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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for The Call of the Wild by Jack London #JackLondon

AUTHOR: Jack London
NARRATOR: Kevin Theis
PUBLISHER: Atlantic Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: January 4, 2017 (first published 1903)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 3 hrs and 7 mins
GENRE: Classics
Jack London's The Call of the Wild is a griping tale of beast and man. In this beloved classic, Buck struggles to escape his captivity as he is transported from his home life in California to his new home amidst the Gold Rush. Battling frigid cold and utter confusion, Buck becomes aggressive and angry.

Eventually, he becomes part of the pack led by John Thornton, and he begins to heal. Buck finally gives into his natural tendencies and learns to hunt and fend for himself, though always a friend to John Thornton. The Call of the Wild is a beautiful examination of nature versus nurture and the will to live despite all odds.

I absolutely loved White Fang when I listened to the audiobook earlier this year, so I was excited to read more from London. 

The story is set in 1897 during the Klondike Strike. Men wanting to strike it rich needed dogs that were big enough and hardy enough to withstand both the environment and the work of being a sled-dog. Buck, a four-year-old dog, is taken from his California home by the gardener and sold. He is beaten into submission and taken up north, where he is sold again to a couple of Canadians. They treat the dogs well enough, and Buck learns the hierarchy of the pack and the life of a sled-dog. Things get bad when the team changes hands. With incompetent humans running the team ragged and virtually starving them, the dogs begin dying off (or get killed off). Buck's instincts are what keep him alive.

I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as White Fang, and I wonder if that's due in part to the narration. For me, narrator Kevin Theis read the story much too quickly. It frustrated me because it felt like he was rushing the words. I appreciated his enthusiasm, but it was hard for me to enjoy his narration because of the pace. To be honest, I nearly took out my earbuds and almost reached for my paperback instead. I ended up slowing down the narration to 0.75, and that helped. However, at some point in the future, I'd like to re-read this one for myself (not on audio) to see whether I enjoy it more in print.


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy animal stories.

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