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The Call Of The Wild

The Call Of The Wild

4.0 354
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


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

Book Jungle
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
0.24(w) x 9.25(h) x 7.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

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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The Call of the Wild 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 354 reviews.
Jackie Palmer More than 1 year ago
When I began the book, it was boring. But further into the book it turned into a great read! I would definitely recommend this book. I'm not into adventure books, but I love this book! Read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I read it when I was in third grade and could not put it down. It's hard for me to like books because I really don't like reading. Five stars... I recomend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS BOOK. The Call of the Wild's main theme is survival; Buck, a dog and the protaganist of the story, struggles with man, nature, and other dogs during this entire book. He is taken away from his comforable southland home and moved to the harsh north during the gold rush. Throughout the story he grapples with "The Law of Club and Fang," trying to become a leader and dominant creature; many things suprise him and he learns much. Great book for vocabulary. While reading I learned the word "superfluous."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are even remotely a dog lover you have got to read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very nice jand altogether an amazingly deep book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm 12 and i think that this is a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book, written from the dogs standpoint, I thought it a hard role to take on, but it was easily mastered. A must read for any dog or nature lover, dont let the bad reviews fool you! Plenty of action, very descriptive, and fun. Just read this one, its quick!
Stueysmom More than 1 year ago
The Call of the Wild is a wonderful story and I recommend it to everyone young and old. However, DO NOT get this particular copy. It is difficult to read due to a lot of weird letters and characters inserted throughout. I tried several different free versions and they all have this defect. I finally fouond one for $0.99 which was wonderful. I love free stuff same as the next person, but this isn't worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not ask for a better animal story for the wilds of alasaka
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
so this is a good boook!!! i totaly reccomend this super awsome book! love it! ooooo!!!!yeah!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this bokk in language arts and i loved it so much i looked for it on here to read again!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good but there were alot of typos.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book. It's a grate classic book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When the book ended, I wanted to applaud
Conrad Restemyer More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, but sometimes very dark.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Love Jack London's way of writing from the animal's perspective. Almost as if the dog is the author. Wrenches your heart to know that some people are actually that cruel to animals. B/also proves the point that a dog will react and be faithful to a good master and not to a cruel master. Be kind to a dog and you've got the most faithful friend on earth a man could have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book! We read it in my ( gifted) language arts, and it was a little boring at first, but it gets really good!!!!!! I love this book!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is gret!Good for forth grade.I am 9 and I love it.Get it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its amazing book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is was a very good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This I decided to read because I have read rhe chid version and at first it as sad because the dogs were not treated fairly with respect but as the book page get higher, the main dog begins to fit in- and this story is full of dog sled adventures! This is a great atory to read, and I would rate it a 4 out of 5- Have fun if you decide to read this book!
Jackson Kelly More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Coming out 2015 fall!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finish reading it and loved every chapter of it. He uses dircriptive langauge like no other author I know of.