Sunday, 20 March 2016

THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London

5 GOLD Stars

Classic adventure/Gold Rush

On Amazon UK HERE
On Amazon.com HERE
On Goodreads
It's FREE on Amazon!!



HOW have I managed to get to the age of ** without reading this???  I described it thus to my sister last night: 'I can't believe how brilliant it is, it's one of THOSE books.'

For anyone who hasn't read it and doesn't know about it (yes, I know it's a classic and this is probably like saying 'for anyone who doesn't know what Wuthering Heights is about!), it's set in during the Klondike gold rush of the late 19th century, in Yukon Territory and Alaska.  The story is told from the point of view of Buck, a St Bernard/Scottish shepherd dog crossbreed who lived a luxurious existence in a wealthy house in California, and is stolen and sold by the gardner to work for prospectors, a hard life indeed. 


Much of the book is about how he adapts to his changing environment, but more than that, how 'not only did he learn by experience but instincts long dead within him.  The domesticated generations fell from him in vague ways he remembered back to the youth of the breed....they came to him without effort or discovery as though they had been his always.'


I am sure that those who've studied this book will tell you that what happens to Buck along the way is a parallel of what might happen to man under such circumstances, too; well, that was how it seemed to me, anyway.  I am not a 'dog person', but I loved Buck and the dogs with whom he travelled.  He had masters who cared for him properly, and one horrible group who deserved all that happened to them, until he finally found his one true master.  The passages about the relationship between him and John Thornton were so, so touching, but what I loved most was the discovery of his 'race memory', how he dreamt of and somehow knew about times so long ago, etched into his DNA.


Of course, the call of the wild becomes stronger and stronger....  this is a wonderful book, not very long (I would have been happy if it had been three times the length), and I'd recommend it to anyone.  So now I've found another author whose books I will be working through...next: 'White Fang'!


12 comments:

  1. One of my all-time favourite books, Terry. I'd also recommend White Fang by the same author

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    1. Yes, it's next on my list, Kat! :)

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  2. My daughter is a very reluctant reader - however, she is obsessed by animals, and this is one of the few books she actually read all the way through, and more than once. It's absolutely wonderful isn't it? White Fang is brilliant too :)

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    1. 'Absolutely wonderful' - yes, that kind of sums it up! Really looking forward to White Fang as well :)

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    1. I didn't know if it was silly to review it when it's such a classic, but I just HAD to!

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  4. I've read White Fang (many years ago) but not this. It's now on my Kindle, thank you, and for this great review :-)

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    1. I thought of you when I wrote it - was intending to send it to you, as a doggy person!

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  5. I loved White Fang when I was young, and it was wonderful to pass it along to my son a couple of years ago and see how much he enjoyed it. Next it's my daughter's turn!

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    1. I look forward to it very much, Suzanne - thanks for reading :)

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  6. It's not usually the sort of book I'd pick up despite being a 'must read classic'! But my boyfriend, who's not an avid reader, read it a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I guess the length of the book makes it more accessible too, but for me it seemed a bit too 'masculine'? Your review has made me reconsider and I might give it a go! Abby x

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    1. I tend to prefer more 'masculine' books, but I don't think this is one at all, Abby! It's just so real, and touching, too. It's a really 'easy read' as well - and it's free so you could give it a go! Thanks for reading x

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