Jack London's masterpiece tells the gripping tale of a dog named Buck who is wrenched out of his life of ease and luxury to become a sled dog in Alaska. Drawing on his wolf heritage, Buck must fight for survival in an alien environment.
Public Domain (P)2009 Trout Lake Media
The opening sentence is a classic, foreshadowing the entire tale. Some anthropomorphism here, but it doesn't destroy a great adventure story, a look into the past, the Gold Rush in Alaska. The relationship between Buck and Thornton reminds us of how close man and dog can be, and the story never flags until the satisfying ending when Buck, too powerful a force to remain in civilization, returns to the wild.
I read a few pages of the paperback book before I gave it to my nine-year-old grandson. When I listened to it on audible realized what an excellent story it was. Maybe a little gory for a young one. Very well read by the narrator.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
America is a dog obsessed nation. Jack London, in “Call of the Wild”, sets the pace for hundreds, if not thousands, of well-trodden stories about dogs.
London’s story is set in the time of Alaska’s gold rush. Dog sledding and the value of dogs increased in proportion to a ballooning Alaskan population. Buck, after being dog-napped, is sold to various owners in Alaska to serve the burgeoning demand for improved transportation. Buck is described as a big, growing fierce, intelligent dog. He learns how to deal with sub-zero temperatures by observing and copying the habits of other dogs. London describes how Buck learns to dig a hole in sub-zero temperatures and curl into a ball to protect himself.
London shows humans to be ethnocentric users of the animal kingdom. (This is not a surprise based on sentient beings’ history of abuse and slavery.) On a literal plane, Buck is a dog that is exploited by humans to drive sleds across the snow and ice of Alaska. Buck competes in the animal kingdom for supremacy by defeating or cowering other dogs to become a pack leader. However, Buck is chained to a life of toil by man’s domination of the non-human animal kingdom. These two forms of existence meld into one when Buck is saved by a human from abuse by his last owner; i.e. Buck becomes free to choose; free to return to the wild or stay with his human savior, not as a subject of domination but as a companion. Buck chooses to stay until his savior is murdered by a fictional tribe of Alaskan Indians. The “Call of the Wild” tears Buck away from humans because the wild is ironically more predictable than human civilization.
London’s story is about a dog but it is also a story about the best and worst of human beings. Whether dogs have human feelings, or humans project their feelings on dogs, or dogs are just other sentient beings is not important but freedom to choose is shown by London to be a preeminent condition of all sentient life.
Married to a Presbyterian Pastor - 4 grand children - just returned from a mission trip to Russia - Career - Interior designer
The story moved along at a steady pace. Always gripping intriguing!
Honesty about human nature and our relationship to "Man's Best Friend," our dogs.
Even though I do not have a dog myself - I have total respect for what dogs can do for people. It is amazing!!
He kept me captivated as he related the story. Great Book!
I certainly never laughed but no, no tears. Some parts touched the heart strings. I loved the earthy honesty of Jack London's story.
I would listen to anything Jack London writes after "The Call of the Wild"
The narrator Mike Boris brings new vigor and emotional depth to this classic tale. I only wish he would be asked to read more of the Jack London catalogue. For some odd reason, I had postponed reading this short book over five decades. Had I but known what a truly moving psychological journey it would take me on ~ an episodic narrative packed with a host of interesting characters, both canine and human ~ I would have devoured this story long ago. Five stars all the way.
Pitch perfect narration, His work truly enhanced an already masterful tale. I will keep my eyes opened for the name Mike Boris in the future.
Professor of American and World History at a community college. Enjoys hard science fiction, space fantasy and space opera, fantasy, and historical narratives. Heck, I'll read anything once!
Absolutely. It's one of those beautifully written, beautifully performed stories that can continue to touch. It's a product of a different time, so the style and some of the characterizations take getting used to, but it's still profoundly eloquent and moving.
I'd have to compare it to other classic literature. And, so far as the classics on audio go, this is the best one I've listened to so far!
There's a sense of personality to Buck and a sense of urgency to the story that otherwise might be lost in the narrative. This story is written to be read aloud--it's almost an epic poem but in narrative rather than lyrical form. Read on the page, it just wouldn't be the same. Mike Boris' performance is excellent, his voice just the right timbre for the story.
Neither laugh nor cry, no. But it did make me slap my forehead and ask myself why I hadn't read this before. Thank goodness THIS was my first exposure to it!
Good story. Good performance. Good length. A perfect long-drive book.
How do I get to my library without writing a review? Is this fifteen words, yet?
I loved this. A brilliant story, one which anyone who has ever spent anytime in the wilderness will associate with.
"Nice voice, great story"
I tried most other narrators and I found this one the best. Nice voice, not string accent. The story is simple to listen to and kept the kids interested for the full 3 hours and a bit while we were driving.
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