The Call of The Wild
The Call of The Wild by Jack London
Pages: 85 First published: 1903
The book: Buck, a St. Bernard and Scots Shepherd dog mix, lives an idyllic and comfortable life as the pet of a prominent local judge in a California town. Thousands of miles away, in Alaska, the gold rush is booming. The men in the inhospitable north need dogs – big dogs – to work for them. This demand for dogs results in Buck being kidnapped. This is the story of his journey and new life in Alaska.
You might like it because: The writing is superb. London brings Buck and the cold world he ends up in to life in an incredibly vivid way. He tells the story from the dog’s point of view, which is unusual. It’s a story, not just about Buck, but also about nature, instinct, and the circle of life.
How quickly will you get into the book? Buck’s troubles start within the first three pages. After that I had to know what happened next. You’ll be pretty much into it straight away.
You might not like it because: This is a story about a dog. Human characters appear and disappear as they move through the dog’s life. If you have no interest in reading a story about a dog, skip this book.
What might you read next?
Change location to the U.K. and try a whodunit involving a dog, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, by Mark Haddon.
Read another book written from an animal’s point of view, Watership Down, by Richard Adams.
Or continue with another tale of frontier life from a slightly earlier period and read The Revenant, by Michael Punke.