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The Call Of The Wild
     

The Call Of The Wild

4.2 448
by Jack London
 

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Part St. Bernard, part Scotch shepherd, Buck is a sturdy crossbreed canine accustomed to a comfortable life as a family dog -- until he's seized from his pampered surroundings and shipped to Alaska to be a sled dog. There, the forbidding landscape is as harsh as life itself during the gold rush of the 1890s. Forced to function in a climate where every day is a savage

Overview

Part St. Bernard, part Scotch shepherd, Buck is a sturdy crossbreed canine accustomed to a comfortable life as a family dog -- until he's seized from his pampered surroundings and shipped to Alaska to be a sled dog. There, the forbidding landscape is as harsh as life itself during the gold rush of the 1890s. Forced to function in a climate where every day is a savage struggle for survival, Buck adapts quickly. Traces of his earlier existence are obliterated and he reverts to his dormant primeval instincts, encountering danger and adventure as he becomes the leader of a wolf pack and undertakes a journey of nearly mythical proportions. Superb details, taken from Jack London's firsthand knowledge of Alaskan frontier life, make this classic tale of endurance as gripping today as it was over a century ago. One of literature's most popular and exciting adventure stories, The Call of the Wild will enrich the reading experience of youngsters, and rekindle fond memories of a favorite among older generations.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
With an introduction by Gary Paulsen, noted author of young people's stories, this Aladdin Classic edition joins 20 others of similar stature as must-reads for any age. The combination of man and dog against the elements of the then untamed North and the anything-goes adventurous nature of Buck, the protagonist, makes for exciting reading. London, the author, draws on his turn of the century experiences during the Goldrush in Alaska. The important element of the dogs in the life and survival of those adventurers brings an exciting element to the story. Dogs were as important as people, and London is at his best in describing this relationship through thick and thin. There is a reading group guide included for classroom use, but the story is a good one for reading aloud within the family, too. 2003 (orig. 1903),

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781604504385
Publisher:
Arc Manor
Publication date:
03/26/2009
Pages:
72
Product dimensions:
6.69(w) x 9.61(h) x 0.15(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

1
Into the Primitive

“Old longings nomadic leap,
Chafing at custom’s chain;
Again from its brumal sleep Wakens the ferine strain.”

