Are you feeling the call of the wild? This week’s classic book is only short, but packs a huge punch.
Look at my dog, Coco! Isn’t she a star!?
The Call of the Wild Jack London
Pages per day: 24.5
There are a lot of reasons why The Call of the Wild isn’t your average adventure story. It’s wildly unpredictable, it has a deep message hidden between the text… and it’s told from the point of view of Buck, a dog who is stolen from his home to become a sled dog in Alaska.
Throughout this story we watch Buck revert to being truly wild. The more torture and harshness he is subjected to, the more he becomes primal and savage – until he finds a master he can love. The way Jack London portrays Buck is so human-like and yet so believable that it’s easy to find yourself becoming increasingly invested in him and his story. I find that it’s hard to find a book that’s told from the point of view of an animal done right, but London totally hits the nail on the head. It’s obvious that Jack London understands and appreciates the bond between dogs and humans (even fighting for the custody of one of his own), and it’s this which really makes this book so amazing.
The underlying theme of The Call of the Wild is primitivism – Buck reverting back to a wild state in a – literal – dog eat dog environment, and even the humans Buck encounters along the way. Through brutality, London shows how easily we as humans can become primal given the right circumstances. Throughout the story a nature versus nurture debate is also skimmed over, considering Buck was raised a pet before becoming part of nature.
The lengths Jack London went to in order to write this book is nothing short of awesome. He made his way through Alaska to the Klondike after finishing high school in California, chasing the gold rush. It was in the Klondike he claims to have ‘found himself’, and had his inspiration for The Call of the Wild. He spent a year in Yukon collating material for the story, during which time he contracted scurvy, before making his way back to San Francisco on a raft. Badass, right?
It’s no wonder this book has become a classic – it’s not complex or life-changing, but it’s completely wonderful. If you haven’t read it yet, please do so. Aside from it being a look in to character and strength, it’s also just a completely riveting book. You can grab it from Book Depository right here with free shipping worldwide – if you read it, or have read it already, make sure you let me know your thoughts in the comments below! What’s your favourite book told from the point of view of an animal?
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Next week’s book is The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham. The review will be posted on Monday – make sure to check in! If you’ve got any other suggestions for book for my challenge, I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below!
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~Some links in this article are affiliate links in that if you purchase something from them, it will not cost you any more, but I will earn a small commission. This does not influence my recommendation in any way, I would still use this product even if I were not an affiliate.~