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Smoke Bellew

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,468 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Christopher Bellew is a success in the eyes of the world, engaged with the San Francisco paper and penning stories daily... but for no pay. When Klondike fever strikes the region, he sees his chance to break from drudgery – starting him on a journey that takes him over mountain passes and down swirling rapids, removing him forever from the world he knew and the man he was. ...more
Hardcover, 385 pages
Published October 1912 by International Magazine Company (first published 1912)
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4.29  · 
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 ·  1,468 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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I didn't re-read Jack London for a long time, and when I did, last year, I had a surprise: one of my favorite pieces, and the one that is extremely popular and well-loved in Russia, Smoke Bellew is virtually unknown here. It is a later work, published in 1911-12, and Jack London himself called it a hack work, written for money. And yet, it is, I believe, great. I mean, I've read later London's novels that were over-blown, over-melodramatic and rather impossible. Smoke Bellew is none of those thi ...more
Ian Wilkinson
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story brings you the transformation of an innocent kid working for a newspaper company, into a meat eating, full bearded man. Christopher (Smoke) Bellew, a newspaperman, embarks on a journey into the rough Alaskan wilderness, only planning to help out his relatives and be present for a few weeks. But this challenge brings in a new prospective of life, instead of writing about these times, live them. He chooses to stay in the Klondike himself and continue on this new found way of life. Life, ...more
Jan 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very underrated and forgotten book, this was Jack London's best writing. Almost nobody has heard of it.
Genadi Mihaylov
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real book about what is man made of. Only Jack London's characters are capable to make you want to trade your life for theirs. I will always love this book.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a quite entertaining book to read. I was inspired to read about Alaska and gold fever after watching TV show "Į Šiaurę", where my two favourite Lithuanian travellers visited Canada and Alaska. So it was really fascinating when I was familiar with all those places when I was reading a book (White Horse, Dawson, Yukon etc.). This books doesn't make you think much, but it was not boring either. Kit Bellew is a really handy person with a lot of crazy ideas.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another amazing stories from my beloved Alaska. The second part not so exciting, though.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a cracker of a story! My review
Beaux Cooper
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reader beware - those who open this tale will find their days outside the novel filled with dreams of the Yukon, sled racing, and gold. I promise, you will never look at an egg the same again.

Christopher "Kit" Bellew is a yuppy, lazy, jocular youth who inherited his wealth through a father of hard work and discipline. Pining away his days bored and restless in the city he is given the opportunity to help his cousins and uncle trek their way into the Alaskan Gold Rush. Each man requires a literal
I liked the "meta" idea of this book. On the beginning we see Christopher Bellew, who agreed to write a series of short stories for the newspaper in San Francisco. This job is boring, exhausting, and also unpaid. So our hero decides to "run away" to the North. And since Smoke Bellew is, in fact, a set of short stories, it appears that instead of writing, Chris/Smoke decided to live them.

That part I liked. It was also educational to read about customs and conditions of Klondike back than. Some of
Tracie Simonton
Oct 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is timeless! especially if you have spent much time in Alaska. It was easy for me to relate with the characters.......l
P.S. Winn
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christopher Bellew seems to have everything, But, hen Klondike fever strikes Christopher sees a chance to break away and starts on an incredible journey. Love this author and the great landscapes he takes readers through.
Dennis Hanks
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More than 100 years old (1912) and still a good read. I may have read London before, but this seemed like a new experience. If you don't know Jack, I invite you to kick him up. Smoke might be a place to start. Enjoy.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Light, nice and easy. Remembered again Jack London's style.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
an old favourite
Robbie Forkish
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the final book in my collection of Jack London short stories that I've been reading over the past 3 or 4 years. I also read Call of the Wild (but couldn't get through White Fang, which I remember as a favorite from my early teens--which is the age of the intended audience). These stores are wilderness classics, but also contain deep insights into what motivates people, mostly men, to live and struggle in harsh but pristine conditions. It's been very satisfying to read the Jack London cor ...more
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack London won me over again with this amusing book of adventures in Klondike during the Golden Rush. The impressions of London's life of a gold miner in the North are here assigned to a fellow called Kit "Smoke" Bellew, whose family excursion to northern wilderness made him grow some respect for living closer to nature, for which reason he decides to stay there and explore the true (non-urban) life, nature and himself. "Smoke Bellew" is a ballad to the brave rebels exploring their limits and s ...more
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
Jack London is one of the great writers of the pre-WWI generation. His output was astounding, with over 400 non-fiction works alone. But, he is most famous for his adventure tales, many of which were set in the Klondike during the Gold Rush of '98. Classic short stories include "Call of the Wild", "To Build a Fire" and "In a Far Country". "Smoke Bellew" is one of lesser known novels of that period. It is rich and rewarding story-telling from a master of the genre. Smoke, aka Christopher and Kit, ...more
Amy R
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I love Jack London. I love Alaska. Well, that makes sense being as I am Alaskan. I was impressed with the imagery that immediately called to mind my beloved home state. With that being said, I should get down to brass tacks.

