Book Review: The Call of the Wild by Jack London

“But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as a man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called — called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come.”

Jack London, The Call of the Wild

Title: The Call of the Wild
Author: Jack London
Genres: Classics, Adventure
Pages: 120 (Modern English Translation)
Published: 1903

My Rating: ★
Read: 6/13/2022


I went into this blindly. I thought I knew what the plot was about but I was way off. Had I known, I don’t think I would have picked it up. I have a very low tolerance for animal abuse and violence. I read on since this is a classic (and not a long one at that) hoping it would improve. I also don’t like heavily accented writing because it messes with my brain and throws off the rhythm of my reading. My rating is solely on personal taste. I can see why it’s a classic and why people like it, but I couldn’t get past the gruesome content. 


I bought this book a while ago and I didn’t notice until I picked it up and started reading that it was labeled Modern English translation. I don’t know if reading the original text would have changed my opinion, but I don’t think so. It was the injury to animals that made me hate it. The only part of the book I even remotely found myself enjoying was when John Thronton came into the picture. Still, it wasn’t the content I enjoyed, more the idea.

As I mentioned in my review, I had been assuming the plot incorrectly for years. I thought it was a story along the lines of Walden or Into The Wild. This might have been influenced by an episode of the old sitcom Taxi which has a plot somewhat along these lines and is titled The Call of the Mild. This might have also been assigned reading in high school that I ignored. (If so, I’m glad I did. Had I read this then I don’t think I would have ever wanted to pick up a book again.)

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