Martin Eden

Martin Eden

4.2 23
by Jack London
     
 

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The semiautobiographical Martin Eden is the most vital and original character Jack London ever created.

Set in San Francisco, this is the story of Martin Eden, and impoverished seaman who pursues, obsessively and aggressively, dreams of education and literary fame. London, dissatisfied with the rewards of his own success, intended Martin Eden as an

Overview

The semiautobiographical Martin Eden is the most vital and original character Jack London ever created.

Set in San Francisco, this is the story of Martin Eden, and impoverished seaman who pursues, obsessively and aggressively, dreams of education and literary fame. London, dissatisfied with the rewards of his own success, intended Martin Eden as an attack on individualism and a criticism of ambition; however, much of its status as a classic has been conferred by admirers of its ambitious protagonist.

Andrew Sinclair's wide-ranging introduction discusses the conflict between London's support of socialism and his powerful self-will. Sinclair also explores the parallels and divergences between the life of Martin Eden and that of his creator, focusing on London's mental depressions and how they affected his depiction of Eden.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Martin Eden is assuredly one of Jack London’s greatest works.”—Upton Sinclair

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442940314
Publisher:
ReadHowYouWant
Publication date:
07/13/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
613 KB

Meet the Author

Jack London (1876–1916) was born John Chaney in Pennsylvania, USA. In 1896 he was caught up in the gold rush to the Klondike river in north-west Canada, which became the inspiration for The Call of the Wild (1903) and White Fang (1906). Jack London became one of the most widely read writers in the world.

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Martin Eden 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read the book myself, I disagree with those who regard it an inspiring tale of personal triumph. To be sure, the book dramatizes the gut-wrenching, heart-wringing struggle of the protagonist, Martin Eden, to reinvent himself, through self-study, into a versatile writer of repute with a view to making himself worthy not only of his fiancée, Ruth Morse, but also of the bourgeois society to which she belongs and in which he seeks to gain membership despite his humble origins. But the book, as anyone who has read it conscientiously knows, ends on a tragic note: Martin Eden¿s suicide at the height of his success can¿t simply be discounted. Shouldn¿t this ending then provoke one into asking whether or not the book is truly the inspirational narrative that it is popularly regarded to be? I believe it should. In my view, the book is a cautionary tale of transcendence gone awry. How so? Martin Eden¿s tenacity of purpose is predicated on his a priori conviction that his fiancée and the bourgeoisie can value his intrinsic worth as an individual of potential. But alas! Much to his profound disillusionment, he discovers later on that his fiancée and the bourgeoisie have no appreciation at all 'and can never have any' for what he is and what he¿s willing himself to be. Only when Fame and Fortune have already smiled on him are they prepared to regard him well ¿ and only superficially so at that. In other words, Martin Eden realizes he is wrong in believing they can value him on his own terms, not on theirs only his extrinsic worth as an individual of attainment matters to them, and like it or not, that¿s all he can ever expect of them. That the force of realization is strong enough to dissipate his passion for living is hardly surprising. He has inadvertently foredoomed himself by obsessively seeking genuine affirmation from the people of the `wrong¿ sort. It can¿t be otherwise especially in view of his rigid sense of self-consistency, which prevents him from accepting the way things are and amending himself accordingly. Whether or not his suicide then is an act of lunacy, cowardice, or plain weakness, one thing is certain: it is arguably an act of repudiation like Kate Chopin¿s tragic heroine Edna Pontellier¿s in the Awakening. Their suicides, which coincidentally involved entombing themselves in watery graves, could be said to constitute the ultimate statement of defiance against their societies that have given them much sorrow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book ever! Its very different but very good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes, the bad printing was corrected in 2002 on the edition published by Synergy International of The Americas - on the bright red cover as are all books published by us (Jack Liondon)and also on B. Traven books. 5 Stars from this publisher
Guest More than 1 year ago
Martin Eden is the best book I've read so far! The first sentence will get you intrested right away. Set in San Fransico, it's a love story and a adventure combined. Martin, a not so well educated sailor falls in love with a upper class woman he meets one day while eating dinner. He wants to be come smarter so he starts reading books. But his money runs out from his previous job so he has to go to sea. When he goes to sea he jumps overbored and he kills himself by swimming downuntill he cant get back to the surface with his breath. A good story with alot of big word though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
London succeeds quite well in this effort . Martin Eden is part love story, part psychological study, part social manifesto, and part autobiography. London is able to blend these elements into a cohesive whole that is both fascinating and thought provoking. It is a wonderful story that will certainly make an impression
Guest More than 1 year ago
Martin Eden is indeed the most mature of London's works as Mr. Sinclair said. I don't know what version the other reviewer was reading, but the Modern Library Classics edition doesn't have any of these flaws and comes with a notes section. A very compelling read and another great look into how depressed the human mind can become. Another work of genius by London.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I understood what is the book about and I really identify myself with this book. You can see it everywhere - the film Guru - he was talking about great things, but people werent listening to him, they were just squawking, because other people were squawking and because it was 'in'. The same is Martin Eden and it shows how poor is this world - genius is rated by average people.
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Beautiful
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Martin tells it like he sees it, sadly true today, I second the Anonymous review of 6/16/2007. I give the story 5 stars, Jack London was the best. There still is a "bourgeois society" and it still has it's attitudes. Same story today in Reston Virginia where I live. That is why they call these books classics, their story is timeless, true a century ago - and true today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FadingStorm prowls along the border, refreshing the scent markers and checking for anything unfamiliar.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, which originated in the Internet Archive and should have bern left there, suffrs from a distractingly poor scanning job. Higher quality, free-of-charge versions abound elsewhere, e.g. at Feedbooks. I'm deleting this book and warn you to avoid this particular version. I'm surprised and disappointed BN allows weeds like this one into its walled garden.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is not put together well. Pages 221-222 do not appear between 220 and 223, but at the end of the book. Page 482 ends in mid-sentence. Pages 483-486 are missing. Jack London is a genius, and he deserves better than this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Snowsky smiled. "Thank you for your hospitality, but I can't. I must keep looking for my brother. I will not rest until I know he is either alive or dead. But once I find out, I will return here. May Starclan light your path." She told Fadingstorm, then padded away, giving him one last glance over her shoulder before disappearing in the distance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She narrowed her eyes, keeping an eye on the border ahead. ((You do? Alright, I will.))