Author(s): Jack London
"He had been suddenly jerked from the heart of civilization and flung into the heart of things primordial." 'The Call of the Wild' is one of Jack London's most popular novels. The story follows a dog named Buck, a 140lb Saint Bernard and Scotch Shepard mix. Buck is abducted from a comfortable life as a pet and tossed into the chaos of the Klondike Gold Rush and the brutal realities of frontier life. Buck changes hands a number of times before landing in the kindly hands of John Thornton. Thornton takes ownership of Buck from a trio of ignorant stampeders, intent upon making a dangerous river crossing. Buck refuses to cross, despite a vicious beating. Thornton recognizes the dogs intelligence and strength. He steps in to claim the dog and nurses Buck back to health. But Buck is forever changed by the treatment he has received at the hands of other men. Jack London spent a year living in the Yukon and drew heavily upon his experiences there while writing the book. He later said, "It was in the Klondike that I found myself." "Published in 1903, 'The Call of the Wild' is often considered to be Jack London's masterpiece. His haunting version of the classic quest story using a dog as the protagonist has sometimes been erroneously categorized as a children's novel. Buck, who is shipped to the Klondike to be trained as a sled dog, eventually reverts to his primitive, wolflike ancestry. He then undertakes an almost mythical journey, abandoning the safety of his familiar world to encounter danger, adventure, and fantasy. When he is transformed into the legendary "Ghost Dog" of the Klondike, he has become a true hero. " (-- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature).