The Call of the Wild is a short adventure novel by Jack London published in 1903 and set in Yukon, Canada during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The central character is a dog named Buck. The story opens at a ranch in the Santa Clara Valley of California when Buck is stolen from his home and sold into service as a sled dog in Alaska. He progressively reverts to a wild state in the harsh climate, where he is forced to fight to dominate other dogs. By the end, he sheds the veneer of civilization and relies on primordial instinct and learned experience to emerge as a leader in the wild. London spent almost a year in the Yukon collecting material for the book. The story was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in the summer of 1903; it was published a month later in book form. The book’s great popularity and success made a reputation for London. Much of its appeal derives from its simplicity as a tale of survival. As early as 1923, the story was adapted to film, and it has since seen several more cinematic adaptations.
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"A lively and expressive reading of this riveting story of the far north."From the Back Cover:
A best-seller from its first publication in 1903, The Call of the Wild tells the story of Buck, a big mongrel dog who is shipped from his comfortable life in California to Alaska, where he must adapt to the harsh life of a sled dog during the Klondike Gold Rush. The narrative recounts Buck’s brutal obedience training, his struggle to meet the demands of human masters, and his rise to the position of lead sled dog as a result of his superior physical and mental qualities. Finally, Buck is free to respond to the “call” of the wilderness. Over a hundred years after its publication, Jack London’s “dog story” retains the enduring appeal of a classic.
This Broadview Edition includes a critical introduction that explores London’s life and legacy and the complex scientific and psychological ideas drawn upon by London in writing the story. The appendices include material on the Klondike, Darwin’s writings on dogs, other contemporary writings on instinct and atavism, and maps of the regions in which the story takes place.
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