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Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Call of the Wild

Title: The Call of the Wild
Author: Jack London

Buck, a 140-pound St. Bernard–Scotch Collie, is snatched his pampered life with the family of Judge Miller when he is stolen and sold off by one of the servants of the Millers in need of money. From then on, Buck's life takes a drastic change as he survives harsh treatment, and learns the "law of club and fang". When Buck is later sold to two French-Canadians en route to an expedition in the Klondike regions of Canada, Buck is tirelessly trained to be a sled dog, and is also introduced to ten other dogs on the same mission. A play of situations causes Buck to kill Spitz, the pack leader, and Buck becomes the new leader of the sled pack. The journey of Buck as he finds his loving master and companion with a man named Thorton, his loyal allegiance to this human that he connects with, and his adventures in the wilderness as he grows more wild, to finally find 'the call of the wild' is what the rest of the story is about. 

The story is about Buck, but the background of the story is based on the Klondike Gold Rush, a period in history between 1896 and 1899 when it was discovered that there are gold mines in Koldike Alaskan region. This led to a whole craze of expeditions that took place where people wanted to literally hit the jackpot. Many stolen dogs were used for those expeditions as sled dogs. The story beautifully portrays the relationship and the trust between the dog and the human, and the immense loyalty that is involved in such relations.  

The story is rugged, and it is an incredible feeling as you see Buck transform from the pampered, city life to the final stages where he feels the call of the wild. The narrative is a page-turner, and you feel as loyal to Buck's life as Buck feels towards Thorton. The whole journey is one of learning for both Buck and the reader.

It is a masterpiece, with such an engrossing narrative. I picked this book up when I was very young, and at that time I read a couple of pages and decided I didn't like it. I never finished the book. After a couple of years, we had a lesson in school that was an excerpt from this book. And, I loved it. I loved it so much that I couldn't believe that I hadn't liked it earlier. I wanted to read the full novel. I always wanted to, but it became one of those books that I never got around to read fully. And day-before-yesterday, I saw the book again. I didn't think twice before I started reading it, and I loved it as much as I loved the excerpt. 

It is a must read!

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