Call of the Wild and White Fang (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Call of the Wild and White Fang (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593082000
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 06/01/2004
Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 14,610
Product dimensions: 7.96(w) x 5.26(h) x 0.93(d)

Read an Excerpt



From Tina Gianquitto's Introduction to The Call of the Wild and White Fang

By the time London boarded the steamer for his trip from San Francisco to Alaska, he had already led a colorful and dramatic life. He was a sloop owner and oyster poacher on San Francisco Bay and a deputy for the Fish Patrol at fifteen, a sailor traveling through the North and South Pacific hunting seals at seventeen, a coal-shoveler in a power plant, a Socialist, and a tramp at eighteen. By nineteen, a weary London saw himself, with others of the working classes, near "the bottom of the [Social] Pit . . . myself above them, not far, and hanging on to the slippery wall by main strength and sweat" (London, War of the Classes, pp. 274-275; see "For Further Reading"). Although London was far from relinquishing his love of the active life, he feared being ruled by it. London fought in these early years to educate himself, and by that education to get himself out of the hard-laboring classes. As his hero informs his readers in the semi-autobiographical novel Martin Eden, writing offered a way to stoke the fires of both the body and the imagination, and so with characteristic determination, London set himself to the task of becoming a professional writer. By 1896, however, he realized that writing alone could not support a hungry family. The following year, London and his brother-in-law Captain James H. Shepard decided to try their luck panning for gold in the recently discovered strikes along the Yukon River in the Klondike.

After disembarking in Juneau, Alaska, London, Shepard and their companions made their way to Dyea, the principle departure point for the gold fields of the Yukon and the Klondike. Buck travels the same trails that London covered-leaving Dyea, making the arduous climb over Chilcoot Pass, and pushing on to Lakes Linderman and Bennett before making the waters of the Yukon River. From here, the party traveled downstream, toward Dawson City, where they navigated the dangerous White Horse and Five Finger Rapids before reaching the relative safety of Split-Up Island, 80 miles from Dawson between the Stewart River and Henderson Creek. London staked a claim near here and made a brief visit to Dawson City to record the claim. He returned to the island, where the group passed the winter in an old miner's cabin. These long five months proved difficult for London, who contracted scurvy by the spring from poor diet and lack of exercise.

Upon his return to San Francisco in 1898, London began his writing career in earnest. Clearly, the Klondike turned London into a writer of note, not only because he was able to tap into a ready market for all things Gold Rush, but more important, because the landscape offered London a barren theater for his characters to work out their paths in life. If, as London believed, environment determined the course of an individual's life, then the austere and brutal, yet ultimately simple environment of the North tested the capacities of the individual (and by extension, the species) to adapt to the environment.

London's intellectual experiences during the winter spent on Split-Up Island are as important as his physical ones; he spent his time reading, rereading, and sharing with his friends the two books he carried with him to the wilderness: Milton's Paradise Lost and Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Less than a year after his return to San Francisco, London summed up his understanding of Darwin in a letter to his friend Cloudesley Johns: "Natural selection, undeviating, pitiless, careless alike of the individual or the species, destroyed or allowed to perpetuate, as the case might be, such breeds as were unfittest or fittest to survive" (Labor, p. 101). Such struggle characterizes human and animal life in The Call of the Wild and White Fang.

