense, and taken to a place within himself that was always there, that primordial or primitive state he’d never experienced until now. His wild, instinctual nature is necessary in this new environment in order for him to survive. London shows Buck’s progression slowly but skillfully through his precise prose even though it’s very difficult to read at times.

And not only did he learn by experience, but instincts long dead became alive again.

There are some very violent and harsh scenes regarding the treatment of the animals. For the most part, the human and dog relationship is controlled starkly by the humans. Finally, we see a reciprocal loving and respectful relationship between man and beast when John Thornton bonds with Buck. But love that was feverish and burning, that was adoration, that was madness, it had taken John Thornton to arouse. This last third of the book is the most rewarding yet sad but worth the trip to get to the place that Buck has been heading all along. The call was sounding in Buck’s ears and soul and he wanted to heed it in order to finally be the dog he always was deep within.

His cunning was wolf cunning, and wild cunning; his intelligence, shepherd intelligence and St. Bernard intelligence; and all this plus an experience gained in the fiercest of schools, made him as formidable a creature as any that roamed the wild.
Profile Image for Scoobs.
71 reviews190 followers
April 13, 2008
Buck did not read the newspapers...

of course he didn't. he was too busy being a badass. chasing down a big ass moose. saving john thornton's life. killing the indians who killed john thornton. running with the other wolves. winning bets. bitch slapping other dogs who got out of line.

buck's first snow experience...
"At the first step upon the cold surface, Buck's feet sank into a white mushy something very like mud. He sprang back with a snort. More of this white stuff was falling through the air. He shook himself, but more of it fell upon him. He sniffed it curiously, then licked some up on his tongue. It bit like fire, and the next instant was gone. This puzzled him He tried it again, with the same result. The onlookers laughed uproariously, and he felt ashamed, he knew not why, for it was his first snow."

buck's first theft...
"This first theft marked Buck as fit to survive in the hostile Northland enviroment. It marked his adaptability, his capacity to adjust himself to changing conditions, the lack of which would have meant swift and terrible death. It marked further decay or going to pieces of his moral nature, a vain thing and a handicap in the ruthless struggle for existence. It was all well enough in the Southland, under the law of love and fellowship, to respect the private property and personal feeling; but in the Northland, under the law of club and fang, who so took such things into account was a fool, and in so far as he observed them he would fail to prosper."

just before buck's first kill...
"All that stirring of old instincts which at stated periods drives men out from the sounding cities to forest and plain to kill things by chemically propelled leaden pellets, the blood lust, the joy to kill - all this way Buck's, only it was infinitely more intimate. He was ranging at the head of the pack, running the wild thing down, the living meat, to kill with his own teeth and wash his muzzle to the eyes in warm blood."

after winning a bet for his best bud john thornton...
"'Gad, sir! Gad sir!' spluttered the Skookum Beach king. 'I'll give a thousand for him, sir, a thousand, sir - twelve hundred, sir.'
Thornton rose to his feet. His eyes were wet. The tears were streaming frankly down his cheeks. 'Sir,' he said to the Skookum Beach king, 'no sir. You can go to hell, sir. It's the best I can do for you, sir.'

as the man who recommended the book to me would say, "yee-haw."
this book fucking rocked.

'vaya con los lobos!'
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ginger.
792 reviews378 followers
March 15, 2021
Wow, I’m shocked with how much I loved this classic!

The audiobook of this was just excellent.

Pablo Schreiber knocks it out of the park for me on narrating The Call of the Wild.
His voice tells me the story of Buck, the strong and brave dog that survives man and beast. I got a bit teary eyed at the end because he relates this book so well on this dog's life journey.

Like most, I’ve seen tons of movies for The Call of the Wild so I was not surprised by the plot.
I still don’t feel that the movies can give you an unflinching look at how wild and brutal the Canadian wilderness was that’s in this book.

