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Kerry JAy

April 1, 1997
Call of the Wild
Jack London.
104 pages, fiction book.
The Call of the Wild has a very interesting plot. It is centered around a St.
Bernard and Scotch Shepherd mix, named Buck. At home, which was a large house i
n the sun, he ruled over all dogs. Buck was Judge Miller's inseparable compani
on, until a man named Manuel, who was the one of the gardener's helpers, commit
ted a treacherous act. Manuel, to cover his Chinese lottery gambling debts, st
ole Buck from his sound sleep and brought him to a flag station called College P
ark. There, the exchanging of money took place. It was simple. Manuel needed
money to pay off his gambling debts, and Buck was a prime candidate. Buck was l
oaded onto an express car to Seattle. When he got there, he was bought by two m
en named Perrault and Francois. He was loaded onto a ship called the Narwhal an
d taken to the Yukon, where he was to be trained as a sled dog. There were othe
r sled dogs that Buck came to know well, each with their own unique personality.
After only a short time of training, Buck was a sled dog,
traveling with the team of huskies and mix breeds from Dyea Beach, to the town o
f Dawson. After several trips with Perrault and Francois, Buck was traded to a
gold seeking family. They knew nothing, or hardly nothing, about managing a sle
d team. There trip began with a very bad start. The family had loaded up their
wagon with too much unneeded baggage, and it was top heavy. As the dogs began
to pull away and pull around a curve, the baggage tipped over along with the sle
d and thus the unnecessary baggage was discarded, and the trip was barely comple
ted because of harsh weather, wrong supplies, and poor management skills of the
dog handlers. All except a man that went by the name of John Thornton, perhaps
the only sane one in the group. After one of the men repeatedly beat on a dog,
Thornton became enraged. He threatened to kill the man. A few minutes later, t
he rest of the family that left Thornton behind fell through some cracked ice an
d drowned. That left Buck and Thornton to fend for themselves. The time of this
book is in the great gold rush era in the Yukon and Alaska. The rest of the bo
ok concludes what happens to Buck and John Thornton and some of the great and st
range times they have together.
I enjoyed this book because it tells about the goods and bads of wilderness life
. It doesn't just lean to one side.