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The Call of the Wild

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  792 ratings  ·  99 reviews
'The facts of life took on a fiercer aspect and, while he faced that aspect uncowed, he faced it with all the latent cunning of his nature aroused.'

The biting cold and the aching silence of the far North become an unforgettable backdrop for Jack London's vivid, rousing, superbly realistic wilderness adventure stories featuring the author's unique knowledge of the Yukon and
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 7th 2018 by Penguin Classics (first published 1903)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  792 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Do I regret reading this book? No, of course not! I did enjoy it (sometimes) and I'm glad I read this, but I wouldn't say this is a masterpiece. ...more
The Call of the Wild by Jack London - Penguin English Library
I liked this book, but it felt too short for me. The subject is fascinating - gold rush, surviving in the cold etc. It seemed like the author rushed through all of that, not settling long enough on any part of the plot.
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, written 120 years ago! It tells the story of Buck, from his point of view, a St Bernard cross beed dog. He is stolen from his home in the American south and sent to Alaska during the gold rush, to be used as a sled dog. He is sold to various owners, many of them callous and cruel before finding the love of his final owner. But he is often tempted to join the Alaskan wolves and answer the "call of the wild ". Although classed as a children's book, I feel its a bit graphic for a ...more
Ellie Carr
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Manages to say essentially everything there is to say about the primitive nature of man in less than a hundred pages. Exceptional
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We don't deserve dogs. ...more
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Bought this book having heard people rave about it, was slightly disappointed when I started and realising it was entirely from the perspective of a dog...totally didn't think it would be my thing...but then once I got into it I really liked it! what a rollercoaster ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
"He was older than the days he had seen and the breaths he had drawn. He linked the past with the present, and the eternity behind him throbbed through him in a mighty rhythm to which he swayed as the tides and seasons swayed" (page 64). ...more
Jenn (The Book Refuge)
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What a roller coaster. My heart is broken and I don't know what to do. ...more
Mary Eve
Didn't love it. As an advocate for animals and nature, it broke me. I wonder what possessed London to write about a dog - from a dog's POV. I was filled with pride for Buck when the story began. Then, my pride was replaced with growling hatred for men of weak nature. Poor Buck. My stomach knotted at his cruel reversal of fortune. It was after Buck became saddled with Francois I lost focus. Slogged through the rest. What gives, Jack? I can't pretend I loved it. Rather sad. Been wanting to read th ...more
Deb Hill
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
The storyline of this book is the opposite of White Fang. The book begins with Buck living contentedly in domestication and ends with Buck succumbing to the wild, native call of his savage counterparts. Buck has been living between the world of humans and the wild for some time. Yet, his last remaining ties to humanity are severed at the death of John Thornton, whose life is ended ironically as a result of human viciousness. Perhaps Buck's transition from a civilized to a wild world is not as dr ...more
mai pouliot
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
A harsh look into the cruelty of man, animals, and nature. Of life, basically. Yet a fascinating tale of survival and endurance.
The Call of the Wild had many violent parts (most of the violence being directed at dogs), but also had beautiful things to say about nature and freedom. The three other stories were good, but nowhere near as interesting as the titular story.
D.  Smith
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Every dog should be named Buck! Love this book!
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
I didn't love this book but I'm glad I finally finished it. I switched to audio and that helped. It's always hard to read about hard things happening to animals and Buck sure has a lot of hard things happen to him. ...more
Lisa  R Smith
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: z-jack-london
I’ve wanted to read this book for years, and now that it’s done, I wish the book was longer. Buck, a Collie-St. Bernard mix, weighing 140 pounds, is swooped up in the Yukon gold rush. First, he is dog napped from his California master, where his life was like most domesticated pets, spoiled, and loved. Buck is sold and shipped North where he experiences a very different dog life, pulling heavy dogsleds in bitter winter, sleeping outside, and exposed to harsh treatment and human violence. Each in ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novel
'The Call of The Wild' was one of the books I was supposed to read in school, but never did. On the face of it, it's a story of survival. But by the end you realise it's a story of mastery, in a world where there are only two kinds, masters and slaves. The chief character Buck becomes a Master.
This theme is not surprising, given that the author Jack London has been influenced by the philosophy of Friedrich Nietsche, with his ideas of masters and slaves, the master race and slaves. How unutterabl
Nov 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
(I only read Call of the Wild) Difficult to read another book from a dog's POV, after 15 Dogs did it so sensitively and philosophically, but this is from a different time. Reminded me of my brief visit to the Yukon, a fascinating place & history. Interesting allusions to the collective unconscious, and exploration of sled dog team dynamics. Compelling even in its simplicity, but uncomfortable now in some of its cliches - the only woman in the book is shallow and hysterical, and there is an outda ...more
Susan Haines
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
I had a memory of reading and loving this book 25-30 years ago and revisited it via audiobook on a trip to Canada recently. That's when I discovered I didn't really care for the dog or the man who saved him! So much machismo. Which, of course is about the author. Now I'm afraid to take another look at Black Beauty... ...more
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
Yes, I get it: Buck is the best dog ever.
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
So I was given a copy of this in probably 5th grade. I never read it. Until now.

