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Paperback The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics) Book

ISBN: 0192835149

ISBN13: 9780192835147

The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics)

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Book Overview

Of all Jack London's fictions none has been as popular as his dog stories. In addition to The Call of the Wild, the epic tale of a Californian dog's adventures during the Klondike gold rush, this edition includes White Fang, and five famous short stories - B tard, Moon-Face, Brown Wolf, That Spot, and To Build a Fire.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The Call of the Wild, White Fang

The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics) is a group of exciting adventure stories of dogs and life in Alaska. It has lots of action, and it is a well-known classic. I read it when I was younger, and I remembered enjoying it. So when we decided to go to Alaska this summer, I bought it to make my trip to London's cabin and museum more meaningful. I have not been disappointed.

Review of The Call of the Wild and Selected Stories

I read three short stories from the book, "The Call of the Wild and Selected Stories", by Jack London. These stories include "To Build a Fire", "To the Man on Trail,", and "Diable the Dog." I recommend all three of these short stories to people who like descriptive short stories with exciting scenes and sad endings.The story "To Build a Fire" is about a man who is heading up to camp, which is twelve hours away in seventy-five-degree below zero weather. This story is about man versus the cold, frigid, abilities of Mother Nature. The theme of this story seems to be about how challenging nature can be to humanity. The second story, "To the Man on Trail," is about a band of men from many different lands celebrating Christmas when an under cover thief shows up. This is an exciting story that confuses the reader at times because you can't tell if he is good or bad until the end. The theme of this story is about man versus society. It makes one think that you can't judge a book by its cover.The last story of the three, written by Jack London, is called "Diable - A Dog." This is about an evil dog who is owned by an evil owner. His owner beat him so much that he started to take revenge against his owner by trying to kill him. This story is a great example of the saying, "You reap what you sow." This story seems to be about the conflict of man versus nature, as well as man versus himself, since the dog had a natural evil temperament, which was worsened by the beatings he received from the man. Both of these factors created evil in this dog, which in the end defeated the man.I had mixed feelings about these stories because I normally prefer science fiction novels. I also didn't like how the main character in two of the three short stories always perished. However, what I really like in the stories was the author's way of describing his characters and their conflicts. I t made me feel like I was a part of the story. I recommend these stories to anyone who enjoys rich, detailed, stories with exciting scenes..

A poignant, moving story of nature and survival

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. Buck not only conquers all--the weather, the harshness of the men who harness his powers in turn, the other dogs and wolves he comes into contact with--he thrives. This isn't a story to read when you are depressed. London's writing is beautiful, poignant, and powerful, but it is also somber, sometimes morose, infinitely real, and at times gut-wrenching and heartbreaking.

White Fang Review

London's near epic tail of a wolf struggling to adapt to civilization is one marked by adventure, excitement and emotion. London flawlessly depicts the nature of wild beasts and the environment in which they live. The storyline follows a young gray cub called White Fang, who is thrown into the midst of human culture against his will. The young cub develops into a dominant wolf and experiences confrontations beyond his vivid imagination. White Fang possesses unique and distinctive qualities for a wolf which is wonderfully detailed in the characters countless struggles. This is truly a well-written book, with more than enough excitement to keep any apathetic reader intrigued. Although an interesting and insightful look at the nature of animals, the book's beginning can be considered a toil to accomplish and perhaps even tedious for some. Fortunately, with the introduction of mankind, the story sweeps into action as White Fang strives to fuse with society, and the domesticated animals that come along with it. White Fang's Possession changes multiple times during the novel, keeping readers enthused and captivated. Be advised however, the exhilaration reaches a climax only halfway into the book, and never achieves the high level of excitement at any point afterward. Despite the less absorbing material in the first and last parts of the book, Jack London's timeless account of a ferocious wolf molded by the fingers of civilization is well worth the read. The emotional attachment one attains from reading the pages of White Fang is more than enough to engage readers of all types. Don't miss out on this book.

Powerful, gripping tales of nature and survival

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 other respected authors. The story he 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 more sad 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. Buck not only conquers all--the weather, the harshness of the men who harness his powers in turn, the other dogs and wolves he comes into contact with--he thrives. The redemption he seems to gain with the fortunate encounter with John Thornton is also dashed in the end, after which Buck finally gives in fully to "the call of the wild" and becomes a creature of nature only. While this is a sad ending of sorts, one also feels joy and satisfaction at Buck's refusal to surrender to nature's harsh trials and his ability to find his own kind of happiness in the transplanted world in which he was placed. This isn't a story to read when you are depressed. London's writing is beautiful, poignant, and powerful, but it is also somber, sometimes morose, infinitely real, and at times gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. The other stories are also powerful tales of survival (or demise) in the face of nature's harshness. I feel I am not alone in saying that I cannot recall most of the stories I had to read in school in my younger years but I distinctly recall "To Build a Fire." London's real, visceral language and description is hard to forget, as is the human pride and stupidity that characterizes the protagonist--London
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