Call of the Wild

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Grosset & Dunlap, 1903 - Fiction - 197 pages
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User Review  - bibleblaster - LibraryThing

It was fun to read this again, as I had only the vaguest recollection from reading it as a kid. Refreshingly unsentimental in its depiction of the natural world, it raises important questions about yearning for a life "beyond good and evil." A walk on the wild side... Read full review

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User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

I am not a “dog person” and did not expect to like this classic tale, but I’m really glad I read this when I did. My father was a great outdoorsman and he loved animals, but especially our dogs. I ... Read full review

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Page 39 - BUCK'S first day on the Dyea beach was like a nightmare. Every hour was filled with shock and surprise. He had been suddenly jerked from the heart of civilization and flung into the heart of things primordial.
Page 180 - In the fall of the year they penetrated a weird lake country, sad and silent, where wildfowl had been, but where then there was no life nor sign of life — only the blowing of chill winds, the forming of ice in sheltered places, and the melancholy rippling of waves on lonely beaches.
Page 78 - With the aurora borealis flaming coldly overhead, or the stars leaping in the frost dance, and the land numb and frozen under its pall of snow...
Page 83 - There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive. This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame...
Page 166 - The tables were deserted, and the dealers and gamekeepers came forth to see the outcome of the wager *nd to lay odds. Several hundred men, furred and mittened, banked around the sled within easy distance. Matthewson's sled, loaded with a thousand pounds of flour, had been standing for a couple of hours, and in the intense cold (it was sixty below zero) the runners had frozen fast to the hard-packed snow. Men offered odds of two to one that Buck could not budge the sled. A quibble arose concerning...
Page 165 - He did not know whether Buck could start a thousand pounds. Half a ton! The enormousness of it appalled him. He had great faith in Buck's strength and had often thought him capable of starting such a load; but never, as now, had he faced the possibility of it, the eyes of a dozen men fixed upon him, silent and waiting. Further, he had no thousand dollars; nor had Hans or Pete. "I've got a sled standing outside now, with twenty fifty-pound sacks of flour on it," Matthewson went on with brutal directness,...
Page 56 - And not only did he learn by experience, but instincts long dead became alive again. The domesticated generations fell from him. In vague ways he remembered back to the youth of the breed...
Page 163 - That settles it," he announced. "We camp right here." And camp they did, till Buck's ribs knitted and he was able to travel. That winter, at Dawson, Buck performed another exploit, not so heroic, perhaps, but one that put his name many notches higher on the totem-pole of Alaskan fame. This exploit was particularly gratifying to the three men; for they stood in need of the outfit which it furnished, and were enabled to make a longdesired trip into the virgin East, where miners had not yet appeared....
Page 154 - He was older than the days he had seen and the breaths he had drawn. He linked the past with the present, and the eternity behind him throbbed through him in a mighty rhythm to which he swayed as the tides and seasons swayed. He sat by John Thornton's fire, a broad-breasted dog, white-fanged and longfurred ; but behind him were the shades of all manner of dogs, half-wolves...
Page 54 - ... terrible death. It marked, further, the decay or going to pieces of his moral nature, a vain thing and a handicap in the ruthless struggle for existence. It was all well enough in the Southland, under the law of love and fellowship, to respect private property and personal feelings; but in the Northland, under the law of club and fang, whoso took such things into account was a fool, and in so far as he observed them he would fail to prosper.

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