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The Sea Wolf [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Sea Wolf by Jack London is the story of a man named Humphrey Van Weyden who has, by a series of mishaps, been taken aboard a seal hunting vessel called the Ghost. The Sea Wolf is a story of adventure, misfortune, romance and morality. In essence, The Sea Wolf is a story about a well-bred young man learning to fend for himself in a rough environment, while attempting to maintain his standards of morality; ...
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The Sea Wolf

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Overview

The Sea Wolf by Jack London is the story of a man named Humphrey Van Weyden who has, by a series of mishaps, been taken aboard a seal hunting vessel called the Ghost. The Sea Wolf is a story of adventure, misfortune, romance and morality. In essence, The Sea Wolf is a story about a well-bred young man learning to fend for himself in a rough environment, while attempting to maintain his standards of morality; even while living amongst men who disregard any moral responsibility to all but themselves.


In the beginning of Jack London's novel, The Sea Wolf, Humphrey is aboard a ferry steamer in the San Francisco Bay. An accident occurs when the steamer fails to spot another boat in the fog. The two vessels hit each other and the steamer begins to sink. Our narrator soon finds himself dumped into the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay. He is an inexperienced swimmer and a gentle man, who is wholly unprepared for the disaster he now faces. He quickly begins to lose his battle for survival, but he is luckily picked up by the Ghost. He is revived and cleaned up by some rough sailors aboard the ship, whom he asks to introduce him to the captain.

It is at this point in The Sea Wolf that Jack London introduces us to the character for whom the novel is named. This man is the captain of the Ghost and his name is Wolf Larsen. Jack London describes the man thoroughly as rugged, somewhat nice to look at, but terrifying in the extreme. At first, Humphrey does not know what to make of the man, but senses something about him that he does not like. Nor does he like that Wolf refuses to turn the boat around and bring Humphrey to California. Humphrey learns from the captain that they are headed to Japan and that he has no plans to allow Humphrey to leave the ship.

From this point on The Sea Wolf takes Humphrey through a series of trying events. He has found himself aboard a ship full of murderous men. However, there are a few that Humphrey begins to admire. Wolf Larsen also forces Humphrey to do hard labor on the ship as payment for his safety. The captain also mentions that he does this to teach Humphrey to "stand on his own legs."

Humphrey soon learns that the captain is an avid reader and that he wishes to discuss the things that he has read with Humphrey. The pair's conversations are mostly about morality and the existence of the human soul. Wolf is adamant that humans do not have souls and that morality is equal to stupidity. He believes that a man should do whatever he deems necessary to gain what it is that he wants in the world. Humphrey is appalled by the captain's beliefs, and even more by his actions.

It is through these conversations that Jack London turns The Sea Wolf into a novel that is immensely more philosophical than your average adventure story. Eventually, a series of events on board the Ghost cause Humphrey to want to kill Wolf Larsen. However, the young man's ideals stop him from following through. Wolf, on the other hand, displays time and again that he has no qualms about killing men on a whim.

When a young woman named Maud is brought onto the Ghost, Wolf begins to display lust for her. Humphrey has fallen in love with the girl, so Wolf's advances fuel his hatred for the man. Humphrey eventually decides to escape with the woman, at great personal risk. The two then leave the ship on board a small hunting boat. Wolf eventually catches up with them on an island, but he is alone. His entire crew has deserted him. He is also sick and dying.

Despite his illness, Wolf continues to be aggressive toward Humphrey and even tries to kill him. Our poor Humphrey still cannot bring himself to kill the man. Instead, he sets about trying to steal the Ghost so that he and Maud can escape the island. Wolf gets very sick during this, so Maud and Humphrey do what they feel is right and care for the man while he is dying. Right up until his last breath, Wolf denies the existence of a soul and the need for morality. The Sea Wolf ends as Maud and Humphrey declare their love for one another.