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The Call of the Wild and White Fang 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 404 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Call of the Wild and White Fang are two of my favorite books. I enjoyed reading them because of my love for wolves.
TheDutchCanadian More than 1 year ago
Lately I have been picking up many Barnes and Nobles classics for their great price and better than average quality. So a couple weeks ago I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up the very book I am reviewing. I looked at the appealing price (Eight dollars), the fact that it was a hardcover, and the nice ruffled paper. I started reading it a few days later and finished it in three days flat. I was taken into the frigid and brutal Alaskan wilderness and followed the dogs that Jack London created. I thought it was a great book overall. It has an interesting setting and time (the Klondike gold rush), and was written well, in my opinion. Now if you like dogs, then this book will be a more meaningful and powerful read for you. Now there was some brutal parts in the book(No spoilers, dont worry), but I think that Jack London included them to show the power of nature and give you a different feeling of the book. Now a big thing that I have learned with Barnes and Noble classics in general is that one should read the Introduction AFTER reading the book (Do I smell a paradox?). For some odd reason Barnes and Noble feels the need to spoil the entire story before you even hit page one. The introduction gives away the plot, many events, and, basically, just made you waste eight dollars if you got the book for enjoyment only. I really think they should make it a Conclusion.But, the Introduction is very helpful for giving one a better understanding of the book, and I, personally find it quite interesting and find it helps connect some "dots" of the book if I read the Introduction AFTER I have read the book in full. Now if you are reading this review, you may have noticed that it is "out of stock" or something to that degree (It is as I am writing this). If I am correct, I remember looking at a hardcover Barnes and Noble classics named "The Count of Monte Cristo," and it said the same thing(out of stock). But when I checked a couple weeks later it was "in stock." So if one really wants this book, it should, if I am correct, be "in stock" in some weeks. If not, just buy the paperback copy. The paper is good and the only difference is that its not a hardcover (Did I mention its cheaper?) So, in summary: Great Book,great value, and read the Introduction after reading the book. Hope you like it as much as I did :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An Amazing Book!!! I read this book in seventh grade Literature class and I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!! I'm eighth grade right now and I've already read this book three other times!!
pwee More than 1 year ago
These two books, being the Call of the Wild and White Fang, were very unique books indeed. The first novel, the Call of the Wild, follows the story of the domesticated dog Buck, who is rather wolf-like in appearance, who is unexpectedly stolen from his comfortable life and his loving master and thrown into the harsh challenges of a violent world. Throughout the majority of this first book, the story tells of Buck's hardships, as he is forced into the crude (and gory) sport of dog fighting, and is faced with ever-abusive (and changing) owners, all the while coming to learn of the law of kill or be killed. White Fang, the second of the two novels, follows the wolf called, obviously, White Fang, who, as opposed to Buck, is thrust into the confusing realm of men, which results in his gradual domestication. Both of these novels I largely recommend, although they are somewhat strange in their forthcoming, and at some points a tad gory, but not extensively. Full of action, yet embellished with a noticeable realism, Jack London gives as a grand portrayal of looking through a canine's eyes. Although the author seems like a low-life (if you were to read his autobiography! A drunk and having gone to jail on several occasions!!!), his writing doesn't at all portray it, and I strongly recommend that you give these novels a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wild book...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
London uses amazing technic and style to tell this tale through the eyes of a Husky dog, Buck. Buck learns through trial and error the importance and effectiveness of leadership. London's tale can also compare to us as humans, and how we react and adapt to the harsh conditions of life. This book is a timeless classic that everyone should read some point in their life. Jessica the bug freak
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This particular novel combined the two books, Call of the Wild and White Fang, both written by Jack London. The first book, Call of the Wild, is about a Saint Bernard named Buck who was born and raised in a luxurious life with very wealthy owners. Then one day, he was kidnapped from his opulent life and sold to Alaskan gold seekers as a sled dog. In order to stay alive in the Alaskan Wilderness, Buck must learn: to scavenge every scrap of food he can get, the "Law of Club and Fang", how to fit in with the pack and, most importantly, how to fight. Throughout his perilous adventure, Buck has to endure the cruelty of his malicious masters, an innumerous amount of wounds from thousands of battles, and the harsh conditions of the winter to survive the American Northwest. The second novel, White Fang, is about a wolf that is half dog that grew up in the Wild. the first few months of his life are spent with his mother in the Wild, but they accidentally stumble into the hands of indians who amaze him with their "powers". These ways of man cause White Fang to believe that they are his gods and that his calling in life is to serve them. His wolfness causes him to be shunned and hated by all dogs that he meets, which molds White Fang into a ferocious fighter, a very agile speedster, and makes the wolf much more faithful to men. This faithfulness introduces him to the evil part of mankind that changes him into a merciless monster that loathes anything and everything that is living. However, one man treats him differently from the others, but in a good way. Using the power of love, his new god rids White Fang of his hatred and replaces it with an affinity towards him.
PurpleInkling More than 1 year ago
I read this book as a young child and fell in love with it- I laid it down, and have not looked at it in many years. I wondered before reading it if I would still enjoy it, and although I appreciate London's techniques better now, it is still a fantastic story for almost all ages.
Awesome_1 More than 1 year ago
