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Publisher's Summary

"He travels fastest who travels alone...but not after the frost has dropped below zero 50 degrees or more." (Yukon Code)

Jack London’s best short story.

Public Domain (P)2013 Trout Lake Media

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    202
  • 4 Stars
    108
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    7
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    4

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    103
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    29
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    8
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    4

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    190
  • 4 Stars
    85
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    8
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    4
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THE ABSENCE OF SUN

All about this not so bright individual who for some reason, unexplained, is running around in -50 weather. He is consistently getting wet. Every since I read Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, I have a problem taking Jack London very seriously. He was actually a drunk who spend very little time in the wild. As often as this guy got wet, I did not understand why he did not die sooner.

32 of 34 people found this review helpful

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never go alone in -50°

Written as only Jack London can...

A man traveling alone across a winter-scape where temps are colder than -50 below.
His legs accidentally go through a soft spot where natural spring waters remain free of ice regardless of temps. Now the emergency! He must start a fire, but his hands are not working, and his legs are starting to freeze.

As I write this review, the midwest has been experiencing record cold temps as cold as -50°. School is cancelled and weather advisories go into effect. People are warned to stay indoors.

In this book, his friend warns him not go out alone, but he doesn't listen...
It is not London's best work, but he does manage to capture a certain poignancy.

Narration was fine- Husmann has a classic, crisp tone.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Great classic.

My son and I enjoyed this reading of this classic short story very much. It made our trip to the dentist a great experience.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Shocking!!!

Great story! The end completely caught me off guard. The performance was very well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Only Jack Could Write This

One of his great short stories focusing his time in the Yukon.

Peter does a good read and you can feel the cold and need of fire.

  • Overall

Terror in the the banal

If there is another author who can create such an engrossing tale about something as Benign as buiiing a fire , I have yet to encounter him.

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Woah! Intense and unexpected

I remember the writings of Jack London from my school days as unique snapshots of experience. Celebrating the whimsy of the mundane... This fit the bill with an added intensity that I do not remember from my youth

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To build a fire

Classic London story as in it takes place in the Yukon Territory alongside cold and other threats. Oh, and of course, the main character is accompanied by a dog. Also classic London in that it details human alienation from nature and dependency on technologies. Evident in the end when the dog is able to safely find another camp.

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Amazing short story

If you're familiar with jack London and any of his works I have no doubt you'll like this story. The narrator does an excellent job with his tone and pace. And for some pocket change you can't go wrong.

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A Simple Lesson Worth Fifty Cents

The rational, egotistic mind of man contrasted with the instinctive mind of dog: a short lesson worth remembering.

The narration ought to have been in a more minor key, so to speak--it was a little too upbeat for the theme of this title. But hey, it's Jack London--find some pocket change and enjoy an evening's read.