What a great book! It reinforced some universal truths: 1) Dogs are awesome! 2) Men (people) possess great capacity for cruelty and 3) You can tell a lot about a person based on the way they treat animals.
Seriously, who wouldn’t love this Dog? Look at that face!
Buck-our main character (the dog) finds himself on a great (harrowing) adventure to the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush. It makes for an exciting story. You know what else makes for a great story? This guy…
Jack London was an interesting guy. I have a feeling that Buck the dog was somewhat autobiographical. Buck was a dog’s dog. And Jack was a man’s man. He was a man’s man with a resume that included work in a cannery, the California Fish Patrol, Oyster Pirating, his own stint in the Klondike gold rush, and gentleman rancher-all on top of a prolific literary career.
And like all the other gentlemen I’ve read during this little project, his private life was a fascinating mess! His first marriage was to Elizabeth “Bessie” Madden. He and Bessie were never in love, but they were great friends. Marriage took care of that. Within 4 years, they divorced. Apparently Bessie didn’t approve of London’s “shenanigans” and wouldn’t let him near her when her would come home after an absence. She was scared he’d bring home VD. Jack apparently felt that was a bit unfair, but within a year of divorcing Bessie, he married Charmian Kittredge, “his soul mate and perfect match”. Per Wikipedia,
“ In broad outline, London was restless in his marriage; sought extramarital sexual affairs; and found, in Charmian Kittredge, not only a sexually active and adventurous partner, but his future life-companion.”
The jury seems to be out with regard to London’s death. It’s been a popularly held belief that he committed suicide. Most biographers now agree, however, he died of uremia aggravated by an accidental morphine overdose. Whatever the circumstances, London died November 22, 1916 at the age of 40.
Jack London wrote about the harsh realities of nature. His language was visceral and brutal, but also beautifully written. This was a good book, and I have to say, Buck the dog is my favorite main character to-date from my New Year’s Resolution books. I liked Buck. I liked him very much.