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, form Puget Sound to San Diego. Because men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland. These men wanted dogs, and the dogs they wanted were heavy dogs, with strong muscles by which to toil, and furry coats to protect them from the frost.
Buck lived at a big house in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley. Judge Miller’ place, it was called. It stood back form the road, half hidden among the trees, through which glimpses could be caught of the wide cool veranda that ran around its four sides. The house was approached by gravelled driveways which wound about through wide-spreading lawns and under the interlacing boughs of tall poplars. At the rear things were on even a more spacious scale than at the front. There were great stables, where a dozen grooms and boys held forth, rows of vine-clad houses, long grape arbors, green pastures, orchards, and berry patches. Then there was the pumping plant for the artesian well, and the big cement tank where Judge Miller’s boys took their morning plunge and kept cool in the hot afternoon.
And over this great demesne Buck ruled. Here he was born, and here he had lived the four years of his life. It was true, there were other dogs. Therecould not but be other dogs on so vast a place, but they did not count. They came and went, resided in the populous kennels, or lived obscurely in the recesses of the house after the fashion of Toots, the Japanese pug, or Ysabel, the Mexican hairless—strange creatures that rarely put nose out of doors or set foot to ground. On the other hand, there were the fox terries, a score of them at least, who yelped fearful promises at Toots and Ysabel looking out of the windows at them and protected by a legion of housemaids armed with brooms and mops.
But Buck was neither house-dog nor kennel dog. The whole realm was his. He plunged into the swimming tank or went hunting with the Judge’s sons; he escorted Mollie and Alice, the Judge’s daughters, on long twilight or early morning rambles; on wintry nights he lay at the Judge’s feet before the roaring library fire; he carried the Judge’s grandsons on his back, or rolled them in the grass, and guarded their footsteps through wild adventures down to the fountain in the stable yard, and even beyond, where the paddocks were, and the berry patches. Among the terriers he stalked imperiously, and Toots and Ysabel he utterly ignored, for he was king—king over all creeping, crawling, flying things of Judge Miller’s place, humans included.
His father, Elmo, a huge St. Bernard, had been the judge’s inseparable companion, and Buck bid fair to follow in the way of his father. He was not so large—he weighed only one hundred and forty pounds—for his mother, Shep, had been a Scotch shepherd dog. Nevertheless, one hundred and forty pounds, to which was added the dignity that comes of good living and universal respect, enabled him to carry himself in right royal fashion During the four years since his puppyhood he had lived the life of a sated aristocrat; he had a fine pride in himself, was ever a trifle egotistical, as country gentlemen sometimes become because of their insular situation. But he had saved himself by not becoming a mere pampered house-dog. Hunting and kindred outdoor delights had kept down the fat and hardened his muscles; and to him, as to the cold-tubbing races, the love of water had been a tonic and a health preserver.
And this was the manner of dog Buck was in the fall of 1897. when the Klondike strike dragged men from all the world into the frozen North. But Buck did not read the newspapers, and he did not know that Manuel, one of the gardener’s helpers, was an undesirable acquaintance. Manuel had one besetting sin. He loved to play Chinese lottery. Also, in his gambling, he had one besetting weakness—faith in a system; and this made his damnation certain. For to play a system requires money, while the wages of a gardener’s helper do not lap over the needs of a wife and numerous progeny.
The Judge was at a meeting of the Raisin Growers’ Association, and the boys were busy organizing an athletic club, on the memorable night of Manuel’s treachery. No one saw him and Buck go off through the orchard on what Buck imagined was merely a stroll. And with the exception of a solitary man, no one saw them arrive at the little flag station known as College Park. This man talked with Manuel, and money chinked between them.
“You might wrap up the goods before you deliver ’m,” the stranger said gruffly, and Manuel doubled a piece of stout rope around Buck’s neck under the collar.
“Twist it, an’ you’ll choke ’m plentee,” said Manuel, and the stranger grunted a ready affirmative.
Buck had accepted the rope with quit dignity. To be sure, it was an unwonted performance: but he had learned to trust in men he knew, and to give them credit for a wisdom that outreached his own. But when the ends of the rope were placed in the stranger’s hands, he growled menacingly. He had merely intimated his displeasure, in his pride believing that to intimate was to command. But to his surprise the rope tightened around his neck, shutting off his breath. In quick rage he sprang at the man, who met him halfway, grappled him close by the throat, and with a deft twist threw him over on his back. Then the rope tightened mercilessly, while Buck struggled in a fury, his tongue lolling out of his mouth and his great chest panting futilely. Never in all his life had he been so vilely treated, and never in all his life had he been so angry. But his strength ebbed, his eyes glazed, and he knew nothing when the train was flagged and the two men threw him into the baggage car.
The next he knew, he was dimly aware that his tongue was hurting and that he was being jolted along in some kind of a conveyance. The hoarse shriek of a locomotive whistling a crossing told him where he was. He had travelled too often with the Judge not to know the sensation of riding in a baggage car. He opened his eyes, and into them came the unbridled anger of a kidnapped king. The man sprang for his throat, but Buck was too quick for him. His jaws closed on the hand, nor did they relax till his senses were choked out of him once more.
“Yep, has fits,” the man said, hiding his mangled hand form the baggageman, who had been attracted by the sounds of struggle. “I’m takin’ ’m up for the boss to ’Frisco. A crack dog-doctor there thinks that he can cure ’em.”
Concerning that night’s ride, the man spoke most eloquently for himself, in a little shed back of a saloon on the San Francisco water front.
“All I get is fifty for it,” he grumbled; “an’ I wouldn’t do it over for a thousand, cold cash.”
His hand was wrapped in a bloody handkerchief, and the right trouser leg was ripped from knee to ankle.
“How much did the other mug get?” the saloon-keeper demanded.
“A hundred,” was the reply. “Wouldn’t take a souless, so help me.”
“That makes a hundred and fifty,” the saloon-keeper calculated; “and he’s worth it, or I’m a squarehead.”
The kidnapper undid the bloody wrappings and looked at his lacerated hand. “If

Meet the Author

John Griffith "Jack" London (1876 - 1916) was an American novelist, journalist and social activist. A pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction, he was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone. Some of his most famous works include The Call of the Wild and White Fang, both set in the Klondike Gold Rush, as well as the short stories "To Build a Fire", "An Odyssey of the North" and "Love of Life". He also wrote of the South Pacific in such stories as "The Pearls of Parlay" and "The Heathen" and of the San Francisco Bay area in The Sea Wolf. --Wikipedia

