Jack London: A Life

Front Cover
Macmillan, Feb 15, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 334 pages
4 Reviews

Raised in poverty as an illegitimate child, Jack London dropped out of school to support his mother, working in mind-deadening jobs that would foster a lifelong interest in socialism. Brilliant and self-taught, he haunted California's waterside bars, brawling with drunken sailors and learning about love from prostitutes. His lust for adventure took him from the beaches of Hawaii to the gold fields of Alaska, where he experienced firsthand the struggles for survival he would later immortalize in classics like White Fang and The Call of the Wild.

A hard-drinking womanizer with children to support, Jack London was no stranger to passion when he met and married Charmian Kittredge, the love of his life. Despite his adventurous past, London had never before met a woman like Charmian; she adored fornication and boxing, and willingly risked life and limb to sail and explore. She typed his manuscripts while he churned out novels, serving as his inspiration and his critic.

Lover, fighter, and onetime hobo, Jack London lived large and died before he was forty. This is a rare biography, from bestselling historian Alex Kershaw, that proves the truth can be more fascinating--and a far greater adventure--than a fiction.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Love, as tested by war and time, is affectingly celebrated in this artless and affirming first novel that, previously self- published, appears now in a trade edition. Pratt's story is strictly for the ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Another tame biographer lamely follows the call of Jack London's wild life. Kershaw, like many London biographers, suffers from an anxiety of reference, which started with the subject himself. London ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Alex Kershaw has been a feature writer for The Weekend Guardian and the Sunday Times, and a contributing editor at GQ. He has authored several books, including the New York Times-bestselling WWII histories The Bedford Boys and The Longest Winter, and the biographies Jack London: A Life and Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa.

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