It’s based in 1890s during the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon area.
The gold frenzy has gripped the area and prospectors are coming to the Canadian wilderness in droves.

And the only thing that can transport these treasure hunters around are dogs.
Amazing sled dogs that travel hundreds of miles in the freezing cold and snow.

The Call of the Wild is just long enough to relay the amazing life and journey of this dog, but not too long that it trips all over itself in unnecessary details.

The book is brilliant, heart wrenching and thoughtful on how animals relate in a survival setting.
The cunning and strong do survive!

The book does have animal abuse and cruelty, but I felt it was historical on how it’s portrayed.
Did I like those scenes? Hell no! I’m a dog owner/lover but I also know that this was a different time.
In the 1890s, they worked dogs and used them like a tool.

As an animal lover, I cheered for Buck throughout the entire book.
I mean, who doesn’t love a scrappy survivor, even if it's in shaggy and drooling form?!

I feel this book is a must read for fans of the classic book genre. I’m so glad I finally got to it and the audiobook for this was just great!
Profile Image for Pedro.
198 reviews437 followers
January 4, 2023
So good.

I love a good adventure.

The writing, just like in London’s The Scarlett Plague, was crystal clear and seemed very modern for its time. I can’t believe this was written a hundred and twenty years ago.

The third person narration was perfect and worked seamlessly between Buck’s “thoughts”, people and the world around him.

Also, I found this to be quite a sweeping and epic tale for such a short number of pages.
I’m very, very impressed.

Perfect recommendation for young adults, I’d say.

On page five I realised I wanted a happy ending. I needed one. Didn’t even want to think about the possibility of something bad happening to Buck, and this is, I believe, the best praise I can give to this BIG little story.

Oh, my gosh…

I’ll never forget you, Buck.
Profile Image for Char.
1,682 reviews1,557 followers
January 12, 2017

The Call of the Wild is told from the dog Buck's point of view.

I read this as a teenager but I don't remember much of it. I do remember that I received it as a Christmas present and that it was part of a package of classic books, but that's about it.

I'm glad I re-read this, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I did back in the day,(if I remember correctly). I am not a person that enjoys anything with animal abuse and as I get older I find myself less and less tolerant of those sorts of scenes.

Overall though, this book was interesting and kind of neat,being that it was told from the dog's POV.
January 11, 2023
As a general rule, I avoid books where the author has used an animal as a narrator. It usually doesn't work for me, but I realized within one page of this book that the "dogs" are a running metaphor and you can easily exchange humans for canines and get the same point.

This is an interesting, almost fascinating, examination of violence, and what better time to have that conversation provoked than now? Or always?

Instead of some of the unlikely books my son is currently being required to read in high school, I'd love to see a book like this on the list. I mean, how many high school juniors relate to Macbeth? Doesn't it make more sense that they instead read a book about pack mentality? A book that addresses their occasional, yet uncomfortable cravings for violence?

This book was written at the very beginning of the 1900s, and yet, it feels surprisingly current. Other than some dated language, like referring to people, not dogs, as "half-breeds" and the man whose black dog is named "Nig" (charming), the wild setting of the Yukon Territories could potentially be everything today that it was then, if you decided to set out right now on a dog sled.

I think this would make an excellent discussion book, both for high school classrooms and book clubs. Many of these images will stay with me for years to come.
August 27, 2019
Did I like this book?
Not really, no!

Do I regret reading it?
No, this is one of those books that you simply cannot not read!

So why didn't I like this book?
Honestly, I can't put my finger on it. Normally I should've loved this book. I love doggos. I love classics. And I enjoy these types of books. But for some mysterious reason The Call of the Wild did not work for me. Buck was a great doggo and I loved the way Jack London wrote from a dog's POV without making it too far-fetched. I mean Buck was a real ass dog! And I appreciated that. But for me, the book was underwhelming and I really just didn't care! And I don't enjoy a book I don't care about.

Nevertheless, I still plan on reading White Fang and see how that goes.
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