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To Build a Fire (Bantam Classics) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The most comprehensive and wide-ranging collection of Jack London's short stories available in paperback. This superb volume brings together twenty-five of London's finest.

About the Author

Jack London (1876–1916) was an American author and adventurer whose best-known works include The Sea-Wolf, The Call of the Wild, and White Fang.

Patrick Lawlor has recorded over three hundred audiobooks in just about every genre. He has been an Audie Award finalist multiple times and has garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and many Library Journal and Kirkus starred audio reviews.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1050 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics (February 27, 2007)
  • Publication Date: February 27, 2007
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OI0G02
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,716 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The stories that have been selected for this collection show the entire range of Jack London; roughly half of the book features his trademark setting of the Klondike, while the other half showcases some of his less-well-known subjects, ranging from American cities to Pacific Asian islands.

On balance, the Klondike stories comprise the better half of the book. London is more at home in the far north, and every story shows us a new facet of the astonishing blend of cultures that must learn to cope with one another in a land that brooks no foolishness. Taken together, the stories give us an astonishingly comprehensive portrait of the region.

London's writing ages well; his cut-to-the-chase prose and fact-oriented descriptions are still riveting a hundred years after the fact. Additionally, his ear for dialogue and ability to insert philosophical musings into the story without compromising any forward motion are reminiscent of Twain.

Despite the fact that many of them end bleakly, the Klondike tales include a healthy dose of the fierce, joyful vitality that burns brightly in the chests of so many of his characters. He paints a picture of harsh men and harsh conditions, but the men are capable of great joy; the conditions great beauty.

While I enjoyed almost all of the Klondike writings, one of the great standouts was the epic "An Odyssey of the North," which features a man from a simple northern village whose prospective bride is stolen away by a visiting ship captain. The story is complex and unfolds over decades, leading up to a climax that keeps us in suspense until the last couple of pages. The characters and images were so vivid that I could easily imagine the thirty-page tale being turned into an epic trio of movies ala "Lord of the Rings.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
About 6 months ago our battery First Sgt. decided to have everybody ruck with over 40 pounds on their back through 12 inch snow and negative degree temperatures at 5 in the morning. I lasted through that march because I had been there before. Thanks to this GREAAAAAAT BOOOOOK. If you read London you actually get tougher!!! One of my favorite short stories is entitled THe ODYSSEY. It tells the story of a great young indian who pursues the maiden of his heart across the globe. She was captured by a rich,large and white conqueror. The ending is spectacular because you understand how this new frontierland could never go back to it's way of life. In addition to detailing man at his toughest London has a rich understanding of man's compassion. Also unlike all those writers who live in New York and hit the coctail circuit, London actually lived the stuff he wrote about. He lived on ships, met trappers, drank a lot of whisky and actually froze his behind many a night in Alaska. This is not fiction he is writing about but are stories he lived through or gathered on many a cold night, while a fire burned with his frontier bretheren out in the last North American frontier.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was one of the first short stories I read to improve my English when I arrived in the United States. It still grips me because of how well the main story is written!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack London knew the power of nature over and against humankind. And in this book we encounter his telling of yet another story of the fight for survival.
In this short story we are swept back to the Arctic in a brutally cold setting. So cold that the moisture from a person's mouth instantly becomes ice when it hits the air. So cold that to stop moving is to risk freezing to death. So cold that to get wet means certain death.... All of these risks are very real and can only be combatted by one element-- Fire!
Our main character struggles to travel to his camp, making his way up the bank of a frozen stream.
As he progresses in his travel the need arises for him to build a fire. In fact the only way he will survive is to build a fire. And that is the crux of this cracklingly dark short story.
Jack London sends us into this frigid environment and won't let us go until the story is resolved. I was honestly shivering as I read this story, because of the stark reality that London creates in lean story telling. London tells us just enough to set the scene and let's your own imagination take over.
This is a quickly paced story of survival. London drives the pace like a runaway freight train. Hang on tight and enjoy the ride!
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A Kid's Review on March 2, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read many of London's abridged novels when I was very young, but I never really appreciated his writing to the fullest extent until I read this collection of stories. These stories are not simple, shallow writings. They each have a message of their own, they take digesting. In each story the author reflects upon human nature and strikes a chord that rings true in all of us. After the end of each story, I had to pause and take in the story. As was noted previously, the highlight of this collection were tales in the Arctic setting, such as "To Build a Fire" and "The Oddysey." However, one of the greatest things about this collection is its diversity, and there are many great stories with varied settings. Although it is not guaranteed that you will enjoy each and every story, there is definately something for everyone. In conclusion, London's works are masterpieces that I highly recommend
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