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The Call of the Wild by Jack London (Omnibus)

Jack London's 1903 novel about a sled dog during the Klondike Gold Rush. Exciting and moving in equal measure, it's a sublime adventure story. Read by Kerry Shale.

Jack London's The Call of the Wild was 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 and 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.

Jack London spent almost a year in the Yukon, and his observations form much of the material for the book. The story was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post in the summer of 1903 and published as a book a month later. Its great popularity and success made a reputation for London. As early as 1923, the story was adapted for film, and it has seen several more cinematic adaptations since.

It's often thought of as a children's book and indeed the current film has turned it into a story more suitable for the young. But the original writing is fierce, poetic, beautiful and atmospheric. It appeals to the core of everyone's nature. Exciting and moving in equal measure, it's a sublime adventure story.

Omnibus of five parts read by Kerry Shale.

Abridged by Robin Brooks
Producer: Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4 first broadcast in March 2020

17 days left to listen

1 hour, 15 minutes

Last on

Mon 16 Mar 2020 02:30

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