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This is a book I read while younger, but hardly understood. The protagonist is a quite recognizable figure of civilized society, who is totally reliant on the civilization that supports him, and who justifies his existence in spiritual terms. He is impotent in the real, natural world. The antagonist is a materialist and a hedonist who does not believe in the soul, but only the physical struggle of life. The conflict that results, and the subsequent resolution, marries the two worlds quite nicely. I believe that I did not understand the book when I was younger because I had not yet, in my own life, had the experiences of meeting the world on its own terms. I was an idealist and a student then. I understand the need for balance more fully now.
However, I also feel that the quality of the reading, and the recording quality, were instrumental in my new understanding. The reader used multiple voices and accents to animate the characters, and this allowed me to enjoy the story without struggling to maintain attention. There was no distracting production flaw to take me out of the story. It was as if I was actually there in the driving spray, "heaving the boat to", while really I was only driving my car. Jack London wrote this great escapist story in 1904, and the quality of this reader's voice, and the recording, improved on his written word 100 years later. It was not just a pleasant escape, but an affirmation of what it means to be a man. I got much more of The Sea-Wolf this second time around.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful
I loved it, perhaps more than it deserved, but it resonated with me. At once a book of meditative philosophy, a romantic adventure, and a castaway story tied all together.
I enjoyedd the whole Humphrey Van Weyden v. Wolf Larson set up, even if it was a tad contrived. The struggle between Humphrey and Wolf allows London the room to explore everything from God, to the Nature of Man, to Love. The Humphrey and Maud climax at the end was probably the books weakest piece, but Wolf Larson is one of the great characters in all of Fiction, IMHO.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful