Jack London

Discussion in 'Literary Fiction' started by BAYLOR, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    Well , I haven't seen a thread on him in this section so.. Ive read Call, Wild White ,The Sea Wolf , The Star Rover, The Iron Heel is on my to read list.

    What books by him have you read and enjoyed ?
     
  2. dask

    dask dark and stormy knight

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    Call of the Wild, White Fang, The Sea Wolf, and a whole bunch of stories found in this book:
    [​IMG]
    Found a lot of his stories extremely violent and cruel, realism a little too real.
     
  3. aThenian

    aThenian Well-Known Member

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    Call of the Wild and White Fang.

    Yes, they are tough reads if you don't like to read about suffering. And that's probably why I haven't read more, as yet - they're certainly not comfort reads. I think he was supposedly groundbreaking though, in terms of his portrayals of animals - not anthropomorphized but able to use their point of view and show their suffering at human hands. Powerful writing. And a sense of wilderness and place.
     
  4. The Judge

    The Judge Truth. Order. Moderation. Staff Member

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    I read The Call of the Wild as a child/teenager (can't recall exactly when), but I re-read it just a couple of years ago, then immediately followed it up with its companion and mirror image, White Fang.

    I'd definitely agree with the sense of wildness and place he conjures up in the novels, and the cruelty aspect, both of nature itself and the humans using and abusing animals and each other, though I managed to stomach it in the two I read. I found it interesting that the overarching themes of survival of the fittest, that it's legitimate for authority to be seized and held by the powerful, and the wafer-thin veneer of civilisation over baser instincts rather escaped me when I originally read The Call, presumably because I was then too engrossed in the adventure. But even this time around the lack of characterisation in the humans and a problematic attitude to race and gender didn't worry me nearly as much as it would in other books, since I was so caught up in the story. By contrast, the wolf-dog leaving the wild and gaining civilisation in White Fang I found long-winded and self-indulgent in comparison, with far less excitement and interest.

    Are The Sea-Wolf and the other novels worth reading?
     
  5. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    The Star Rover is by far one of my favorite books of all. I discovered it quite by accident about 20 years ago. I was reading one of Jeffrey Lord's Blade novels and there was reference to this book , alongside reference to Clark ashton Smith and the Disappearance of Ambrose Bierce down in mexico, this got attention . So I started to look for the book, couldn't find it and no one has ever heard of it. For some reason, I never thought to look for it in the Library or Used bookstores. The in 1999 I found a copy of a new addition of it in Borders books. I read it reread it and began recommend it to people. The Modern library came out with an edition . Ive recommend it to lot of people , Why ? because it is a great book ,one the best I've ever read and it should be celebrated alongside everything else he's written. Lack of critical appreciation in its time relegated it an obscurity that it doesn't deserve. It's too good a book for that kind of fate.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
  6. The Judge

    The Judge Truth. Order. Moderation. Staff Member

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    BAYLOR was kind enough to send me a PM with a recommendation for The Star Rover, and I hope he'll excuse me if I reproduce it here, as I'm sure it will be of great interest to others:

    I have to say that's certainly intrigued me and I intend to have a peek at it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
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  7. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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    When I was a kid, I owned and, I think, read, a copy of this edition of The Call of the Wild, which someone must have given me as a present:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    Be my guest, the more people that know about this wonderful book , the better. :)
     
  9. galanx

    galanx Well-Known Member

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    For example, "The One Thousand Dozen" or "To Start A Fire" (1908 version), both available online
     
  10. galanx

    galanx Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's a good one- it doesn't have the didactism of "The Iron Heel" or the bitterness of "Martin Eden"; more a collection of episodes than a novel, with some better than others, of course.
     
  11. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    The Star Rover was made into a movie in 1920.
     
  12. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    I read The Sea Wolf several years ago superb book. Iv seen two film adaptation of it , one with Edward G Robinson and the other with Charles Bronson.
     
  13. Bick

    Bick A Member of the Forum

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    This book sounds very interesting, Baylor. (Also your note to Judge). Too many books to read, but this does sound interesting and I may well add it to the tbr pile.
     
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  14. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    It's the perfect book to assign for summer reading. i don't they done any Spark or Monarch notes of this one as of yet.;)
     
  15. Connavar

    Connavar Well-Known Member

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    Bick:

    The Star Rover is a great first place to start Jack London or atleast it was for me. It really blew me away because London to me was the guy who the teachers in school told you to read his YA books about wolfs,dogs.

