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The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Other Stories

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  19,599 ratings  ·  267 reviews
Of all Jack London's fictions none has been as popular as his dog stories. In addition to The Call of the Wild, the epic tale of a Californian dog's adventures during the Klondike gold rush, this edition includes White Fang, and five famous short stories - B tard, Moon-Face, Brown Wolf, That Spot, and To Build a Fire.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 20th 1998 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1906)
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The Motivated Rambler
When reading Jack London's work, I reach a cathartic experience that is usually only achievable by a powerful film (Schindler's List, Gladiator, Munich). However, Jack London is able to achieve that (at least for me) without the emotional orchestral soundtrack, or the film techniques used in modern cinema today. He is able to have me pause and contemplate the way I have lived my life and how I will continue. His sentences take me to a place where there is no iphone, ipads, ipods, no "generation ...more
Peter Beck
Growing up in California almost equidistant from their hometowns, John Steinbeck resonated with me more than Jack London. Other than reading To Build a Fire (thank you, Mr. Libolt!), I knew almost nothing about London. I didnt even know that we attended the same school (U.C. Berkeley), much less that he led such a fascinating life. I like to think that I can appreciate him more now that I also have time to enjoy animals and the outdoors.

This Oxford collection is the best place to start. It is
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection has a fine introduction written by James Dickey that informs the reader prior to reading the stories "of the wild" including White Fang and Call of the Wild.
Following those are very interesting notes on Jack London's life and works. For such a short life, Jack London experienced countless crazily wild adventures. We are told that some of his early difficult experiences can be found in his novel Martin Eden. A summary of high and low points of his life is remarkable considering
What a wonderful book. I haven't read this since I was in 7th grade and didn't finish it before my book report was due - my teacher caught on and really got after me for trying to turn in a book report on a book i didn't finish. I read this to my 8 year old and we both loved it. The story of Buck, a mild "southland" dog that is stolen and sold to work in the Yukon pulling dog sleds for gold seekers. He finds his wild roots and becomes one of the hardest working and most loved dogs of the north. ...more
Kai Crawford
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed these stories much more than I thought I would. Really enjoyed both "The Call of the Wild" and "White Fang". The most obvious reason being that they were, despite everything else, riveting adventures set during the harsh/romantic Klondike Gold Rush. "White Fang" started off slower, and was more depressing, but also rewards the reader with the sweetest ending was good.

Not sure if London's portrayal of dogs and their intelligence is in any way accurate but when London
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I ever read. I found myself inside this book. Thank you Jack London.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it

This is the first time I've ever read White Fang, and what struck me was that White Fang and Buck (from Call of the Wild), while different stories, show a reverse progression in two dogs' lives. White Fang is born wild, Buck born in captivity. I don't want to say too much to give away spoilers, but these and the short stories really show that Jack London wrote what he knew. He also vividly illustrated the horrors of breaking dogs and dog abuse in these adventurous tales. Of course, To Build a
Vic Van
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm no animal lover (although I wouldn't want to hurt one either), so I began to read this with very low expectations. The reason why I picked up the book was because I do love the most northern regions of our planet and because Jack London is referred to several times as a source of inspiration to Christopher McCandless in 'Into the Wild'.

But much to my surprise I really liked the stories. I think some situations are described and analyzed remarkably well, and London definitely knew how to
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a long time to finish this book, first because I would take breaks between the four tales the book entails (which I recommend). They are all powerful stories of the beasts of the wild: man and wolf-dogs (sometimes just wolves, sometimes just dogs). Jack London has this gift of storytelling, of really transporting you into the shores of the Yukon river, to make you live the Klondike Gold rush from totally different points of view: one of returning to the wild, or being broken by it as ...more
Gavin Esdale
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In having to review this particular collection of stories, I have to give some thought to all of the contents, which include 4 stories, and the introduction by James Dickey and afterword by Andrew Sinclair.
Context thus established, yes, this is all very good stuff.

The introduction nicely sets the tone for the four stories (Batard, Call of the Wild, Love of Life, White Fang) and the stories themselves all have their own particular appeals (in order of descending personal preference: Call, Love,
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
London's best work, only a smidge better than White Fang (and I enjoyed The Sea Wolf quite a bit, too). In part because of all the available books out there, I rarely pick up a book a 2nd time (or more) to read it, but London is possibly my favorite author and I hope to re-read it again in the near future. It's one of those books I'd buy for my wife and my children to have and enjoy.
4 stories for the price of 1 with this book BONUS!! I LOVED IT
and as it turns out, I want more of Jack London in my life NOW.

Sadly with his passing at the age of only 40 in 1916, so too did his knack for story-telling die with him. Luckily though, he left behind a wealth of material in short stories, novels, articles, essays, plays and even poetry for future generations to savor. Im taking future reading recommendations as I type this review up. I would gladly read them all if I could be
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Another version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:


The Call of the Wild has been included on The Modern Library top of Best Books in the English language, available at:


I had qualms about it, when I first found it on this list of best novels, thinking that a book for children should not get so much attention.
But it proved me wrong.

