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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a sensational masterpiece
I first read White Fang when I was 8 years old by nicking it from my uncle and since then, i.e. 20 years later, I have read it at least 50 times.
This is a truly sensational masterpiece. The way London describes the ever-lasting struggle for survival, the dangers present in true life along with the deep feelings and emotions of a half-wolf, is overwhelming.
By...
Published on 20 Mar 2003

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Its ok
It was ok, the only problem was that it didnt hold my interest, just wasnt my sort of book, so i didnt finish it
Published 15 months ago by Danielle Adena Machin


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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a sensational masterpiece, 20 Mar 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: White Fang (Puffin Classics) (Paperback)
I first read White Fang when I was 8 years old by nicking it from my uncle and since then, i.e. 20 years later, I have read it at least 50 times.
This is a truly sensational masterpiece. The way London describes the ever-lasting struggle for survival, the dangers present in true life along with the deep feelings and emotions of a half-wolf, is overwhelming.
By the end of the book, you realise that have falen in love with white fang and want him to be yours.
I most certainly recommend this book to all children and also grown ups. read this book once and then you will realise that London was a genius, who truly understood the human nature. In this book, London illustrates the different natures of human being: love, hatred, greed, vengence, justice, etc.
This is a book for all ages and I assure you that if you look beyond the dog and human masks, you'll never regret having read this book and you most certainly won't consider it a waste of time.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Called In From The Wild, 21 Oct 2011
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This review is from: White Fang (Kindle Edition)
Right from the start `White Fang' grips the reader with the dramatic chase of Henry and Bill, with their dogs and a coffin-laden sled, across the Klondike snows by a pack of wolves. Henry alone survives. The story shifts to a mysterious she-wolf and her suitors in their hunt for food and internecine rivalries. The pack breaks up and the focus shifts to the she-wolf; but only for the time it takes her to bear a litter. Then that focus passes to one of her cubs, to be called White Fang. His first venture into the outside world is a brilliant description of exploration into a frightening environment (e.g. `It was bewildering. He was sprawling through solidity. And ever the light grew brighter. Fear urged him to go back, but growth drove him on. Suddenly he found himself at the mouth of the cave'.(P. 50)). Even so, after the cub enters the world of man, and is mastered by Grey Beaver, he appears to take on much of their thinking patterns. Gradually White Fang merges into the society of white men drawn by the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898. `However, the clay of White Fang had been moulded until he became what he was, morose and lonely, unloving and ferocious, the enemy of all his kind.'(P. 109)
However, when Grey Beaver surrenders ownership to the insane `Beauty' Smith the ferocity of White Fang's life descends into nightmare. Tortured and ill-treated, White Fang develops what in humans would be called psychopathic behaviour. He relishes his regular fights to the death with canines of any description (plus a lynx). London describes vividly not mere `animal madness' but madness in an animal. `.... He hated blindly and without the faintest spark of reason. He hated the chain that bound him, the men who peered in at him through the slats of the pen, the dogs that accompanied the men.... He hated the very wood of the pen that confined him. And first, last, and most of all, he hated Beauty Smith.' (P. 119). Finally White Fang meets his match with a bulldog and is rescued from his degraded life by Ben Weedon Scott.

Weedon Scott accepts the challenge to `tame' the wolf and by kindness succeeds. White Fang accompanies him back home to California where he finds it difficult to settle down on the family estate - massacring fifty chickens being but one of his `crimes'. Gradually, however, he becomes fully integrated into the household.

Almost throughout the whole novel the reader is asked to see the world through the eyes of a wolf, an outsider to nature and civilisation alike. Occasionally the author steps outside that perspective to explain a point - such as the rejection of White Fang, partly grown, by his mother. Initially objects and creatures are described rather than defined and humans from the beginning are referred to as `gods' - although White Fang learns that there are good gods, bad gods and even mad gods. With the exception of Weedon Smith, the world is `tolerated' by White Fang - that even includes the collie on the estate, even though she produces his puppies.

Jack London angrily rejected the charge of `animal fakerism' but, even in the wild, he comes very close to it (e.g. `The effect on White Fang was to give him a greater faith in himself, and a greater pride.'(P.97). This tendency grows especially after the move to California, as in: `He achieved a staidness, and calmness, and philosophic tolerance.'(P. 169). This is largely because the author was writing about a wolf who came in from the wild.

Jack London's sentences are laconic and very effective. Some of the scenes are horrific and it is not surprising that Disney's 1991 PG film version owes little to the book - and `White Fang 2' is even more of a travesty. The reader's sympathies move along with the author's focus so the world is peopled by creatures black, white or grey according to how they react to White Fang..

The Kindle scan is excellent and the book was a pleasure to read.. I would thoroughly recommend it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book we can all learn something from!, 3 Mar 2011
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This review is from: White Fang (Kindle Edition)
I started reading this feeling very sceptical - I downloaded this book expecting it to be something else, so this book had to win over my disappointment. I'm glad I read it, it's absolutely astounding. London's description of the most basic the most primeval instincts and emotions are incredibly accurate and can be applied to both wolves and humans. For example, his description of the fierce protectiveness females have over their cubs, and the father's instinct to provide as he can. The feeling of rejection White Fang suffers when he is deserted, and his young mind trying to make sense of it.

At first, London's telling of the story seems very clinical and detached - but that reflects the mind of the protagonist White Fang, who relies on his ability to detach himself and assess his world for survival. The detail with which London (through the thoughts of White Fang) assesses the personality of each human he comes into contact with into such intimate detail - just from careful observation - shows a world of experience, intellect and the great skill of writing London possesses. If you like Austen's remarkable and intelligent subtle observations of her characters which tell you a great deal, you'd like this book - for London is as astute in his descriptions.

