Jack London's masterpiece, tells the gripping tale of a dog named Buck who is wrenched out of his life of ease and luxury to become a sled dog in Alaska. Drawing on his wolf heritage, Buck must fight for survival in an alien environment.
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I might have read 'Call of the Wild' in high school--I can't remember. If I did, surely I dismissed it as bothersome homework that wasn't as exciting as video games.
Two-plus decades later, I now find COTW way more exciting than video games. London's delivery is just great, following the trials of Buck and his indomitable spirit from California ranch dog to Alaskan free-range wolf. From the violent gold-rushers to the disciplined postal routes to the ignorant family and the love of John Thorton, every episode is a slice of the human condition--for better or worse--creatively told from the canine perspective.
The production of this title is very poor--the spliced recording has seams and the fidelity of the narrator has too much bass--but the narrator (Munro? Husmann? Artwork and metadata have conflicting information) does have moments of excellence: the scenes of Dave's death and the snowshoe rabbit rise to the top.
"There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive. This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad on a stricken field and refusing quarter; and it came to Buck, leading the pack, sounding the old wolf-cry, straining after the food that was alive and that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight. He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time. He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars and over the face of dead matter that did not move." --Jack London, Call of the Wild
This book is a simple, terrific introduction to American literature and deserves a better recording. But hey, I found this on Audible for 50 cents--it was pocket change well spent.