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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.
Review by Andy
Call of the Wild is one of the best classics I’ve ever read. That isn’t much considering I don’t like many classics and that I haven’t read many, but it’s up there with Sherlock Holmes. I even liked it better than Jules Verne which I thought was pretty good. The beginning is a bit boring, but it gets a lot better as the story progresses. The characters are good enough, and overall, it’s not a bad book.
There aren’t really any strong characters except the main character Buck. Spitz is as well but other than those two there aren’t very many stand outs. The incident with Thornton’s bragging – Buck’s favorite master – was an interesting and shows of why you shouldn’t brag. Buck is odd since he strives to be leader, and to prove he’s better than everyone else, yet he is from the “soft” south land. There’s an inexperienced trio who manages to buy an absolutely exhausted Buck and his group of dogs, as well was a few more useless ones. They overload their sled, overfeed then underfeed, and in the end drown after being told a path is risky.
The plot at first is very boring like I said, but it quickly gets better when Buck reaches the north. He must learn to survive in the harsh environment and to the place in things. I found the last two chapters to be the best, where Buck starts feeling a longing to run with his wild brother, a wolf. The fight for leadership between Buck and Spitz, the previous lead dog, is good as is the lead-up to it.
The text can be a little harsh with the accents and some of the vocabulary as well. For example, it often says Gar, and not God. The accent is a bit rough, and some of the words don’t sound like they should, but for the majority of them, if you make the sounds out loud, you’ll figure out what they’re saying. Some of the other terms I had some trouble with as well but found that can be easily googled.
The pacing start slow but gradually gets faster with the last parts the fastest. Most of the book had a decent pace which was fine. The beginning isn’t as good of a plot but it doesn’t feel that much slower surprisingly. The pacing is never slow enough that it’s impossible to read, unlike some books. It can probably be finished in a week counting the weekends, with a reasonable number of other activities.
This is good if you like survival type books, but it is probably better if you’re at least in or around the fourth grade. If you like a wilder side of dogs, this is also a good read.