Wolf: The Lives of Jack London

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Overview

Born a working-class, fatherless Californian in 1876, Jack London spent his youth as a boundlessly energetic adventurer on the bustling West Coast; by adulthood he had matured into the iconic American author of such still universally loved books as The Call of the Wild and White Fang. In Wolf, award-winning biographer James L. Haley explores the forgotten Jack London: a hard-living globetrotter bristling with ideas whose passion for social justice roared until the day he died. Returning London to his proper place...

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Wolf: The Lives of Jack London

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Overview

Born a working-class, fatherless Californian in 1876, Jack London spent his youth as a boundlessly energetic adventurer on the bustling West Coast; by adulthood he had matured into the iconic American author of such still universally loved books as The Call of the Wild and White Fang. In Wolf, award-winning biographer James L. Haley explores the forgotten Jack London: a hard-living globetrotter bristling with ideas whose passion for social justice roared until the day he died. Returning London to his proper place in the American pantheon, Haley resurrects a major American novelist in his full fire and glory.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Booklist (Starred Review)
“Careful research illuminates the creative process through which London forged such powerful works as Call of the Wild, White Fang, and The Game…[A]ny reader who shares even a spark of London’s incandescent curiosity will relish this vivid portrait.”

Library Journal
“Haley’s work is the sympathetically told story of a man unlucky in his birth to foolish parents, unlucky enough in his health to die at 40, and unlucky with women until his second wife, Charmian. Recommended.”

Wall Street Journal
“[A] valuable London biography. It surpasses Irving Stone’s 1938 Sailor on Horseback, giving us a well-delineated picture of a singular, complicated figure…These days we have little sense of the literary glory that was Jack London. Thanks to James Haley’s zeal, the author of [the fiercely imaginative Before Adam], not just the man of The Call of the Wild, is before us again.”

Daily Telegraph(UK)
“[Haley’s] argument is persuasive that the unexpurgated London has never been more relevant…His biography is polished, sleek, readable and pulls no punches.”

San Francisco Chronicle
“[A] gripping narrative…Haley understands what longtime scholars of London have often failed to see: that London had multiple lives, and explored his own identities in his fiction.”

Seattle Times
“[V]ividly drawn…Haley has done a fine job. His book is a compelling story about a man who, after the death of Mark Twain in 1910, was America’s most prominent author.”

Crosscut.com
“In Wolf, James L. Haley gives us a terrific, compact biography that helps to restore London as a complex, prodigious writer of much (perhaps too much) more than tales of adventure.”

Biography
“Rough-and-tumble, passionate writer who set the stage for Sinclair Lewis and John Steinbeck captured in tumultuous color.”

Irish Examiner (Cork)
"Wolf is a glorious achievement which will encourage readers to seek out more about and by Jack London.”

Dallas Morning News
“[Wolf] reads smoothly, and for any who lack a knowledge about this iconoclastic and sensational writer of the early 20th century, it will make a pleasant bedside companion.”

USA Today
“James Haley’s fascinating biography is as much about London’s socialist politics and domestic turmoil as his best sellers.”
 

WashingtonPost
“James L. Haley’s sharply focused biography recaptures the breadth of London’s achievements and the intricacies of his personality…We can be grateful to Haley for restoring London to us in all his passionate conviction and flawed humanity.”
 

Daily Mail (London) “This extraordinarily incident-packed study, told with brio, speeds along.”

Library Journal
It seems as if Jack London (1876–1916), once the highest-paid writer in America because of the phenomenal success of The Call of the Wild in 1903, suffers fluctuations of popularity, partly depending on the political temper of the times. If his reputation is again rising, this new biography by Haley (Sam Houston: A Life) may well be one of the reasons. Raised in a poor, emotionally impoverished family, 15-year-old London sought camaraderie and a rough knowledge of the world from his fellow dockside outlaw colleagues. He soon developed a lifelong passion for the sea, which he satisfied with his later voyages to the South Pacific. His youthful conversion to socialism was perhaps the central intellectual fact of his brief life, and when he was finally accepted to matriculate at Berkeley, London saw his fiction and social commentary published in the student publication. He was soon expelled, though, and then freed to sail the South Seas. VERDICT Haley's work is the sympathetically told story of a man unlucky in his birth to foolish parents, unlucky enough in his health to die at 40, and unlucky with women until his second wife, Charmian. Recommended.—Charles C. Nash, Cottey Coll., Nevada, MO
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465025039
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 803,301
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.24 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

James L. Haley is the author of The Buffalo War, Passionate Nation, and Sam Houston: A Life, which won nine historical and literary awards. He lives in Austin, Texas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    Jade

    My story about wolves. The story is called The shining star. Its about two packs who are shapeshifters who are all friends when they were little but now enimies. The rest you will find out. Im in the story so I hope ou enjoy.

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