The Call Of The Wild
By Jack London
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The Call Of The Wild by Jack London ranked # 88 on The Modern Library's Top 100 Novels list as selected by its Board Members.
The Call of the Wild is a novella by American writer Jack London. The plot concerns a domesticated dog whose primordial instincts return as he works as a sled dog.
Published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is London's most read book and considered one of his best. Because the protagonist is a dog, it is often thought to be particularly suitable for children, but it is dark in tone and contains numerous scenes of cruelty and violence.
The University of Pennsylvania's Online Books Page states that "Jack London's writing was censored in several European dictatorships in the 1920s and 1930s.
In 1929, Italy banned all cheap editions of his Call of the Wild, and Yugoslavia banned all his works as being 'too radical.' Some of London's works were also burned by the Nazis." (These regimes may have been reacting to Jack London's reputation as an outspoken Socialist rather than to the content of the book, which, unlike some of his other novels, has no overt political message).
In 1960, critic Maxwell Geismar called The Call of the Wild "a beautiful prose poem." Editor Franklin Walker said that it "belongs on a shelf with Walden and Huckleberry Finn". E. L. Doctorow called it "a mordant parable... his masterpiece."
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