The Call of the Wild

by Jack London

The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild is a novel by American writer Jack London. The plot concerns a previously domesticated happy dog named Buck, whose primordial instincts return after a series of events leads to his serving as a sled dog in the Yukon during the 19th-century Klondike Gold Rush, in which sled dogs were bought at generous prices.

Published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is London's most-read book, and it is generally considered his best, the masterpiece of his so-called "early period". 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.

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.

Source: London, J. (1903). The Call of the Wild. New York, NY: Macmillan.

Chapter 1: Into the Primitive
Buck's pampered existence comes to a sudden and unexpected end.
Chapter 2: The Law of Club and Fang
Buck begins to understand the harsh nature of his new surroundings. Buck is put to work.
Chapter 3: The Dominant Primordial Beast
Buck struggles, but continues to prevail. Spitz and Buck nearly come to blows. The sled team continues down the trail, where an undeclared war comes to a dramatic end.
Chapter 4: Who Has Won to Mastership
Buck takes Spitz's old spot, proving himself to be very proficient in his new job.
Chapter 5: The Toil of Trace and Trail
The exhausted sled team arrives at Skaguay, where they meet their new owners.
Chapter 6: For the Love of a Man
Having been driven hard, Buck eventually begins to regain his strength. Buck faithfully serves his master John Thornton.
Chapter 7: The Sounding of the Call
John Thornton settles his debts and he and Buck head east where they soon find a good fortune, but it does not last. Buck joins a new pack.
  • Year Published: 1903
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 7.1
  • Word Count: 32,361
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Keywords: survival
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