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The Call of the Wild

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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  292,597 ratings  ·  8,727 reviews
Life is good for Buck in Santa Clara Valley, where he spends his days eating and sleeping in the golden sunshine. But one day a treacherous act of betrayal leads to his kidnap, and he is forced into a life of toil and danger. Dragged away to be a sledge dog in the harsh and freezing cold Yukon, Buck must fight for his survivial. Can he rise above his enemies and become the ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published March 27th 2008 by Puffin Classics (first published 1903)
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Michelle I think this book is great for all ages, although the language and style are older, so it could be difficult for a child to understand and get into…moreI think this book is great for all ages, although the language and style are older, so it could be difficult for a child to understand and get into without some guidance. Children will understand it as a grand adventure story told through the eyes of a dog. Adults will see the deeper themes about society, human nature and justice.

There is quite a bit of violence in the book (dog fights, dog deaths, animal abuse), so that is something to consider if giving it to a child to read, as well. (less)
Bodhi It is a short novel, a novella. Some editions have only 100 pages! It has seven (VII) separately named parts or "chapters".

Community Reviews

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3.85  · 
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 ·  292,597 ratings  ·  8,727 reviews


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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
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
...more
brian
Mar 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Alex
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I guess it's important to remember that this is a book about a dog. I had no idea, when I was ten and I read and re-read this for the first several times, that it was also a socialist fable. I just really liked dogs, and we couldn't have one, so I read a lot of books about them. Here's this 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 sto ...more
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 t
...more
Kenny
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.
Jack London, THE CALL OF THE WILD


1

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 to
...more
Ben Winch
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anglo, american, 5-stars
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.
Mark Lawrence
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Call of the Wild, Jack London
The Call of the Wild is a short adventure novel by Jack London. 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
...more
jessica
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
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
Mohsin Maqbool
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.
description
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 scho
...more
Fabian {Councillor}
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 ...more
Apatt
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Trish
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Unit
...more
Scoobs
Apr 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Scoobs by: Juliet Echo Whisky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joseph Spuckler
Call of the Wild by Jack London is the fictional biography of a Santa Clara dog who finds himself on an adventure of a lifetime. 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.

The story opens with Buck, a St. Bernard and Ge
...more
Chrissie
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
...more
Ron
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, audio, four-legs
**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 insi
...more
Aqsa (On Hiatus)
I don't quite know how I'm supposed to review this one. I know I enjoyed reading it though it depressed me and made me angry at times at the violence and cruelty people show to animals.
That I just can't stand.

As for the writing. it was addictive. I didn't think I'd enjoy a book with Buck being the narrative but it was really fascinating. Reading about how Buck changed from being a civilized and naive dog to a wild and cunning wolf was a great experience.

“Old longings nomadic leap,
Chafing at cu
...more
Char
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5

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.
...more
Natalie Vellacott
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
"During the four years since his puppyhood he had lived the life of a sated aristocrat; he had a fine pride in himself, was ever a trifle egotistical...but he had saved himself by not becoming a mere pampered house dog. Hunting and kindred outdoor delights had kept down the fat and hardened his muscles; and to him, as to the cold-tubbing races, the love of water had been a tonic and a health preserver."

This story about Buck, the half St Bernard half Scotch shepherd dog, is brilliantly written.
...more
BrotherSkip
The brutality and violence against animals made this a difficult read. The description of landscape is perfect prose.
Bradley
Re-read with a buddy!

Back in the day... like when I was a kid, I read this and enjoyed the whole concept of a novel written from the PoV of a dog, but oddly, I read Cujo before this.

The results?

A skewed perspective. :) I love dogs and love the whole idea that London UNDERSTOOD them... but since then? I have the sneaking suspicion we're not even talking about dogs so much as the desire to run away from Victorian civilization.

Why was this so popular back in the day? Because everyone was sick of
...more
Britany
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure why I've never read this one, but picking it up now, I was worried about the potential to be broken hearted.

Buck is kidnapped from his comfy farm life with the judge and is thrown on a train. He finds himself enslaved with some terrible men until he ends up sold to the government as part of a courier service in Alaska. He quickly has to learn to adapt to the harsh environment and the pecking order between the existing dogs. He barely gets anything to eat and is constantly abused into su
...more
Brenda
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Diane
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, classics
If my dog could read, he would never shut up about how great this book is.

"The Call of the Wild" is the story of Buck, a beautiful and powerful dog who was stolen from his comfy home in California and forced to become a sled dog in Alaska. Buck starts to shed his civilized ways and learns how to survive in the wild. He is noble and fierce, and eventually becomes a leader of the pack.

As I said, my dog would love this book. My 10-year-old nephew would love this book. It's a classic adventure story
...more
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Well. Now I just wanna hug my husky.
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
“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.”

Man can be cruel, especially where animals are concerned, and especially in the past before they were enlightened to decency toward our furry friends. Buck actually had a good life for awhile, but soon he was kidnapped and forc
...more
Jason Koivu
Nov 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Call of the Wild, that manly man's outdoors adventure tale! Oh how I loved this story as a young teen. During New England winters I would even imagine braving the Alaskan cold, just me and my dog. My dog was a lab-spaniel mix with stumpy legs and a donut-gut from begging during coffee-breaks at my granddad's car repair shop down the road. She wasn't about to be pulling sledges through snowdrifts. And I was no more athletic. In fact, the two of us together looked something like this...

description
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
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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
“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.” 1171 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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