The Call of the Wild by Jack London centers on Buck, a dog that was born and raised in a life of comfort and ease on a California estate, but is kidnapped from his life of luxury and his loving master and thrown into the harsh challenges of the north. In order to survive, buck must listen to the Call and learn the ways of his wolf- ancestors to guide him along the way. Throughout the majority of the book, the story tells of Buck's hardships, as he is forced into the cruel and bloody sport of dog fighting, and is faced with many ruthless owners, all the while coming to learn of the law of kill or be killed. A major theme that is constant throughout the book is survival of the fittest, kill or be killed. Only the strongest and most fit will survive. I liked this book so much I would pick it up and reread it again. I like dogs so this was an enjoyable book to read. On the other hand though one of my dislikes was that there was some gore in the book, but no extensively, also some of the slang for the people, it made it hard to understand what they were saying and made for a confusing read. I do recommend that someone who likes dog and or animals to read this book.I do suggest it to be for an older audience though do to that there are some gruesome parts that may not be appropriate for younger people. I give this book a four star rating. I liked it very much and Jack London gives a portrayal of looking through a canine's eye.
MAV-N More than 1 year ago
Excellent excellent excellent.
TimberWolf11 More than 1 year ago
This book is like an elegant red whine, it is sold with a companion book Whitefang if you can find it. I just finished it, it is the most descriptive and in depth literature i have ever read. Jack London's writing style is strange, looking back he made out perfectly what was happening in Call of the Wild and Whitefang with nearly no dialect. The animals themselves do not ever talk but the humans bearly talk through the entire book. It is almost perfectly from the animals point of view. The only let down is it was written in 1901 and therefore is one of its kind as fa as i know Jack London does not have many books published i have only heard of these two but superb book a must have in any collection.
Kyle Rose More than 1 year ago
Just finished call of the wild in less then a week, i didnt want to put it down!
Choccy on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This probably will be one of my all time fave of animal books. Makes me think whether Jack himself was a reincarnation of a wolf himself, becoz his description is so damn real.The setting is around the end of the 19th century. The Call of the Wild tells about Buck, a normal house-bred dog who was kidnapped and brought to Alaska to be a sled dog. There he has to face a brutal and merciless world with its ¿law of club and fang¿. The description on how he was decivilized, until finally he answers "The Call of the Wild", to become a leader of a wolf pack is so touching yet horrible.On the contrary, White Fang tells a story about a wolf, born in the wild, but finally has to grow among the Indians and educated to be a sled dog. Because his owner had a debt due his liquor addiction, he was sold to a wicked white man who made him become a fighting wolf and had to face life and death at the arena. Similar with Buck, White Fang must learn how to surrender himself completely to a new situation. It gave me the creep when I read the author's desription about the submission process of a wolf to the hands of men. Domestification is not as simple as you think¿.Truly a splendid reading. You¿ll learn (again) that the world can be so cruel and only the strong will prevail.
scottbrown88 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I came to these books having read John Krakauer's Into the Wild, the story of Chris McCandless. Chris had read these book that inspired him to go on his epic adventure to Alaska that led to his death. Being Highly interested in that story I was compelled to read these two stories. I have read The Call of the Wild and am 2 chapters into White Fang. I really did love the former and I can see why it was the inspiration of McCandless. Following the story from the view point of Buck, the cross-breed house dog who was kidknapped to the hard wilds of the Northlands was written fantastically and in a believeble manner. Great story and portrayal of the relationship between man and dog. Highly recommend this book, and I look forward to completing White Fang
reading_fox on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Two counterpoint stories of a dog gone wild and a wild gone dog. Both unfortunately suffer from the same flaws which are at times mitagated by some decent moving prose, but mostly it just drags. Call of the wild: Buck is a hefty mogrel, dognapped out of a Californian comfy life to help power the late 1800s goldrush as a sled dog. Despite being a domesticated dog for 10000 years or so Jack London imparts him (and no others) with the instincts of a wolf, an some very unbelivable 'yearning' to 'go back to nature' which is just victorian melodrama of the worst anthromorphisation. Apparently his large dog build gives him a competitivie advantage over evolution's million years of perfecting a wolf. White fang is almost as bad, White fang being a wolf quarter dog hybrid (already pretty improbable) suddenly decides for no explained reason other than 'racial memory' which doesn't exist that humans are automatically good. I have no issues with a wolf being tamed, all animals can be tamed, but it's a specific process not a genetic compulsion. And he reverts from a wild creature to a sled dog over the course of a slightly longer novel. Interspersed with these annoying inaccuracies are tediously long descriptions sometimes of the dogs mental states, followed byt he disclaimer that they aren't feeling as a human would. It's all just annoying. There are pages of and pages of dog fights too, slash turn run away shoulder barge slash. etc. The good bits in both stories are the occasionally moving portrayals of how the dogs interact with man. Probably best read if you don't own a dog, but do kind of like them.
urhockey22 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I have not read White Fang yet, but Call of the Wild was a very good book. Well-written and no longer than it had to be, it is a great story told by a great storyteller.
rayski on LibraryThing 8 months ago
White Fang - Opposite story of Call of the Wild, this time we follow the lives of a wolf pack leading to the birth of half wolf White Fang. WF integration into the human world shows us a different view of our species through the eyes of another. In the end WF is tamed and accepts all of our world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blackstar for leader and pine for dupety.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two reads that will have you on the edge of your seat. A tragic wolf story that will have you rooting for the protagonists all the way. If you like action and adventure, then you will enjoy this. Happy trails!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Way better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago