Monday, August 1, 2011
The Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London
Let’s call this one a double feature, but first, a little backstory (but just a little). The Call of the Wild was published in 1903 and tells the tale of a dog named Buck and his journey to becoming a wild beast. Published three years later, White Fang focuses on a wild wolf pup who finds a domestic home, quite the mirror image. While The Call was published first, I’ve always thought of it as a sort of “sequel” to White Fang, and I don’t think those who have also read both would call that too much of a stretch. Anyway, both novels are extremely accessible considering the ever-growing gap between then and now. The writing is such that it isn’t dressed up and dragged down by unnecessary flourishes or “padding” for the sake of page length. In fact, The Call of the Wild clocks in at just over one hundred pages with White Fang at roughly three hundred. London achieves a straightforward yet eloquent style that keeps the story at an even pace and readers ever eager to turn the next page. I could go on praising these two classics, but it all comes down to this. The Call of the Wild and White Fang are both highly enjoyable and refreshing. They warrant, at the very least, a look from those who are unfamiliar with the two titles and a revisit for those who are.