The Call of the Wild by Jack London
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
London takes the half-crazy, half-genius idea of writing a book from a dog's perspective, and goes scarily deep into the psyche of Buck.
A St. Bernard-Scotch Shepherd mix who is torn away from his easy life as a country dog when he's sold to a brutal, unforgiving prospector who seeks gold in the Yukon. Buck endures the monotony of dog sled life, vies against rivals for leadership, analyzes the pecking order of people and, in the most brilliant moments, waxes philosophically about what it all means.
London's writing is mesmerizing and spectacular. He communicates his thoughts effortlessly and naturally, with a down-home grit that borders close to satire without tipping over the edge. You can imagine Sam Elliot making such musings when he is high or drunk.
The narration by Peter Humann on the Audible version is the next best thing to Elliott. He brings a stoic grit to the story, making you feel as though you're listening to a made-up-as-it-goes story being spun over a campfire.
A strikingly bold and original effort, "The Call of the Wild" deserves its status as a recommended student read I never managed to get around to before now. I'm glad I finally made it inside Buck's head.
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