Reading Records: Call of the Wild by Jack London

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***SPOILER ALERT also TW: Harm of animals******

I know, I know… Two book reviews in less than a month. I was just as shocked. But truthfully I was so happy to see that I actually finished two books within a reasonable time. And despite the last book’s memoir theme, this book a little more imagiative. To the point a movie was made with Harrison Ford (always read the book–even on this one, I would say it’s better to read the book.) And admittedly I listened to this one on audible while taking my long dog walks within a few weeks.

However, this book has a long standing history with me. In sixth grade–we were given a list of books to choose from and I selected Call of the Wild by Jack London. To be honest-it was mostly because I loved White Fang the movie and thought since the author was the same that it would be the same “connection with the wild spirit” as his other book. So, I wrote a brief report, barely read any of the book and turned it in.Little did I know that my teacher knew I had not done my work, explained it to my mother and she not only grounded me with a massive room clean but also forced me within 1 weekend to actually re-read the book & write the correct report. It was a hard but nice lesson in responsibility and honesty.

So when the movie came out this year–I made a special effort to make sure to read the book again. And while I saw the movie, absolutely loving it, I still worked thru original story of the book.

Call of the Wild is a work of fiction by Jack London with a dog as the main character. His name is Buck and it starts with Buck’s kidnapping and travel to the new world of the Yukon. He is beaten, traded, locked into a sled dog team that delivers mail across the territory in the harshest conditions. It finally ends with the Buck being pushed to the breaking point and a gentle soul of a man comes along and nurses him back to health before Buck journeys into the wild wolf pack.

The book was beautifully written. It had this harsh but strong appeal to it, like one walking thru the hard snow in the Alaskan territory. I know its Jack London’s specialty (see White Fang and several other short stories), but it was as if you were Buck the dog. Feeling each of this trials, his struggles, his joyful moments where he becomes on with the wilderness and those depressing moments where he learns some humans beat dogs for sport.

I will say I am glad I just listened to this book. I think having something tangible in my hands would have made it more difficult to digest, especially the parts of animal torture. Especially because at the time I was walking my dog. But if you have seen the new movie–I believe for once this movie actually stays true to the book. And not in the sense not it describes EVERY detail. But it does include the book’s message. It embodies the word “inspired” or comparable. The creative liberties the writers and directors took were respectful, classic and well done. It also allowed for children to understand the books teachings (like beating a dog is bad) without going into the painful almost chalkboard scratching pain inducing feeling you get from reading the book.

So if you have not read or listened to this book (or even if you have), I recommend it highly. Even if you love animals. It will be a true classic pleasure!

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