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The Call of the Wild (Collins Classics) Paperback – 1 Jan 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: William Collins (1 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007420234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007420230
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"This is the best scholarly edition of The Call of the Wild currently available, with a superb, wide-ranging introduction by Nicholas Ruddick that is a model of judicious lucidity. The edition is also greatly enhanced by a series of fascinating primary documents situating the novella in an array of turn-of-the-twentieth-century cultural contexts, including the Klondike gold rush, Darwin on dogs and men, theories of atavism and instinct, and controversies surrounding charges of plagiarism against Jack London. Highly recommended." - Jonathan Auerbach, University of Maryland --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Nicholas Ruddick is Professor of English and Director of the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Regina. He is the editor of the Broadview Editions of H.G. Wells's The Time Machine and Grant Allen's The Woman Who Did. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
BUCK DID NOT READ THE NEWSPAPERS, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tidewater dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
I have to admit that I have not really given Jack London his proper due up to now. Perhaps it is because I don't by my nature like outdoor adventure type stories, or perhaps it is because I associate White Fang and "To Build a Fire" with my youth. The fact is that Jack London is a tremendously talented writer. His understanding of the basics of life matches his great knowledge of the snow-enshrouded world of the upper latitudes. The Call of the Wild, despite its relative brevity and the fact that it is (at least on its surface) a dog's story, contains as much truth and reality of man's own struggles as that which can be sifted from the life's work of many another respected author. The story London tells is starkly real; as such, it is not pretty, and it is not elevating. As an animal lover, I found parts of this story heartbreaking: Buck's removal from the civilized Southland in which he reigned supreme among his animal kindred to the brutal cold and even more brutal machinations of hard, weathered men who literally beat him and whipped him full of lashes is supremely sad and bothersome. Even sadder are the stories of the dogs that fill the sled's traces around him. Poor good-spirited Curly never has a chance, while Dave's story is made the more unbearable by his brave, undying spirit. Even the harsh taskmaster Spitz has to be pitied, despite his harsh nature, for the reader knows full well that this harsh nature was forced upon him by man and his thirst for gold. Buck's travails are long and hard, but the nobility of his spirit makes of him a hero--this despite the fact that his primitive animal instincts and urges continually come to dominate him, pushing away the memory and reality of his younger, softer days among civilized man.Read more ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Feb. 1999
Format: Hardcover
Everyone who gave The Call of the Wild only 1 star doesn't seem to understand the book. The book is not horrible. Even though Jack London got a little carried away with his descriptions doesn't mean it wasn't a good book. Some things seem unrealistic in the book, but that's not the point. The book is an allegory, which is a story where the characters are symbols of everyday life. Buck is supposed to be "everyone" in the world, and he makes it through life without dying, and he even has a legacy afterwards. All the other dogs, like Spitz, have their own character traits, and they all died. You have to be like Buck; you have to be centered and grounded and you have to know who you are. The theme of the story is "Survival of the Fittest". This is what Jack London is trying to say. Don't think I'm an English teacher writing this. I'm in 7th grade and I had to read The Call of the Wild for school. You should think of this book as a great one. Why do you think some expressions and terms used in everyday life today come from The Call of the Wild? Why would people 100 years later read this book? The reason is because it is a great piece of literature.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 May 2009
Format: Paperback
`The Call of the Wild' follows Buck, a strong, dignified dog as he is torn from his home and taken to pull sled in the Yukon during the gold rush. It is written mainly from a dogs point of view which makes for original and interesting reading and shows how Buck gradually creeps back to his primordial and hereditary roots as a wild dog. This is only a short book but you are quickly drawn into Bucks world and viewpoint and before you know it the last page has been turned and you are left both satisfied and saddened to have finished. Written in simple, yet richly descriptive, language this book is aimed at children, although adults can get as much, if not more, from it as younger readers can. Having heard about this book for years but never getting round to reading it, I can say that it was a delight to pick up and immerse myself in and I only wish I had done so sooner. A classic wilderness tale and one well worth checking out.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bernie VINE VOICE on 30 May 2010
Format: Audio CD
Gold was found in Alaska, the rush to obtain it required a strong constitution and many dogs to do the work that horses usually did in the states. The environment bread harsh attitudes. Also in the testing of ones mettle one finds their true potential.

Buck (a dog that is half St Bernard and half Shepherd) goes through many lives, trials, and tribulations finally realizing his potential. On the way he learns many concepts from surprise, to deceit, and cunning; he also learns loyalty, devotion, and love. As he is growing he feels the call of the wild.

This book is well written. There is not a wasted word or thought and the story while building on its self has purpose and direction. The descriptions may be a tad graphic for the squeamish and a tad sentimental for the romantic. You see the world through Buck's eyes and understand it through his perspective until you also feel the call of the wild.

The Call of the Wild - Dog of the Yukon (1997)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE on 16 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
Jack London, an American author, journalist, and social activist, was born in 1876. He led a hugely colourful life, one that included being caught up in the Yukon Gold Rush. His time on the trail formed the basis for his two best known books - "The Call of the Wild" and "White Fang".

"The Call of the Wild" opens in the Autumn of 1897, and tells the story of - Buck, a St Bernard - Scotch shepherd cross and four years old when we first meet him. He lives at Judge Miller's place in the Santa Clara Valley and is his owner's pride and joy - literally the estate's top dog. Unfortunately for Buck, with the Klondike Gold Rush in full swing, there's a demand for big, strong sled-dogs. While the Judge wouldn't ever consider selling Buck, one if the Judge's unscrupulous gardeners is bad need of some cash - and, sooner than you can say "Get down, Shep", Buck is heading to the frozen north.

Buck serves a number of different masters - some treat him well, others terribly. (The level of cruelty that Buck suffers on his journey north is appalling and only one of the humans in "The Call of the Wild" earns Buck's undying loyalty). Many of Buck's fellow dogs are little better, however - his own team has one cruel and dangerous rival called Spitz, for example. Although Buck's easy life is over, he luckily proves to a quick learner - as clever, hardworking and adaptable as he is strong. However, as time goes on, the call of the wild becomes louder and Buck longs to join the wolves.

A short book, one that can be easily whizzed through and - despite a number of unpleasant scenes - totally recommended.
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