The Call of the Wild – Bookcast #32

The Call of the Wild 1903 by Jack London

There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.

The domesticated life of a powerful St. Bernard-Shepherd mix named Buck is quickly turned on end when he is stolen away from his master and put to work as a sled dog in Alaska. His once life of luxury turns into a life of survival and adaptation as he learns the ways of the wilderness.

Set in the Klondike region of Canada during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, The Call of the Wild showcases the transformation of a canine as he learns to adapt to what life has given him, fair or not.

Read and listen to “The Call of the Wild on Amazon!

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Overview of The Call of the Wild

  • A very brief description of “The Call of the Wild”
    • Jack London – one of the greatest American novelists – tells a story of a domesticated St Bernard that learns the rule of Club and Fang and returns to his primitive state as an Alpha Wolf in the Alaskan Yukon.
  • What London sets out to do / Purpose of the book
    • To open the eyes of domesticated readers and show them horrors – and joys – of what life in the wild is truly like.
  • The intended audience of the book / Who will benefit most
    • Anyone who loves dogs
    • Anyone who loves great books
    • Anyone who loves an adventure story
    • Anyone who doesn’t like their stories watered down and Disney-fied
    • Anyone who loves the outdoors and the wild
  • Who probably WON’T like “The Call of the Wild”
    • People who can’t handle violence
    • People who don’t like dogs
    • People who like everything to turn out happy
  • How does this book specifically benefit Men? 
    • Modern men are weaker than ever. This book can help toughen them up
  • Is this book Easy, Average or Difficult to read? / How long is it?
    • Easy to read
    • Print: 173 pages – Less than 3 hours
    • Audio: 3h 26min
  • What are the overall book reviews? Is the book well-known? Popular? Significant?
    • The main Amazon version has 8,000+ reviews but the book has sold millions and millions of copies over the last 100 years
  • Book-To-Movie Translation 
    • Multiple movie versions of Call of the Wild. The 2020 version with Harrison Ford is supposed to be pretty good.

Short Bio of Jack London

  • John Griffith London (1/12/1876 – 11/22/1916)
  • American novelist, journalist and social activist. 
  • A pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazines, he was one of the first American authors to become an international celebrity and earn a large fortune from writing.
  • Starting at an early age he rode the rails as a hobo for a year
  • Sailed up to Alaska and worked in the Klondike as a miner where he got inspiration for his novels The Call of the Wild and White Fang
  • He was a war correspondent for the US in both the Russo-Japanese war and was arrested twice by the Japanese army – once in Japan and in Korea – but was so charming that he was able to eventually be allowed to travel with the Imperial Japanese Army and makes reports on the war.
  • London wrote over twenty successful novels and dozens and dozens of short stories for major newspapers and magazines.

Table of Contents / Themes

  • Survival of the Fittest
  • The power of Instinct
  • Loyalty
  • Power
  • Companionship
  • The Joy of Labor
  • The Virtue of Humanity

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