Friday, August 25, 2017

BACK TO THE CLASSICS CHALLENGE 2017: The Call of the Wild by Jack London

As a animal lover and dog owner, at first I wasn't sure if I could handle this book...and this after reading The Yearling! The story is told from the point of view of Buck, a young Saint Bernard/Scotch Shepherd mix (google them, they are gorgeous dogs) who is dognapped from his northern California home and sold as a sled dog up north at the height of the Klondike gold rush of the late 1800s.

This is a very short novella, the Puffin edition pictured above is only 150 pages long, which was good for me because I didn't find the writing style that engaging although it was very descriptive and evocative of place.  Buck encounters hardship along the way but he also has joyful moments. It is questionable, however, if the ending is a happy one. It depends upon the perspective of the reader.

I did think that much of the canine behavior depicted was familiar based on dogs I have known, but I also think London  anthropomorphized a little too much now and again.  Dogs are smart, don't get me wrong. And in many ways, they are smarter than humans. But I don't think they reason in the same way that humans do and sometimes London attributed this kind of thinking and action to Buck. 

I chose Jack London's The Call of the Wild for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2017 category of a "Classic About an Animal or With an Animal in the Title".   This is also another two for the price of one since it is also included on the Modern Library’s 100 best English-language novels of the twentieth century, of which I now have only 28 left to read.
Here are two of my fierce huskies!