It is a fabulous story,
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Jack London was really, really good at what he did, and what he did was craft stories about dogs (or with dogs) where the main focus is the animal and its place in the world - the tug between the Wild and the comforts of civilization. The biggest question in The Call of the Wild and White Fang (which was sometimes referred to as The Call of the Tame, apparently) was always "At what point does the wolf become a dog, or the dog the wolf?" Many books will make you question what it means to be human ...more
Quang Nguyen
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
White Fang is by far the greatest story I've ever read. I haven't really read a lot of books by Jack London, but I think White Fang is his best and demonstrates conclusively the author's remarkable talent. The journey of a wolf cub born in and molded by the fierce and merciless Wild of the frosty Arctic to the 'sun-kissed' and civilized territory of humankind was depicted by London in a vivid and imagination provoking fashion. Everything from the magnificent features of Nature to the minutest ...more
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Peter by: Piers Denholm Young

This man was undoubtedly a good writer, his concise, tight occasionally prosaic phrasing works well, reminding me a little, and only a little, of William Goulding.
Each books stands on it own merits;

Call of the Wild
Excellent! Stars White Fang in a cameo role, some great descriptive prose which captures a sense of the Alaskan wilderness well as well as contextualising the brutality of man and beast.

White Fang
Call of the Wild in reverse; brutality of the wilderness, hate,savagery
"Jack London could see the world very clearly through a dog's eyes. We learn a lot about dogs from reading these."

"That dog fight sure was gruesome, but for some reason I am unfazed by the consumption of one or more humans."

"I like dogs. These stories were about dogs. I like these stories."

"Jack London also only wrote stories about doggies. These were his most important stories."

"Life is not always happy."

"I did not learn anything about life that was more important than the statements listed
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a study of a particular kind of early constructed masculinity via metaphor, this book is invaluable. I say book because Call and Fang form a sort of single narrative--the movement from civilization to "the wild" and the movement back (though not by the same dog). The last 10 pages of Call are genius that surpasses the rest of the book, and the first third of Fang is really quite good (the first two chapters alone would make a pretty incredible supernatural horror movie). I don't have to ...more
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though I cringed with horror and disgust at the brutal and realistic ways of London's depiction of events, I found within the stories a beauty to which I resonate, a solidarity towards animals and a call to freedom of such Buck felt. There are reflections not only upon the character of beasts but upon that of man, the man-animal as White Fang first thought of it, and they gave me much to think about, to mold them with my own reflections of what I have learned about my own behavior and that of ...more
Feb 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Reading this as an adult was definitely a surprised experience - I didn't remember how dark it was. Jack London's style was fascinating - the only emotion in the book is what I brought to it. He kept the story from an animal's perspective - no emotion, just relating to it as far as how it affected Buck's survival and well-being. Great read. Now to re-read White Fang...
Nathan Diaz
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a story that you cant put down. it is sad, and also happy at the same time. Almost perfect, with lots of explanations for unknown words. It is a great book. You learn from it, about how dogs learn and i think that that's neat.
Joseph Jupille
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-west
I just re-read Call of the Wild for the first time since grade school. Loved it. I will probably read White Fang again and maybe some of the others, but there are so many books, and there is so little time ...
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
3.5/5. I was very excited to finally get to this one (thank you Book Riot challenge and your "POV of an animal or object" prompt). Call of the Wild was by far and away one of my favourite school reads in high school, plus I remember growing up with the old White Fang cartoon show.

The actual White Fang was more cynical than I expected. London never shies away from the merciless beauty of the north, but I was a little surprised by how viciously the dogs are characterized once the story moves back
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Batard", the short man-and-dog story that opens this collection, is poetic justice personified, spiced with a bit of irony. It's what we want to happen when those out in rugged environments exceed the harshness that is 'necessary' to survive and thrive there.

The Call of the Wild, staple of teenage reading lists, which follows our hero, Buck, from his kidnap out of Californian middle-class comfort, through struggle, competition, teamwork, brutalising, bonding, and bereavement to his ultimate
Gerri Leen
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
The above rating comes with a caveat. It applies to the story "The Call of the Wild," which is a bit ironic since as a child, I vastly preferred "White Fang" to "The Call of the Wild" and yet this time I found "White Fang" nearly unreadable as it just seemed to be so slow. "The Call of the Wild" really has no wasted space and is beautifully constructed. I started a few of the other very short stories in this volume by London, but had grown tired of the violence toward dogs and just give up.

Liz Krieger
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a marvelous book! With the new version of the movie Call of the Wild getting some attention, I realized at my ripe old age that I had never read the book. I decided to remedy that, and I will always be grateful that I did. I sometimes get irritated that often short adventure books are immediately labeled as Young Adult. Although many high schools probably read Call of the Wild, in my opinion true appreciation can only come as an adult. Only then can you truly understand the allegorical ...more
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I usually can't read a book through, or watch a movie, if involves the death of an animal. So I'm fascinated with myself at the moment. Not only did i complete this book, i actually thoroughly enjoyed it. (I admit to a few tears at the very end, the last page and a half)
I'm searching for reasons why, what is different about this writing, this book.
Maybe because it is an 'adventure', a page turner, needing to know what happens to Buck. Perhaps, if it were Buck who dies, the tears may have come
Nat Pierson
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jack London is an efficient and enjoyable writer. Wonderful turn of the century stories of the Yukon, bigger than life characters, and perhaps the author is a dog himself.

He embodies wolves and tells stories from their point of view and you seamlessly accept it. He's got some opinions about might making right, and very graphic and repeated descriptions of fights (crunching bones, slashed flesh). Read this book during the winter in my Northern climate and really enjoyed it. Will read the Sea Wolf
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in preparation for the new Call Of the Wild move. I enjoyed both Call of the Wild and White Fang a lot. They have everything you could want in a story; action, suspense, and characters you can root for. I also enjoyed South of the Slot and how the main character transforms from a cold man acting like a poor person to one having genuine compassion for people who come from a different walk of life than he does. The Night Born was my least favorite
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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

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