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The Call of the Wild (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – July 1, 1990


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The Call of the Wild (Dover Thrift Editions) + Adventures of Huckleberry Finn + The Scarlet Letter (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1120L (What's this?)
  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; New edition edition (July 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486264726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486264721
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Novelist, journalist, and social activist Jack London (1876–1916) rose from abject poverty to international fame. The bestselling, highest-paid, and most popular author of his era, London created a substantial body of work in his short life, drawing upon his experiences as a cannery worker, sailor, railroad hobo, and prospector.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on November 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
"The Call of the Wild," by Jack London, is a short novel that tells the story of a dog named Buck. Half St. Bernard and half "Scotch shepherd dog," Buck is a huge, powerful dog who lives an idyllic existence on a magnificent estate "in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley." But the gold rush of 1897 has created a demand for working dogs. Early in the book's first chapter, Buck is betrayed, stolen, and sold into service in the frozen wilderness of the far north. The story follows his adventures and his relationships with both humans and other canines as he travels across this harsh new world.
The copyright page of the Dover edition notes that "Call" was published in book form back in 1903. It is a bold, rousing adventure story. Buck is a magnificent hero who evoked both my sympathy and my admiration as I followed his odyssey. He's a likeable but noble beast: truly one of American literature's great characters. London has filled Buck's world with a fascinating and diverse group of supporting characters (both man and beast). London's prose style is a pleasure to read: solid and muscular, yet with a subtly poetic, even mythic, flavor.
"Call" could be read as a straightforward adventure story, or perhaps as a parable of the human condition. Either way, London draws an intriguing contrast between the polite ways of society and the harsh "law of club and fang." This is a story full of adventure, violence, love, loss, and discovery. Both heartbreaking and uplifting, "The Call of the Wild" is, in my view, a true classic. Recommended as companion texts: Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" (another great adventure tale) and Phyllis Reynold Naylor's "Shiloh" (another profoundly moving dog story).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By IRA Ross on January 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Buck's father was a St. Bernard and his mother was a Scotch shepard. Buck was experiencing a leisurely existence in San Diego with a judge and his family when Buck was kidnapped and sold as a sled dog in Alaska. This was at the time of the 1898 gold rush. From the start Buck is different from the other dogs in the sled team: he is more intellegent, more resourceful, fiercer, far more cunning, and most of all braver. Buck, a natural leader, usurps the authority of the equally fierce lead sled dog. Buck, as well as the other dogs are worked to exhaustion by several incompetent humans; they undergo starvation and repetitive beatings until Buck is rescued by a kindly John Thornton, who nurtures Buck back to strength and health while providing the impetus for Buck's eventual claim to greatness.
_The Call Of The Wild_ is an extraordinary adventure story with Mr. London providing a magnificent description of the bleak and forbidding northern tundra. The scenes in which Buck and his canine rivals and antagonists nearly fight to the death are brutally riveting. Don't expect character development, though. The humans in the novella are mere supporting players to Buck who returns to the wild and achieves the promise of his ancestry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JCS on July 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Print is too small. Will be hard to follow during classroom reading because there are many more words on each page than a traditional copy of the book.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 22, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Call of the Wild" is not an easy book to read. Devoid of the cute tricks and talking beasts of many animal-centered books, it is a harsh look at a formerly-pampered dog's lessons on survival among a pack of his fellows.
Buck is an ordinary pet dog--until the day he is stolen and sent off to Alaska, in the middle of the goldrush around the turn of the century. Buck learns to cope with the rough lifestyle of a sled dog, competes for survival and status among the other dogs, and makes friends along the way.
London's skill is evident, in that he is able to convey Buck's feelings and actions in an understandable way, without dialogue. His treatment, especially right after he is abducted, often makes the reader want to reach through and whomp his attackers. At the same time, you adore John Thornton for loving Buck so much and being kind to him when no other human is.
With books such as "White Fang" and "Call of the Wild," one wonders if Thornton and characters like that were alter-egos for London, since his affection for canines is clear in his writing. I also wonder whether he studied the pack structure of dogs kept together for a long time. And like in real life, there's not a happy ending for all concerned--such as one dog who simply can't keep pulling the sled.
Buck changes over the course of the book. The same nobility and strength is still there, but it's tempered with wisdom and experience in wild matters as well as domestic ones.
Without overdoing the descriptions, London gives you an idea of the cold bleakness of Alaska when your feet are in the snow and you have to trudge twenty miles. The readers will also find themselves agreeing completely with the brief descriptions of the characters who flit in and out.
"Animal that longs to return to the wild" may be a cliche now, but it wasn't then. And now I'm off to read "White Fang"--I hope it's as good as this book was.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Call of the Wild is a book about a dog named Buck who was kidnapped from an easy life of roaming around a country home by some dog smugglers. They brought him to the klondike where he was forced to work as a sled dog to help out with the klondike gold rush.
In this story, Jack London does a good job of describing in detail about Bucks feelings about everything around him. London tells about what Buck has to go through everyday in order to survive. Buck has to overcome the problems he runs into every day like finding food and getting along with the other sled dogs. London explains in detail the setting and other characters from Bucks point of view and what he thinks of them. If you have read other books that Jack London wrote like White Fang or Sea Wolf, you will enjoy reading The Call of the Wild.
Because London described everything in detail, the book was a bit slow moving and sometimes boring. When I was in eighth grade, our class had to read the book as an assignment. I thought the book was good, but most of my classmates did not agree with me. I Would recommend the book to teenage or older kids that like to read about nature and the outdoors.
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