Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Call of the Wild by Jack London



Title:  Call of the Wild
Author:  Jack London
Publisher:  Macmillan
Published:  1903

'Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and . . . he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire, and to plunge into the forest.'

Half St. Bernard, half sheepdog, Buck is stolen away from his comfortable life as a pet in California and sold to dog traders. He soon finds himself aboard a ship, on its way to Northern Canada. Surrounded by cruelty, Buck's natural instincts and behaviour begin to emerge as he works as a mail carrying sled dog, scavenging for food, protecting himself against other dogs and sleeping out in the cold snow.

 

Sold to a group of American gold hunters who are inexperienced living in the wilderness, the dogs are treated badly and as misfortune besets them, Buck is saved by John Thornton. Indebted to his new master, Buck remains by Thornton's side, saving him from drowning and protecting him with fierce loyalty throughout their time together. However, Buck can not deny the strong lure of the wilderness around him.

Exciting and action-packed, THE CALL OF THE WILD explores the timeless relationship between man and dog, and the inevitable draw of primitive instincts that pull Buck away from civilization and humanity towards the lawless and harsh wilderness.


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For my recent school book report, I chose to read Call of the Wild.  Since I'm filling in for my mom this week while she recovers from the flu, I thought I would share my report with all of you.  I'd love to know if any of you read this amazing classic when you were in school! ~ Katertot
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Call of the Wild by Jack London is the heart-wrenching story of Buck, a spirited St. Bernard/sheepdog who is abruptly transferred from his comfortable life in a loving home to the cold, harsh snowy terrain of Alaska, where he accompanies several people along the way as part of a sled team. The reader plainly sees, in Buck’s journey, that hard work always makes it possible to accomplish something difficult.

Buck (from whose perspective the story is told) is used to common dog things: running in the sun, walking with his boys, lying at the feet of his master. This story, set in 1897, really begins when a money-seeking gardener’s helper, Manuel, sells him to a strange man. Buck travels across the country for a long time, being abused along the way. When Francois and Perrault buy him and Curly the New-foundland for use in a husky sled team, Buck realizes that his life is about to take a very interesting turn. Once in Alaska, Buck is faced with the hardships of the job of a husky: freezing snow and weather, small amounts of food, long distances to run every day, etc. Although Buck’s recently-acquired life and tasks have taken a serious toll on him and, at times in the past, overcome him, he soon realizes something important, which is also the moral of the story: No matter what events transpire in life, it is always possible to overcome or work through them if you try hard enough. Determination is key; never give up, because you can always come out the victor over a hardship in life.

Eventually, when Buck and his new master are in the forest, Buck realizes something he never did before: he was never meant to be a pet. He is finally where he belongs. Even though he never listened, he has always been beckoned by the call of the wild.

Several heart-breaking, amusing, and tense events all stood out in this book, making it even more enjoyable and not just a story about a determined dog. Unexpected twists and turns keep the reader interested most of the time, though the story did tend to drag a bit in certain places; but in no time, the story sped back up and put me right back on the edge of my seat. The writing in Call of the Wild was beautiful and extremely descriptive. Jack London had a true gift for writing. Even if the reader is not a fan of dogs or fast-paced, heart-pounding adventure, this book is sure to win them over, because it contains something for all readers.

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14 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this book, what a classic..so glad you liked it!

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    1. Thank you, Ms. Kimba! I'm so happy you liked it, too!

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  2. I haven't read this before, but you make me curious! Lovely review, Katertot. :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope you'll get a chance to read it one day, Ms. Sam!

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  3. Great review! You're quite a writer :) Nice job filling in for your mom.

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    1. Oh wow! Thank you, Ms. Candi! That is such a huge compliment! *hugs*

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  4. I admit, I never read Call of the Wild, but I saw it around. Confession, I am a wuss when it comes to books about animals they always make me cry my eyes out and I just can't stand to read about an animal dying. Breaks my heart every time! Wonderful review, Kateetot!

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    1. Don't worry, Ms. Heidi - that is the exact reason my mom won't read it and puts her fingers in her ears and sings 'lalalalala' when I try to tell her the sad parts! She can't handle a dog being mistreated or hurt. Thank you for the sweet comment! <3

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  5. I haven't read this classic, but it sounds pretty good for a turn of the century book! Great job, KK! You're gunna get an A+ on this one!! You gave me just the encouragement and inspiration I needed to get through this humpday!! <3

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    1. Thank you, sweet Nyss! I really loved it and I did get an A+ so that just added to my love of the book! :) Hope your Wednesday gets better! Love you oodles!

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  6. I loved your review! I read this book many years ago. After reading what you wrote for class- I would like to reread it. I remember it being a touching story that made me feel strong emotions. Your piece was so well written. Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Thank you, Ms. Jess! I'm so happy you read it and that it touched your heart, too. I definitely think I'll be re-reading this one again. Thank you for the sweet compliment! *hugs*

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  7. I read this book when I was probably around your age, so that was a loooong time ago. I remember it being a really good book, though. Great job! And tell your mama that I hope she's feeling better :)

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    1. Awww, thank you, Ms. Christy! I'll tell her - you are so sweet! xo

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