'To this day Jack London is the most widely read American writer in the world,' E. L. Doctorow wrote in The New York Times Book Review. Generally considered to be London's greatest achievement, The Call of the Wild brought him international acclaim when it was published in 1903. His story of the dog Buck, who learns to survive in the bleak Yukon wilderness, is viewed by many as his symbolic autobiography. 'No other popular writer of his time did any better writing than you will find in The Call of the Wild,' said H. L. Mencken. 'Here, indeed, are all the elements of sound fiction.'
White Fang (1906), which London conceived as a 'complete antithesis and companion piece to The Call of the Wild,' is the tale of an abused wolf-dog tamed by exposure to civilization. Also included in this volume is 'To Build a Fire,' a marvelously desolate short story set in the Klondike, but containing all the elements of a classic Greek tragedy.
'The quintessential Jack London is in the on-rushing compulsive-ness of his northern stories,' noted James Dickey. 'Few men have more convincingly examined the connection between the creative powers of the individual writer and the unconscious drive to breed and to survive, found in the natural world. . . . London is in and committed to his creations to a degree very nearly unparalleled in the composition of fiction.'
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|Title of eBook: The Call of the Wild, White Fang & To Build a Fire|
|Release Date: 11-01-2000|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Call of the Wild, White Fang & To Build a Fire
Chapter OneBuck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tidewater dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego. Because men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland. These men wanted dogs, and the dogs they wanted were heavy dogs, with strong muscles by which to toil, and furry coats to protect them from the frost.
Buck lived at a big house in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley. Judge Miller's place, it was called. It stood back from the road, half hidden among the trees, through which glimpses could be caught of the wide, cool veranda that ran around its four sides. The house was approached by graveled driveways which wound about through wide-spreading lawns and under the interlacing boughs of tall poplars. At the rear things were on even a more spacious scale than at the front. There were great stables, where a dozen grooms and boys held forth, rows of vine-clad servants' cottages, an endless and orderly array of outhouses, long grape arbors, green pastures, orchards, and berry patches. Then there was the pumping plant for the artesian well, and the big cement tank where Judge Miller's boys took their morning plunge and kept cool in the hot afternoon.
And over this great demesne Buck ruled. Here he was born, and here he had lived the four years of his life. It was true, there were other dogs. There could not but be other dogs on so vast a place, but they did not count. They came and went, resi...