This story starts off with a newspaper writer in San Fransisco just as the Gold Rush to Alaska starts off. Our hero, Kit Bellew, is a soft, city boy who decides to travel to the Yukon in search of a real story and an adventure. Now, this starts off as a 3 week trip, just to t
H Phillips
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book, at my father's suggestion, at a Jr. High book fair in the mid '50's. It was one of my favorite books and incidents described were well remembered, though I hadn't seen a copy in >50 years. I searched for a copy and bought this one. Each of the articles in the book were familiar, but the listing of the stories of Smoke and Shorty is substantially shorter than in my original copy. By all means get a copy, but get one with the longest list of stories (this is really an assemb ...more
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up mainly because of the Jack London connections to Oakland and because it was a free Kindle download on Amazon. I'm very happy I did.

I didn't initially know that it was a collection of short stories rather than a novel, so I thought my free edition was worth about what I paid for it, with lots of missing chapters. I forged on, though, and enjoyed it just the same.

The main characters are very well developed and entertaining. The slang is very believable, at least for someone who has
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing! First time in my life such thing happened: I caught myself realizing that I am in my room, on my bed and not in (in this case) in a snow of Alaska. That happened few times while reading this book. I read a lot since I was a child. I get myself deep in to the book. But to actually have my mind drift away to the content of book so much that I catch myself being suprise that I am at home, in my bed...that has never happened before. Read read and read this book!
Milan Pohl
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rather than a novel, this book resembles several loosely interconnected short stories with the same main character. The descriptions of the freezing, snowy environment of the gold rush, as well as the hardships the characters have to overcome, are excellent, as are some dialogues; however, I could not shake the feeling that the overall plot could use some polishing and a stronger direction. 75 %
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First I found it weird that there is a gap between the stories and I don't know what happened then but I understood that the book is not a whole novel but collection of short stories (I didn't know before). Knowing that I think the stories are well collected together and it became one of my favorites so far! I want to read more from Jack London.
Sep 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't say any of my favourite Jack London stories were in this collection, but it is still a good cross section of the sorts of stories he tends to tell about the Klondike. Smoke and Shorty are great characters, and the depth of their friendship is enviable.
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a Jack London with all the Yukon wilderness you want. Tough guys with their own law and hardship in a brutal land with gold for a reward or a disappointment. A little almost love story on the side. Dog sled race, good friends, and no-accounts. Loved it.
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can feel the cold, you can feel your fingers and toes growing numb, you can feel the sharp landscape take the last breath out of you, and what's best: you can feel the consequences, too.

I loved it.
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is much funnier than any other Jack London that I remember reading. I read it while on a trip to Alaska which made it a very fitting and fun (if not particularly realistic) story about the Yukon gold rush.
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2012
Seems I rediscovered one my of biggest loves of my childhood. And unlike Karl May's works for example, Jack London's stories are still so full of life and amazing with all their details.
"Smoke Bellew" has always been a favourite of mine and it was awesome reading it in English for the frst time.
Artem Chapeye
some cliches present ("no one ever been so happy" etc) but a good for its genre book
David Roark
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another very enjoyable Jack London book.
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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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“It's colder than the hinges of hell a thousand years before the first fire was lighted.” 1 likes
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