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First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is widely regarded as Jack London's masterpiece. Based on London's experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike. It’s the story of Buck, a great dog, a Yukon sled dog. Buck's father was a huge Saint Bernard, and Buck's mother, a huge Scotch shepherd dog. He is shaggy, big of body, strong of muscle and stout of heart. Stolen from a California ranch and taken to live in the far glacier land of the North, he is put in a team of work dogs and made to carry the Yukon mail. It documents his journey and transformation from domesticity as the call of the wild takes him into her clutches. The Call of the Wild is an absorbing and enchanting tale of wild life, brutality, love and friendship from Buck’s point of view. Although shockingly harsh at times, it has moments of unexpected tenderness and I defy anyone not to fall in love with Buck.
In 1894, an eighteen-year-old Jack London quit his job shoveling coal, hopped a freight train, and left California on the first leg of a ten thousand-mile odyssey. His adventure was an exaggerated version of the unemployed migrations made by millions of boys, men, and a few women during the original great depression of the 1890s. By taking to the road, young wayfarers like London forged a vast hobo subculture that was both a product of the new urban industrial order and a challenge to it. As London's experience suggests, this hobo world was born of equal parts desperation and fascination. I went on 'The Road,' he writes, because I couldn't keep away from it...because I was so made that I couldn't work all my life on 'one same shift'; because - well, just because it was easier to than not to. The best stories that London told about his hoboing days can be found in The Road , a collection of nine essays with accompanying illustrations, most of which originally appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine between 1907 and 1908. His virile persona spoke to white middle-class readers who vicariously escaped their desk-bound lives and followed London down the hobo trail. The zest and humor of his tales, as Todd DePastino explains in his lucid introduction, often obscure their depth and complexity. The Road is as much a commentary on London's disillusionment with wealth, celebrity, and the literary marketplace as it is a picaresque memoir of his youth.
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London, is one of America's best-known novels. Currently published in more than twenty separate editions in English alone, this novel about the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896 to 1899 has been continuously in print since it first appeared in 1903.Many editions of The Call of the Wild have distorted the original text: the violence is modified, the language is sanitized, and the punctuation and spelling are modernized. This new edition duplicates the original, which London himself edited and approved.