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The Call of the Wild (1903)

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The plot concerns a previously domesticated and even somewhat pampered dog named Buck, whose primordial instincts return after a series of events finds him serving as a sled dog in the treacherous, frigid Yukon during the days of the 19th-century Klondike Gold Rushes in which sled dogs were bought at generous prices.

Published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is one of London's most-read books, and it is generally considered one of his best. Because the protagonist is a dog, it is sometimes classified as a juvenile novel, suitable for children, but it is dark in tone and contains numerous scenes of cruelty and violence. Buck, the main character in the book, was based on a Saint Bernard/Collie sled dog which belonged to Marshall Latham Bond and his brother Louis, the sons of Judge Hiram Bond, who was a mining investor, fruit packer and banker in Santa Clara, California. The Bonds were Jack London's landlords in Dawson City during the autumn of 1897 and spring of 1898; the main year of the Klondike Gold Rush. The London and Bond accounts record that the dog was used by Jack London to accomplish chores for the Bonds and other clients of London's. The papers of Marshall Latham Bond are in the Yale University Historic Collection.

London followed the book in 1906 with White Fang, a companion novel with many similar plot elements and themes as Call of the Wild, although following a mirror image plot in which a wild wolf becomes civilized by a mining expert from San Francisco named Weedon Scott.

More information on Wikipedia.

The Call of the Wild. In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 11, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Call_of_the_Wild