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Best Short Stories of Jack London Mass Market Paperback – November 12, 1986


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett (November 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449300536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449300534
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #890,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The idea behind this collection is an intriguing one: 11 different readers (including Lee Atherton, Martha Austen, and Simon Walker) narrate 22 different London stories. Unfortunately, its execution leaves much to be desired. The selection of tales is fine, and their titles are labeled on individual cassettes, which is unusual; however, the readings themselves are, at best, a mixed lot. Several speakers are okay, but most come across sounding little better than enthusiastic amateurs. Anyone listening to London's incredibly intense "To Build a Fire" shouldn't fall asleep faster than the story's slowly freezing protagonist. Powerful stuff, London's works need powerful readers such as Recorded Books' Frank Muller. Not recommended. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"Raw and Raked, Wild and Free..."

...that was the way Jack London saw life, and the more he lived it the more enamored of it he became. "All I saw," he once wrote, "was glamor of conquest, of scarlet adventure and yellow gold. ...The life was brave and wild, and I was living the adventure I had read so much about."

Brilliant, poetic, swift with violence and action, his stories clearly illustrate the unique spirit of his unbridled genius. Critics admitted that the young firebrand -- "while frightfully primitive" -- was challenging Poe, Kipling and Melville as a one-in-a-million storyteller. The tales in this volume have been thrilling readers for nearly half a century.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Philip W. Henry on February 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Best Short Stories of Jack London
As I enter my second childhood, I am re-reading my favorites from my first childhood. Right now I have a shelf of books checked out from the Library: Robert Louis Stevenson, Jules Verne, Edgar Allen Poe and Jack London. London could write about watching paint dry and make it interesting. His reporter's eye missed nothing; he had a gift of observation and recording life. From his oystering days in San Francisco, to gold panning in the Klondike, to the South Seas, he was a masterful writer. Occasionally his socialist moralizing becomes tedious, as in "People of The Abyss", but for plain exposition he has few equals.
London was one of those fortunate writers who achieved fame and considerable wealth in his lifetime, which ended at the age of forty.
This collection contains some of the best of his short stories."The Story of Keesh," "The League of the Old Men," and "To Build A Fire" among them.
After reading the latter, I know I'm not going out in the woods without a down sleeping bag, propane stove, and GPS.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James B. Johnson on October 25, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Occasionally a writer creates a story that is both horrible and wonderful; TO BUILD A FIRE is one of these stories. Reading it I thought of some negative criticism I had recently read about London's writing. I think the critic is full of it. TO BUILD A FIRE and much of London's writing is high octane, powerful stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amy J. Barnhart on December 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you haven't read any Jack London since high school, do yourself a favor and try " To Build a Fire". What a brilliantly crafted story. So much of London you have to be older to understand and appreciate. These are all definitely worth a revisit. I think you'll be surprised.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Schmathan on May 8, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
For all their moods of isolation, Jack London crafted some soulful stories filled with a kind of humanity that is outside of conventional terms. All of these stories are worth delving into, often more than once even, but the opener 'To Build a Fire' packs a whallop to the gut that has never left me. The narrator's struggle to keep warm, originally one of pride and daring that slowly is reduced to one of futility says all that needs to be evoked about the cold, merciless disposition of Mother Nature towards a sole human being struggling to overcome, but if you are a glass half-full person, as I have known to be on occasion, you just might find the beauty an' enormity of the world around you in even such a tragedy. I am no socialist or existentialist (in fact I'm a Christian) but I find much of worth in Jack London's writings. This is a good place to start.
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By XCrement on September 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not the normal no though top 5 London stories put into a cheap paperback; but a clever mix of stories that illustrate his dynamic and nostalgic writing style. This book will be in my library for the rest of my life.
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