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Call of the Wild 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 448 reviews.
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
I can't believe I've never read this book before now, or anything by Jack London (I'm 34). This was an amazingly insightful, emotional and gorgeously written book. "Love that was feverish and burning, that was adoration, that was madness"....WOW! I've never heard true love so adequately and beautifully expressed. Amazing book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bought this to add to my 6/7th grade classroom library, especially to keep high interest for male readers. Successful!
lovestoread203 More than 1 year ago
This clasic is one great book! Written by Jack London, "The Call of the Wild" is a tale about a dog who is taken away to be a sled dog in the times of the Gold Rush. The dog, Buck, must follow the saying: "Survivial of the Fittest", making him more wolf then dog. This book will keep you turning the pages right until the end. The first chapter or two are a little boring, but after that, you have follow Buck's developing understanding of how things work on a sled team. With the unintended help of the other dogs, Buck learns to the "Law of Club and Fang" (A sort of "Kill or be Killed" Rule) . Buck must also endure those who have no idea how to mush (To travel via sled dogs). You'll have to see what happens then. If you're searching for a classic novel that won't bore you to death, or a classic adventure book, then this is a must!
msl More than 1 year ago
My kid loves all animals, and I thought she'd appreciate this novel told from the dog's perspective. It's exciting, full of adventure, and has a certain "otherness" about it that's captivating. The author tries hard not to over-anthropomorphize the dogs, and he succeeds beautifully. My daughter needs occasional help with some sophisticated vocabulary or old fashioned turn of phrase, but she's not at all bored--she's really engaged in the story. Recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book, try it if you like dogs and nature:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book even though it made me cry. I would not reccommend the movie though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Call of the wild is a must read classic if you like adventure than you will love this book and its full of dog related drama that you should not miss out on!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really amazing. I had tried to read it once before about a year or two ago but i didnt make it past the 2nd or 3rd chapter. This time i couldnt put it down and appreciated the beautil writing. This author has a gift for description and made it easy for me to immerse myself in the story. I could feel, smell, and hear everything Buck eas experiencing throughout this book. It was tough in a couple of spots to read the abuse and pain that the animals experienced in this book. The story well made up for it though. It was a beautiful adventure and an insightful look into the intimate relationship between man and dog and wilderness that lives inside us all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
5 star
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent for readers who like suspense and action. Instead of being a superhero in the city, the story contains a smart dog in the frozen wilderness of Alaska.
SageC96 More than 1 year ago
In the book The Call of the Wild by Jack London, it started off with a dog named Buck, a physical impressive dog, living the good life in California when he gets stolen and put into dog slavery. For him, he has to pull a heavy sled through miles of frozen ice with little or nothing to eat. Buck begins to adapt to his surroundings, and learns from the other dogs on his team. Buck and Spitz another dog on the team become involved in a struggle for power and they end up fighting and Buck wins. Buck then begins to take over as leader of the sled dog team. The new people don’t seem to be very competent and the team begins to change in human management, such as new drivers. The sled dogs team new people are very bad drivers and end up killing everyone, including themselves. Buck is fortunately saved by a kind man named John Thornton, moments before the group death in an icy river. “Buck and I watch as the entire sled – dog team and human drivers – continue on their way and then fall into the river.” (Thornton 57) Thornton and Buck become attached to each other and Buck even saves Thornton’s life several times. Buck, his master, and some other men all set off on a journey, loving there new life, except for the need to run off and kill things in the woods every once in a while. Buck fights with temptation, staying with Thornton or going off and killing things. He has to think about being civilized or wild when he is with Thornton. There are several missed phone calls from The Wild and a lot of angry messages. “Where are you already?”(Thornton’s father 14) The end of The Call of the Wild, it was dramatic and that all I'm going to say.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story told from the dogs point of view and the harsh realness to it. I did not notice any typographical errors as stated before. Awesome book to read for all ages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another one of jack london's greatest books the first in the series (second book White Fang) call of the wild is an amazing book written with much skill. It is surly one of the best books I have read and very charming. Call of the Wild is about Buck a dog who lives at a farm though he is not owned he lives freely and comes and goes as he pleases, until one day when he tricked into being sold as a sled dog. Will Buck make it back or will he give in to the call of the wild?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont waste your money on this pice of crap
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing it is so cool.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought that the book was very challening for both the characters and the readers. London used very descriptive words and very complex. And just the over all plot was terrific except he dosen't get back with judge Miller, that was a sad part.There was a lot of action and challening parts in the book like the fights. London explained how Buck watched and learned from fights and how it payed off when he fought Spitz.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for school, and honestly, I thought it was horrible. The story wasn't that interesting. The only thing that Jack London seemed to care about was the dying dogs! All of a sudden a dog would die, or someone would fall into a river... The story was also very predictable, until the ending. It ended very suddenly, without as much detial as the chapters beforehand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so adventurous it is so AWESOME! !!!!!
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Wonderful
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Wonderful
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to read this book! It sounds like this book is full of animals and wildness. I love animals so I take it that I will like to read this book. I thank God for making such beautiful animals. I am so blessed to be able to be with, read about, and learn about these beautiful animals that God created.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Respond by 5/1/14 and do it on A Cats Life