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The Call of the Wild, White Fang & To Build a Fire (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – January 8, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library Classics
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; Reprint edition (January 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037575251X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375752513
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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To this day Jack London is the most widely read American writer in the world," E. L. Doctorow wrote in The New York Times Book Review. Generally considered to be London's greatest achievement, The Call of the Wild brought him international acclaim when it was published in 1903. His story of the dog Buck, who learns to survive in the bleak Yukon wilderness, is viewed by many as his symbolic autobiography. "No other popular writer of his time did any better writing than you will find in The Call of the Wild," said H. L. Mencken. "Here, indeed, are all the elements of sound fiction."
        White Fang (1906), which London conceived as a "complete antithesis and companion piece to The Call of the Wild," is the tale of an abused wolf-dog tamed by exposure to civilization. Also included in this volume is "To Build a Fire," a marvelously desolate short story set in the Klondike, but containing all the elements of a classic Greek tragedy.
        "The quintessential Jack London is in the on-rushing compulsive-ness of his northern stories," noted James Dickey. "Few men have more convincingly examined the connection between the creative powers of the individual writer and the unconscious drive to breed and to survive, found in the natural world. . . . London is in and committed to his creations to a degree very nearly unparalleled in the composition of fiction."

About the Author

Jack London (1876-1916), by turns a renegade adventurer,
a war correspondent, and an avowed socialist, first achieved fame with The Son of the Wolf (1900), a collection of short stories drawn from his experiences in the Klondike gold rush. "The greatest story Jack London ever wrote was the story he lived,  said Alfred Kazin.

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Customer Reviews

I recommend reading this fantastic and heartwarming book.
K. Green
I loved this book so much that after I finished it, I got the audio version for my iPod, and plan on listening to it while I walk on my treadmill.
Vicki
This quote sounded very interesting to me and I really liked this quote.
j ha

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By LBords on January 23, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a little easier to read version of the original text written by Jack London. I was disappointed because I purchased the book for my classroom to read together with books I already had. The more difficult vocabulary words we were working on were not in this version, even though most of the text is the same. This version is good for someone to read if they are looking for an excellent story that has a simpler text.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bugs on April 29, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These three stories are amongst London's best fictional works- some say they *are* the best, especially, "The Call of the Wild" and "White Fang", it all depends on one's taste, of course, but rest assured, these stories are gripping and the intrigue of their moving plots keeps one glued to the book.

As a freind once said of "Call..." and "...Fang": "These are just about the two doggone best [canine] stories I have ever had the pleasure to read!". Indeed.

All three stories are set in Alaska during the gold rush days of the late 1800's and London spent time there to absorb the feeling of this beautiful, but unforgiving land. He is so descriptive of the landscape, one feels like they are there themselves. This is the magic of London's writing- he so expertly drops the reader right into the scenery and the characters. Indeed, we see and feel what they see and feel- even the animals- especially, the animals, for they have personalities that engage and create both sympathy and admiration for their trials, tribulations and triumphs. London is one of those that the measure of literary genius is judged by and taking in just about any of his works will demonstrate why.

The basic storyline of the "The Call of the Wild" has a dog named "Buck" who is living in a comfortable setting in California, suddenly yanked away by black-market dog thieves who are selling them to the ravenous needs of the gold prospector's supply market where they are then pressed into the tortuous dogsled industry. Buck eventually gets free and joins his native soul-brothers, the wolves. From the human world back to his ancestral roots, hence, the calling of the wild instinct.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I remember reading "To Build a Fire" in school in eighth grade. It is a fairly short story about a man travelling in extremely cold conditions who falls in a creek and, in order to stay alive, has to build a fire. It by itself is a great story, but along with "White Fang" and "The Call of the Wild," this is just an excellent book for anyone who likes life and death struggles and, well, dogs and wolves.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By SUPPORT THE ASPCA. on August 12, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love this dogs spirit. Two primary themes are present. A dogs struggle for survival, and man's yearning for adventure. This is an adventure story about the transformation of one of mans best freinds. Buck is a gritty and dignified dog. He led a lavish life at judge Miller's estate in the Santa Clara valley California. Then one day he is kidnapped for money and sold to traders as a sled dog, during the gold rush. He endures men's cruelty and fights for his life with other dogs. He eventually slays the lead dog and takes his place. Chapters 5-7 are worth reading several times. In 5, a civilized miner John Thornton saves Buck and their relationship grows. Chapter 7 I won't reveal. Just read this book, I promise you will love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By j ha on March 13, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book The Call of the Wild is about a dog named Buck. Buck is a very powerful dog which is half St. Bernard and half sheepdog. He lives on Judge Miller's estate in California's Santa Clara Valley. Buck lived a very comfortable life, until an end when people discover gold in the Klondike region of Canada and a great request arises for strong dogs to pull sleds. A gardener there kidnapped Buck and teaches Buck by beating him with a club and after he sends Buck up north to Klondike. Arriving in the cold North, Buck gets surprised by the cruelty he sees around him. As soon as another dog from his ship, Curly, gets off the boat, a pack of huskies violently attacks and kills her. Buck got very surprised and also got very scared. He learns how to fight and more. Buck and his leader Spitz get into a huge fight with a huge pack of wild dogs. Buck then kills Spitz and he takes the place as a leader. After the journey the two mail carriers sell Buck to a man. That man didn't know how much load you're supposed to put in, how much food to take, and more. The dogs soon ran out of food and they were staving and exhausted. Then one of the men cut Buck loose and Buck runs away. Then he finally gets a new master who loved Buck and who cared for him. He always returns to Thornton in the end, until, one day, he comes back to camp to find that Yeehat Indians have attacked and killed his master. Buck attacks the Indians, killing several and scattering the rest, and then heads off into the wild, where he becomes the leader of a pack of wolves.

I don't think there was any part where a disliked this book. I really liked this book and enjoyed it very much. It was very fun and once you start reading this book you can't stop because you keep wondering on what will happen next.
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