The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild, by Jack London, is a classic that follows Buck, the main character that happens to be a dog. Buck was kidnapped from his suburban family home and sold to be used as a sled dog in the northern territories during the gold rush era. We learn of the adventures, owners, and enemies he encountered as his heart eventually gravitates to the wilderness.

It is difficult for me to critique London's writing quality since it was written over a century ago. It was hard for me to follow at certain parts of the book because of his word usage and complex phrasing. However, as I read it slowly, I could feel myself identifying with this dog. A very creative way to tell a story. By having a dog as the protagonist, it kept my attention throughout the whole book. A wonderful literary work that is unlike any other book I've read.

Random thoughts after reading:
  • As a man, I loved the violence and primal nature of this book. I will certainly recommend it to my future male students, making sure to tell them there are some bloody scenes that are memorable to me. It is a rich authenticity that I think is lacking among young boys now-a-days.
  • The "wildness" is an interesting topic that can mean so many different things. I believe that there can be some great discussion possibilities with the kids about it.
  • I found myself smiling and laughing when reading about Buck ripping through the throats of the men who had just killed his beloved owner. Great writing!

The authentic nature of this book, which is clearly passed down through generations, makes this a great classic that is still very enjoyable to read.


--Mr. Riedl
2009-10-01