    The Epic journeys Darrell Standing went on in his own mind to escape his horrible situation was written like epic historical adventures. It can also be read, analysed for the harsh prison system, laws that can lets a man be kept in straight jacket in solitary prison cell for so long.

    I have read it and Klondike Tales and London to me is the uber naturalitstic, realist whose harsh reality, discriptions of nature makes his books very real, hardcore and not soft literary books. The Revenant is practictly one of the short stories in Klondike Tales, hardscore war vs nature, interactions with indians etc
     
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  16. Ray McCarthy

    Ray McCarthy Sentient Marmite: The Truth may make you fret.

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  17. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    The book is some listed as The Jacket . There was a recent film called The Jacket, I'm wondering if it was based on London's novel .


    There was also a 1920's silent movie adaptation .
     
  18. Alex The G and T

    Alex The G and T Thar! That Blows.

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    Of course, I loved the Dog/Wolf stories and The Sea Wolf when I was young. I haven't read them for decades, though.

    Coincidentally, I got a wild hair, just a couple of weeks ago, to wonder what else Jack had written. I downloaded two books from Gutenberg.
    The Gutenberg listing reads: The Jacket (The Star Rover). It's unclear whether the latter title is a subtitle or the novel was published under different titles at different times. A very powerful story, indeed. Epic historical fantasy, as the prisoner relives past lives; mixed with the brutal events the prisoner experiences within the prison. There are a few rather pointed remarks regarding the treatment and living conditions in the California Prison system at the time. (1913 was the stated time that the story occurred. There was a marked socio/political agenda to the tale; but it wasn't obtrusive. Notably, the prisoner was doing twenty years for a murder; but he was anticipating his hanging; because he had punched a guard; causing minor injuries.

    I'm currently about halfway through Valley of the Moon. (1913) The title caught my interest because I know the place well. Which valley is aka Sonoma Valley; adjacent to, or a spur of, the famed Napa Valley; in California Wine Country. Not so far from where I live.

    This is a curious story that takes a long time to get off the ground. The first third reads like a charming Romance: Orphan Girl working in sweatshop laundry goes out dancing on Sundays hoping to find husband, nets same, quits working, sets up idyllic household, tra la tra la. I almost set it aside, not because it isn't well written... Just not my cup o tea; but then the neighbor woman steps into the picture and gets a little weird... A few more dozen pages and the Labor Movement hits the fan. The husband is a Teamster (in the original sense: he drives horses) and gets rather brutally involved in strikes, riots and whiskey. Again, an underlying socio/political agenda that sounds too familiar today: The fat cats exploiting the proletariat.
    It feels, to me, to parallel Steinbeck's Grapes of wrath somewhat. As Steinbeck laminated the plight of migrant farm workers; this illuminates the life of turn of the century working class stiffs.

    We haven't got to the Valley of the Moon, yet. The events, to date, take place in Oakland; industrial East Side of San Francisco Bay. I find the description of the milieu fascinating as I have a personal 5 generation family interest in the geographical vicinity. (My Great Grandmother experienced the 1906 Earthquake when she was nine years old)

    The kids have just decided that the only way to save their marriage, and their sanity, is to bug out of Oakland on Shanks Mare; looking to seek a better life. Thus, the plot is sickening, and I guess I'll stick with it for a while.

    ****
    In a side note. The Valley of The Moon is where Jack London built his ill-fated "Wolf House." Presumably named so because the wolf stories paid for it. It was a Colossal mansion that burned to the ground just about the time that it was nearly completed. The Estate is currently a public park/monument and the public is invited to enjoy the greenswards, lake, and scramble over the massive ruins of the stone foundation. The place feels a bit haunted.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
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  19. anivid

    anivid Planetary Guest

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    Here’s one of Jack London without all the raw meat and blood :)
    Martin Eden is on another level than White Fang, and Call of the Wild.

    It's about an idealistic young man's journey from relative poverty and early dreams of having and becoming more to realising some of his aspirations and learning that it comes at a cost.
    Martin Eden is a young working class lad who gets involved with the prosperous Morse family and falls in love with Ruth Morse, but they cannot marry until he has a regular income.
    Martin however is obsessed with writing and prefers to write - getting all his work rejected - rather than get a proper job (ring a bell ?? :whistle:)
    Some see this novel as one of the author's more directly autobiographical efforts.
    You can read it at Gutenberg or buy it at Amazon - whatever you choose - it's worth it !! (y)
     
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  20. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    It's now on my list.(y)
     
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