The Call of the Wild is a short adventure novel by Jack London published in 1903 and set in Yukon, Canada during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The central character of the novel is a dog named Buck. The story opens at a ranch in Santa Clara Valley, California, when Buck is stolen from his home and sold into service as a sled dog in Alaska. He becomes progressively feral in the harsh environment, where he is forced to fight to survive and dominate other dogs. By the end, he sheds the veneer of civilization, and relies on primordial instinct and learned experience to emerge as a leader in the wild.
London spent almost a year in the Yukon collecting material for the book. The story was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in the summer of 1903 and was published a month later in book form. The book's great popularity and success made a reputation for London; much of its appeal derives from its simplicity as a tale of survival. As early as 1923, the story was adapted to film, and it has since seen several more cinematic adaptations.
This edition of the book contains 10 place-, time-, and subject-relevant iconic illustrations that are unique to this edition of the book.
John Griffith "Jack" London (born John Griffith Chaney, January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916) was an American novelist, journalist, and social activist. A pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction, he was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone.
On July 12, 1897, London (age 21) and his sister's husband Captain Shepard sailed to join the Klondike Gold Rush. This was the setting for some of his first successful stories. London began his writing career just as new printing technologies enabled lower-cost production of magazines. This resulted in a boom in popular magazines aimed at a wide public and a strong market for short fiction. In 1900, he made $2,500 in writing, about $71,000 in today's currency. Among the works he sold to magazines was a short story known as either "Diable" (1902) or "Bâtard" (1904), in two editions of the same basic story; London received $141.25 for this story on May 27, 1902. In the text, a cruel French Canadian brutalizes his dog, and the dog retaliates and kills the man. London told some of his critics that man's actions are the main cause of the behavior of their animals, and he would show this in another story, The Call of the Wild. In early 1903, London sold The Call of the Wild to The Saturday Evening Post for $750, and the book rights to Macmillan for $2,000. Macmillan's promotional campaign propelled it to swift success.