In the end The Sea Wolf is really a story about good triumphing over evil. It is also a story about the resilience of the human spirit. The narrator of The Sea Wolf was given many opportunities to forsake his feelings and kill the man who had persecuted him and attempted to murder him. However, Humphrey makes it through his ordeal with his morality, and his soul, intact, thus proving that Wolf was wrong. Maybe he was not necessarily right about the existence of the human soul, but about the fact that you do not need to forsake your humanity to succeed.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940016686318
  • Publisher: Romeo Publications
  • Publication date: 6/28/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 814 KB

Meet the Author

Jack London, whose life symbolized the power of will, was the most successful writer in America in the early 20th Century. His vigorous stories of men and animals against the environment, and survival against hardships were drawn mainly from his own experience. An illegitimate child, London passed his childhood in poverty in the Oakland slums. At the age of 17, he ventured to sea on a sealing ship. The turning point of his life was a thirty-day imprisonment that was so degrading it made him decide to turn to education and pursue a career in writing. His years in the Klondike searching for gold left their mark in his best short stories; among them, The Call of the Wild, and White Fang. His best novel, The Sea-Wolf, was based on his experiences at sea. His work embraced the concepts of unconfined individualism and Darwinism in its exploration of the laws of nature. He retired to his ranch near Sonoma, where he died at age 40 of various diseases and drug treatments.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 69 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 69 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    This story begins with the protagonist Humphrey Van Weyden on a

    This story begins with the protagonist Humphrey Van Weyden on a ferry steamer called the Martinez. Humphrey is a literature critic who depends on his father for income, and is weak and frail. The Martinez eventually ends up in a collision with another ship. Humphrey is then rescued by seal-schooner called the Ghost ruled by the brutish yet intelligent Wolf Larsen and his cruel men. From here he must use his wits, gain strength, and courage to survive in his harsh new environment filled with madness.

    I could practically read the philosophy of Naturalism in every line of the story. The characters acts, thoughts, and personality only added more emphasis to this philosophy. For example some characters can have a caring nature, while others can have a more empathetic one. Humphrey also constantly describes the horrible conditions of his new environment and how he learns from it, which gives another great example to this theme. With this piece of classic American Literature, London also heavily highlights the need of self-reliance. He does this with his character Humphrey. Stuck on a boat with no one to support him, there would be no one else to trust but himself. London shows through Humphrey ways that self-reliance is an advantage that individuals can use as a benefit, then as a burden.

    I loved the way Jack London describes every event in perfect detail. His word choice and imagery could practically play a little movie or paint a vivid picture in my head. The pace of the book was very interesting too. It sped up right from the beginning and maintained its pace until the story was finished. Many of the characters could be likable depending on the person. I personally favored Humphrey because his ideals are similar to mines. Though Wolf Larsen is the antagonist of this story I could not hate him because of the pain of loneliness he feels. Many of the other characters I felt were average and were only used to make the story dramatic, which they succeed in doing. The main thing that disturbed me in this book though, was the precise detail of blood, gore, and crimes committed on the ship. Other than that little topic, I found this book very exciting, and adventurous.

    This book was very enjoyable to read, and was hard to put down. This characteristic can be shared in London’s many genius pieces of literature such as, Call of the Wild (one of my personal favorites), White Fang, and A Daughter of the Snows. If anyone is thirsting for a good sea adventure, then the Sea Wolf is the perfect choice.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    Really good book.

    Good book. Interesting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2014

    Any Rand must have loved Wolf Larsen. I found myself attracted t

    Any Rand must have loved Wolf Larsen. I found myself attracted to him, but, in the end...no, Dick Cheney personified. Humphrey Van Weydon is the true hero.
    This book causes us to question our beliefs. Hopefully, if you're not too dogmatic, you'll side with Van Weyden....be an arbiter of peace and love, rather than animalistic carnivorism.
    Beautifully written...a classic that should be revisited.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Shimmer

    Is locked out. As well as Daylight.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2012

    Good book

    I realy love all of Jack Londons books, and this one is good too, but it is hard because my favorite character is the Wolf. Hummphery Van weidein was not good enough of a guy for the whole setting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2012

    it is okay. worth reading once. i was disappointed because i lo

    it is okay. worth reading once. i was disappointed because i love most of his work. he is such a grest writer. but i was little let down by this one. great character in Wolf Larson. but no great character to match him. the hero's i ended up booing. no great chemistry was there between the hero and heroine. they were very naieve i felt and you would think after all Wolf put them through they would be a little more hardened or wiser for it but no just a couple of crazy intellectual kids in love in the middle of the north pacific. they were really good even great moments in the book - but they were very few and far between. recommend? yes. more than once? no.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Awesome Storyline!

