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The Call of the Wild (Puffin Classics) [Paperback]

Jack London , Melvin Burgess
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Mar 2008 Puffin Classics

Life is good for Buck in Santa Clara Valley, where he spends his days eating and sleeping in the golden sunshine. But one day a treacherous act of betrayal leads to his kidnap, and he is forced into a life of toil and danger. Dragged away to be a sledge dog in the harsh and freezing cold Yukon, Buck must fight for his survivial. Can he rise above his enemies and become the master of his realm once again?

With an inspirational introduction by award-winning author Melvyn Burgess, The Call of the Wild is one of the twelve wonderful classic stories being relaunched in Puffin Classics in March 2008.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Classics; Reprint edition (6 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141321059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141321059
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 1.2 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 474,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

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

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 of Call of the Wild, a guaranteed hit! --Mary I. Purucker --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jack London (1876-1916) was born John Chaney in Pennsylvania, USA and despite a lack of education in his childhood, and a variety of odd jobs, he always maintained his love of books. In 1896 he was caught up in the gold rush to the Klondike river in north-west Canada which became the inspiration for his story, The Call of the Wild, published in 1903, and followed by White Fang in 1906. Jack London became one of the most widely read writers in the world.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing not alone for himself, but for every tide-water dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poignant, moving story of nature and survival 30 Nov 2002
By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and moving story 20 May 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a really powerful book, it is not just a story about a sledge dog, it is Jack Londons point of veiw about the northern gold rush. I don't think people who read this book understand that it doesn't matter that it is about a dog. It is a look at life during those times, it is a great read.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Call of the Wild is an awesome book! 16 Feb 1999
By A Customer
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buck realizes his potential 23 Feb 2005
By bernie VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling read for all ages 10 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I followed up my recent reading of 'White Fang' with rereading of this earlier Jack London novel, and they made an interesting comparison. There was something slightly more anthropomorphic about 'Call of the Wild' and certainly more emphasis on the bond between Buck and his various human owners (especially his last owner John Thornton). The climax of this novel, where Buck finally answers the 'call' and joins the wild wolves, anticipates the 'White Fang' story which is darker and closer to nature. I would say that the writing is richer and more mature in 'White Fang' but some of the set-piece incidents here - such as Thornton's wager that Buck could singlehandedly break out a thousand pound sled load and pull it one hundred yards - are as exciting as I remember them as a boy reader.

Reviewer David Williams blogs regularly as Writer in the North.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buck realizes his potential 30 May 2010
By bernie VINE VOICE
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars WOW! To "Call of the Wild"
This is a great story, I love how the book is in the dogs view. A great change to what I normally read. If your love animals then this is a perfect book to read.
Published 5 days ago by Abigail Sargeant
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Loved this tale about Buck the dog, who through cruelty of ignorant man and hard work returns to his ancestors. Amazing.
Published 7 days ago by Mildred Crumb
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very happy with the delivery.
Published 11 days ago by Claudia Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Good read, good value.
Published 11 days ago by Ab
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
just as good 40 years later
Published 15 days ago by Mr. Patrick S. Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book.
Having read 'White Fang' I wasn't disappointed, again an excellent book which I thoroughly enjoyed, will definately read more of his books.
Published 26 days ago by Lisa Powell
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not very good. Too much anthropomorphism. Not really believable.
Published 26 days ago by George Smith
2.0 out of 5 stars The call of the wild
Okay - I recommend it for ages 8+.
For dog lovers,I think personally.
I didn't know what I expected, but it's not my kind of book.....
Still,
Published 1 month ago by Mrs J
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant from start to end
A true classic, the story of Buck is bright to life by Jack London, the harshness of life in the wilderness and the use of the dog as a tool is brought painfully to the reader but... Read more
Published 1 month ago by A J Batstone
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read.
It had been many years since I had read this book and it still proved to be a most enjoyable read.
Published 2 months ago by Mr Barry Allan Campbell
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