Book Review: ‘White Fang’ by Jack London

*Written in 2014.

White Fang is my favorite book by Jack London. Although I love The Call of the Wild, it was quite short and always seemed like a sort of spiritual rough draft for White Fang.

This book is pretty epic and, as a child, it brought me a real sense of adventure and excitement that I hadn’t really felt yet at the time. It showed me what life and times were like in Alaska during the Yukon Gold Rush in the 1890s. London’s words and way of using them to paint a picture, really brought my mind into that world. Without sounding too cheesy, I felt as if I was there with Weedon Scott and White Fang.

By the way, I always thought it was interesting that in the 1991 film version the main character shared the same name as the author: Jack. The filmmakers must’ve been on the same wavelength as myself, as I feel like London saw himself in the character and thus, told an incredibly personal story, that while it was fiction, was very true to many of his own real life experiences.

The book shows the cruelty and the love of man. In its very essence, the story is an experiment with the relationship between man and the wild. London was the best at these sort of stories and never did he disappoint. In the end, I see this work as his magnum opus. And since I mentioned the film earlier, that’s not half bad either.

Rating: 9.75/10
Pairs well with: Jack London’s other work.

Book Review: ‘The Sea-Wolf’ by Jack London

The Sea-Wolf might not get as much respect and acclaim as Jack London’s better known works White Fang and The Call of the Wild but it is on the same level and in some ways exceeds them.

Like The Call of the Wild, this book’s main character is a force of pure good who is pulled into a world of evil and the story shows what happens when these two polar opposites come into contact with one another. In The Sea-Wolf however, the main character is not a wolf but a young man. A man who has been stranded at sea and picked up by a ship, captained by an evil and vile person.

The story goes into the relationship between these two characters, the good guy never compromising and always being true to himself and the evil guy who even though he at times treats the good guy like a son and believes that he is just trying to toughen him up, constantly reminds us that he is nonredeemable and beyond help.

The book goes through many twists and turns, adventures, an attempt at a mutiny, revenge and ultimately like every great story – love. This is one of London’s most complex books as far as plot, as he explores a lot in such a small space with this not being a very long book.

Out of everything I have read, this is my favorite Jack London book. It takes the best elements of his other work and then puts them at sea and turns them into somewhat of a swashbuckling tale with more at stake. The human only element adds an extra level of intensity. Granted, I love reading about his wolf characters, but this just shows the power of good within the human spirit itself and I think makes it much more relatable.

Rating: 9.25/10
Pairs well with: Jack London’s other work.