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The Call of the Wild Hardcover – February 10, 2007
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From School Library Journal
Originally serialized in The Saturday Evening Post, June 20-July 18, 1903, this classic remains relevant over 100 years later. The universal themes of survival, kindness, cruelty, and natural instinct are strengthened by Daniels's performance. His voicing provides just the right conversational and friendly tone with a touch of comfortable rasp, adding fresh energy to the timeless story. Buck, a four-year-old St. Bernard-and Scotch Shepherd cross breed, who weighs 140 pounds, has his life changed forever when he is kidnapped and taken to the cold bleakness of the Arctic to work with Klondike gold miners. A film adaptation of this story starring Clark Gable was released in 1935. Comparing and contrasting the audio production and the film will offer students many chances to write about or discuss the two versions. α(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
William Roberts gives a gruff backwoods urgency to the tale of Buck, a kidnapped St Bernard/collie cross who becomes the toughest sled dog in the Yukton - yet awards his final loyalty not to fickle men but to the wolf pack. - Christina Hardyment, The Times In the great tradition of classic animal stories, Jack London's CALL OF THE WILD, read by William Roberts, is a wrenching story. From the peril Buck the sled dog faces in the Arctic to the suffering he endures under brutal masters, listening to his adventure is no tame experience. Roberts has a voice that could have belonged to one of this era's gold panners. He sounds like a grizzled man who would never display overt emotion but who, nonetheless, can tell a captivating yarn. While Roberts doesn t use great character range, he lets London s writing especially the passages about the mysterious, enchanting call of the wild ring with its startling beauty. - AudioFile Jack London's deceptively simple direct way of writing combined with one of best dog stories ever, is why this book is such an enduring classic. And TV, film and stage actor William Roberts's reading is perfect. His robust voice, his ability to keep listeners glued, and the fond care with which he reads is spellbinding. When gold is found in the Klondike, there is a great need for sled dogs. Buck, part St. Bernard and part Scotch shepherd is stolen and moves from his happy life as 'king' of the Santa Clara ranch where he lives a life of adventure, peril, though also often cruelty, to Alaska. There is a string of tales from his 'taming' to the ways of sled pulling, to the inept trio who are doomed, dog fighting, survival, and finally to meeting John Thornton and their mutual love and understanding for one another. The longer he lives in Alaska, the more in tune with the ancestral ways of his dog ancestors Buck becomes, dreaming of old half clad masters and 'shades of all manner of dogs, half-wolves and wild wolves' until he is drawn deep into the wilderness. This listener found this to be one of the best recordings I've listened to in a long time; I had to be careful while driving and listening because I got caught up in being in one of my favorite places and living the life of a dog. Any parent or librarian looking for something short and exciting for a child, young adult or family listening can't go wrong with Roberts's performance and Call of the Wild, a guaranteed hit! - Mary Purucker, SoundCommentary.com This was the story first published in 1903 that made the struggling writer Jack London famous. Listen to William Roberts's majestic reading and you will understand why. Set in the 1890s Klondike gold rush, it tells how Buck, a huge wolfhound, is stolen from his pampered Californian home and becomes a sled dog in the arctic wastes of the Yukon. As brutal as his successive masters are, the pack of dogs he is harnessed alongside is even deadlier. How Buck survives the rule of club and fang is a classic, once misguidedly described as a children's book because it is narrated by a dog. Of course it is an allegory - civilisation versus the old primordial instinct for survival at any price - but for pure excitement and adventure it has no equal. - Sue Arnold, The Guardian --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
The story is told from the point of view of the main character, Buck, a St. Bernard and Collie mix breed. Buck is stolen and sold to a dog sled trainer in Alaska. He has to adapt to a brutal climate and conditions he’s never been used to (he lived on a wonderful ranch where he was king of his domain). SPOILER ALERT: Buck’s owner is killed, and Buck follows “the call of the wild” by joining with wild wolves.
It’s an action story told in a beautiful and clear way by London. The dog’s point of view is kept well within a reasonable idea of what this kind of inventiveness could be considered reasonable.
If you like this book you might also like Jack London’s White Fang.