Alex Kershaw plunges readers into the world of Jack London by using lots of direct quotations and maintaining a fast-paced narrative--just right for dealing with an author who crammed as much action into his brief, 40-year existence (1876-1916) as can be found in his classic adventure fiction The Call of the Wild
. Kershaw does justice to London's ardent socialism and pioneering efforts to protect the natural environment; his distasteful racism is acknowledged, but only briefly. This heartfelt tribute aims to kindle our admiration for "the passion and energy with which [London] lived, and which still sustains his best prose."
From the Back Cover
Born illegitimate in 1876 on the San Francisco waterfront, Jack London became a legend before he was out of his teens: as oyster pirate, seal-hunter, hobo, Klondike goldminer in Alaska, and spectacular drinker. On publication of 'The Call of the Wild' in 1903, he soon became the most highly publicised writer in the world.
“A well-paced, unstuffy and engaging account of one of this century’s most paradoxical literary figures … We cannot help but read on, compelled at least in part by morbid curiosity to find out how a great man could be brought so low.”
PAUL WATKINS, 'Times Literary Supplement'
“Money, love passion is the troika that powers [Kershaw’s] book … Everyone who met Jack London felt his largeness of spirit. Kershaw’s triumph is to evoke this in a racy narrative that gulps the same air as London’s fiction … Kershaw’s brilliant portrait ripples … his compelling book fits its subject marvellously.”
JAMES WOOD, 'Guardian'
“I read this fascinating book at a gulp, appalled and admiring all at the same time. The energy, dynamism and sheer bursting life-force of Jack London bowls you over.”
ROBERT CARVER, 'Scotsman'