I went to the new film version (starting Harrison Ford) a few weeks ago, and really enjoyed it. I was surprised to discover the main character was Buck, the dog. As a kid, I was under the impression it was about a MAN learning to live as a wolf, which really made no sense (LOL). At any rate, I decided now was the time to read it.

I don't understand why this book is considered a CHILDREN'S classic. Classic, yes. Child
Ashton Webb
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a general disclaimer, this is not a children's book! What it is is on its face is a brutal, & as a result, seemingly unlikable & meaningless story. If you're a child, or you're the type to take things at face value, then don't bother opening this book...

But if you've matured into a reasonably intelligent adult, you may be able to see the true depth of London's writing. You might find(as I clearly have) that this is ultimately an allegory on destiny through challenge & harsh struggle & the gre
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen Terrell
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
The new movie version of this book (starring Harrison Ford) prompted me to go back and fill in this lapsee in my reading. And I'm glad I did.

Call of the Wild is a short novel -- really not much more than a novella. Originally published as a series in Saturday Evening Post, the writing style is at times a bit dated. But it still holds up as a great adventure, and Buck holds up as one of the great canine characters ever created.

But don't expect the sanitized anthropomorphic Buck created in the mov
David's Book Reviews
This novel was interesting but nothing special. If it wasn't for the film, I never would have read this. It's very average for me but I did find it enjoyable for the most part and the character arch of Buck is so heart warming. We follow our main character Buck as he starts off as a very spoiled house dog for the local judge. Followed by how Buck is kidnapped and made to work as a sled dog, during a time were men are mining for gold. This is a very bloody novel and at times it portrays people ge ...more
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
As humans, it is natural to personify the objects and creatures we write about. This error is common, but of course unnatural -- the wants and wishes of another creature are different to those of our own. Yet, we need a way to understand other animals. I think that Mr London reaches a veritable level with Buck.

For some reason I always expected Buck to take a back seat as soon as a "true" human was shown to the reader. Yet, the book worked a lot better just because the author did not take this st
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
When I noticed The Call of the Wild by Jack London had been made into a movie starring Harrison Ford, I recalled reading it, and White Fang, at around the age of 11 or 12. As I’ve matured, my affinity and admiration for the animal world has grown (perhaps due to the wonderful David Attenborough programmes, as well as gaining a pet cat) and so I decided to reread it. First published in 1903, the reader roots for Buck the dog, as he is stolen from his comfortable domestic life to work the gold tra ...more
Amanda Bell
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I know I read this back in elementary , 20+ years ago. It was an interesting read and one that I didn't really remember, but with new movie coming out thought it would be good to reread. I fell in love with Buck and truly enjoyed him being the protagonist. The descriptions of the types of people he encountered throughout his life were very well developed and could tell the different people who went in search of their fortunes during the gold rush times were drawn from experience. I do feel the l ...more
Courtney Blair
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It's been a few decades since I first read this book and I'm glad I did. The story resonated with me differently than before and I felt more attuned to the wildness and pull between the two worlds.

Interestingly what I took a way from this book was London's idea of reincarnation. I totally missed that as a teenager or if the teacher discussed this I have since forgotten. The pages where Buck vividly dreams about the hairy man caused me to read up on London and reincarnation. His book Star Rover i
Katherine VanderSluis
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
One of Jack London's most renowned works, The Call of the Wild chronicles the adventures of the tremendous dog Buck, through a series of owners and assignments in the North American wilderness. Buck is smart, hard-working, and dedicated to the masters worthy of him. He doesn't suffer fools gladly, but offers himself completely to the task at hand as needed. I'm curious to see how it will play out on the big screen, since the movie clearly has a star, but the story line offers a variety of master ...more
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was ok
The last, racist chapter broke this book for me. The emphasis on psuedoscientific ideas about human and dog evolution that really comes to the fore at the end doesn't do the story any favors, either. The text definitely feels dated, and particularly offensive for First Nations folks. That really put a damper on the other wise strong themes about "wildness" and the unspoken byline of whether or not that's "good" / if human morals apply to wild animals... or how human abuse helps make Buck into a ...more
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
Reading about how easily a household pet can turn into a vicious killer makes me think my childhood fear of dogs was justified.

I've never cared for books that are written from an animal's point of view. To me, a dog pulling a sled (and going ferel along the way) is tedious. Add in Buck's ruthlessness, and the fact that most of the characters are unlikable, and there isn't a lot to recommend about this 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.

Jack London was a white supremacist and socialist. In his 1901 essay "T

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