This is certainly a book I will read again and again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless quality, 5 Jun 2012
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This review is from: White Fang (Kindle Edition)
I have been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember. I was given a copy of "White Fang" when I was about eight, i.e. about 60 years ago, as a prize (for English?) in primary school. Getting this prize was, I believe, a major cause of my appetite for books. Over the years, the prize itself and my memory of most of its contents had disappeared. I could remember only that the book was about a wild dog/wolf, and that I had read it many times and absolutely loved it. Late in 2010 I was given a Kindle. While I explored how to use it, I looked at Amazon's list of the top 100 free books for the Kindle. The list included many classics, "White Fang" being one of them. I downloaded it, expecting to find it to be just a childrens' book. Boy, was I wrong! Although now a pensioner instead of a small boy, I still loved it. What an illustration of the power of good writing! I do not doubt that this century old book will be just as good a read for an eight year old (or a 68 year old) in another 100 years.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wowlf !, 17 Dec 2010
This review is from: White Fang (Kindle Edition)
when my dad got me this book i didn't think it would be anything special but once i started to read it i couldn't stop! the tension towards the end, i couldn't move with fright and upset! definately a must read...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best book ever written!, 3 Sep 2013
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This review is from: White Fang (Kindle Edition)
For me, this is the book against which I judge all others! Superbly written, by someone who clearly knew what they were on about. I say this having struggled with the middle of the Yukon winter when attempting The Yukon Arctic Ultra. Jack London is a master story-teller, now too often forgotten about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars White Fang, 7 Jan 2013
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This review is from: White Fang (Kindle Edition)
Item arrived immediately. This was a free electronic book.
I thought I'd try a "classic" and am very glad I did.
Initially thought the book - written at the turn of the last century - would seem a little dated but was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn't. This book gripped me right from the start and held my attention right to the end.
I found it surprisingly brutal and knowledgeable for a book of this age.
It certainly deserves to be called a classic.
Highly recommended-I'm now starting on Jack London's Call of the Wild.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable, 29 Dec 2012
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This review is from: White Fang (Kindle Edition)
This book was a simply a pleasure to read. The stiry follows a wolf, whose mother was a cross between a wolf and a dog, and his journey through life and the many differewnt forms of human life he meets along the way. Although it was wordy in some places I found it to be a real page turner. London's description of the harsh, unforgiving wilderness and the chaos of cities was exquisite and the first part of the book had my jumping at the slightest sound around me. I would recommend this book to anyone
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not A Dog, 29 July 2012
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Ragnar - See all my reviews
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White Fang, part dog, part wolf, is the main character of the book, most of which explains his life from his point of view but by way of a narrator. On one level, it could be read as an adventure story, but instances of cruelty are so frequent that this is plainly a major subject for the author. When White Fang, still with his mother, ends up with Grey Beaver he is subjected to violence on many occasions. When this comes from Grey Beaver himself it is intended as discipline. On occasion Grey Beaver protects him from attack by others, but never shows him affection. London gives the impression that this is a cultural thing. Dogs fulfil certain functions for the Indians- pulling sleds, for example - in return for which they are fed. That's it.

White Fang has problems with the Indians' other dogs since one of them, Lip-lip, takes against him from the start and attacks him at every opportunity. Since the others follow Lip-lip's lead, White Fang has to tread very carefully. More importantly, perhaps, he learns to fight. This is not play-fighting but a matter of life and death, so he soon learns to dispense with the formalities (growling, hair standing on end etc) and goes straight for the jugular. This is not the best way for a puppy to grow up, but his fighting skills stand him in good stead.

Unfortunately, they are noticed by one Beauty Smith, a nasty piece of works who buys him from Grey Beaver to use as a fighting dog. He is finally rescued from Beauty Smith by Weedon Scott, a gold prospector. Over a period of time, Weedon gets round White Fang to the point where they not only trust each other but like each other. Given White Fang's past life, there are reverses along the way and it does not happen quickly. But it happens.

The book has many strengths. London's description of the adversities of outdoor life in the frozen wastes of Canada are excellent and his grasp of detail good. But his boldest effort is taking us into the mind of White Fang as he develops. This is obviously a dangerous area since it would be very easy to attribute human thoughts and feelings to an animal which the animal could never entertain. (And it is doubly dangerous now, given the amount of research into the behaviour of wolves which has taken place since the book was written.) But London is clearly aware of this danger and goes to great lengths to avoid it.

Apart from a few references to Grey Beaver's squaw, there are no women characters in this book, but since women characters are not London's strong point this is probably an advantage. And some might feel that the book ends in an unexpectedly warm glow, with White Fang at home with the Scott family in California. The only reply to this is that such an outcome, though unlikely, is not impossible, and it is probably necessary to show that kindness is the way to go with animals and reaps its own reward. And by extension, this nostrum might even be extended to people.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced narrative never strays, 20 Nov 2008
This review is from: White Fang (Puffin Classics) (Paperback)
I'm wary of animal stories getting dull and excessively anthropomorphic (human) but this keeps clear of fatigue with a steely intent. One can sense throughout, London's urge to portray and illuminate the harsh truth of 'evolving nature'. Short sentences and a vivid imagination bring the task to pumping life as we follow the hard struggle for life; the trials and tribulations of the animal hero who, after a wild background and heritage, becomes the centre of our sympathy.

It's through this sympathy that we are awakened - at times violently - to the truth about life and growth, via darwin, and to an awareness of the environment that forges people and animals. An essential, accessible read at times greatly moving and sickening, this is both a rich feast and source of wisdom about the world and our relation to animals ...and dogs!
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White Fang (Puffin Classics)
White Fang (Puffin Classics) by Jack London (Paperback - 3 Mar 1994)
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