    I have read the book several times through the years. This format being free had numerous typos- but I dealt with it. Still a great story!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2014

    Hjcbdekdfbf

    Bhedjkgtknukeudhjshhihukdujdknijncvhjkegeqprkn be bfb f ehhhhu

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2014

    Vivia

    White fang

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    Am going....

    Am going somwhere tommorow, & need good books( MUST be free) ! Got any cool ideas? Answer to KoolKatz! :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2014

    Awesome

    Awesome

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    Fial

    Fdjf

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Umm

    No matter wut book i go to there is always something to do with warrior cats it gets annoying too

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2011

    Great writing, but ebook format slightly flawed

    Like many readers, I was introduced to Highsmith's Ripley character via the 1999 movie (Damon as Ripley, Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf, Gwyneth Paltrow as Marge Sherwood). As often the case, the movie takes some liberties, so the book is definitely worth reading as an "alternate" version. In both versions, Ripley is an opportunist and more than a bit of a sociopath, someone who feels entitled to the good life he sees others enjoying, no matter what. The book version can seem homophobic by today's standards, but in this regard I think Highsmith's characterization is more about the deformation brought about by the "closet" than disapproval of non-heterosexuality per se. (Highsmith was apparently bisexual herself as well as a long time expat in Europe; might Ripley may be a bit of an alienated self-portrait?) The story is all the more remarkable for still engaging the reader on Ripley's behalf - it's remarkable how one wants the story to go on, for Ripley to get away with it all, even knowing that he's quite capable of more.

    = = =
    My quibble with the ebook version -- at least the one available via Nook -- is that the publishing process appears to have been flummoxed by diacritical marks, most annoyingly the e-accent-acute in "cafe", which is rendered "cafA(with a tilde!)(c)(the copyright symbol)". Since Tom likes to spend time at cafes congratulating himself on living the good life in Europe, this pops up frequently in the book. Given that the mistake has a diacritical mark of its own, I wonder if this is an easy one to fix by substituting one ASCII character set for another or some such maneuver. Other errors are harder to understand, e.g. "He wrote finally: Fm giving up the idea of an apartment" or "unless something concrete comes tout of it" or "bent close to them, apparently studying their tides" (should be "titles"). These seem to point to slight carelessness in an otherwise largely successful OCR process. All in all, Cresset Press and/or Barnes&Noble should take just a bit more care in proofing these publications before selling them; just a skim of the book or asking oneself "I wonder what it did with 'cafe'?" would have revealed some of these errors. I hope that a corrected version will be provided soon, and that versions purchased earlier will be updated free of charge.

    ===
    One other thing: the synopsis in the Overview here is *way* too detailed; talk about spoilers.

    ===
    OK, now my review has been moved to an entirely different book, "The Sea Wolf" by Jack London. I was advised re a different problem to reinstall nook for PC; either that or my complaint resulted in an unwanted substitution of the London book for the Highsmith one on one of the PCs I use. This is turning into a clown show.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2011

    GREAT BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!

    there are some typos but you can make out the words worth the time to download or the money if you purchase it.

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  • Posted February 3, 2011

    Good Book

    Dealt with typos since book was free.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    An excellent adventure book

    If you like a good adventure The Sea Wolf is an excellent choice. The main character goes from being a soft intellectual type to a hardened sailor when he is picked up by Wolf Larsen a seal hunting ship captain. He is made to work by force on Wolf Larsen's ship exposing him to conditions that he had never encountered before. The book is set at around 1905 when it was written and gives you a look at how much things have changed in a hundred years.
    The book is also a philosophical masterpiece preaching the imposibility of neitzche's super human individualism.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    good read

    i found this book fun and fast past at some parts, but he slowed the pace when it was need.if you what read a good funny book the sea wolf is a good pick

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2010

    Incomplete Book

    I had read the Sea Wolf prior to downloading it and was excited to read it again. However, in certain places in the book there would be a page missing and just a blank picture of a page. Some letters were replaced with numbers and some words you had to try to figure out for yourself what they were. Also, the book doesnt end. I know that there is a lot left after where the book ends on here. I was very disappointed that i didnt get to finish the book.

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