Call of the Wild
By: Jack London
½ Scottish Shepherd and ½ Sheepdog, Buck begins his life in the lap of luxury as the king of Judge Miller’s place in “sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley” in California. His life was rich in comforts; days filled with dips in the swimming pond, hunting with the Judge and his sons, walks with the Judge’s daughters and rambles on his own in the surrounding woods followed by nights by the fire, sleeping at the Judge’s feet. All that changed when he was stolen, sold and shipped off to the Yukon (during the Klondike gold rush of the last few years of the 19th century).
Suddenly, Buck was no longer king of all he surveyed; his life of a working sled dog began. Beaten into submission, worked until his feet bled, staved, mistreated, sold and sold again and again to one master after another…Buck’s life was wholly and forever changed.
I read Call of the Wild when I was 11 or 12 and I loved it. That was many moons ago, however. So, I decided to read it again to see if I would still love it as much as I once did. I did. This is one of the best stories I’ve ever read…even the second time around.
London’s narrative is truly engaging and very entertaining. As the reader (and I dog lover) I was devastated when Buck was mistreated and overjoyed when he found a master who treated him like a beloved pet.
Even though I’d read the story before (40 years ago!), I had forgotten how it ended. I won’t spoil anything for other readers, but I will say that my heart both leapt for joy and twisted in sorrow.
This is an exceptional read, especially for dog lovers and children (although, I believe any child under the age of 10 or so would enjoy it more if it were read by an adult). It truly deserves its title of “classic”.
I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys fiction, adventure and dogs.