The latest in a series about books I’m reading that I may or may not review
What I’m reading: The Call of the Wild (Library of America, 96 pp., $8.50, paperback), with an introduction by E.L. Doctorow.
What it is: A classic adventure novel about Buck, a dog kidnapped from his California owner and forced to endure savage hardships during the Klondike gold rush of 1897. The story of Buck’s transformation in the wild is, as the novelist E.L. Doctorow says in his introduction, a “mordant parable of the thinness of civilization.”
Why I’m reading it: For a book club. I’m rereading The Call of the Wild for the first time in more than a decade.
Quote from the book: “One night he sprang from sleep with a start, eager-eyed, nostrils quivering and scenting, his mane bristling in recurrent waves. From the forest came the call (or one note of it, for the call was many noted), distinct and definite as never before, — a long-drawn howl, like, yet unlike, any noise made by a husky dog. And he knew it, in the old familiar way, as a sound heard before.”
Published: 1903 (Macmillan first edition), 1990 (the Library of America stand-alone edition I’m reading). Many good editions exist.
Probability that I will review the book: High
Furthermore: My edition calls The Call of the Wild “perhaps the best novel ever written about animals” on its back cover. Forgotten that whales are mammals, eh, Library of America?
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© 2012 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.