Believe it or not, I’ve never read The Call of the Wild (1903) by Jack London, which one would think is a requirement of being a kid in America. And I still haven’t read it, although on a whim I listened to my library’s audiobook copy, albeit not very carefully. Narrated in an appropriately macho fashion by Frank Muller, The Call of the Wild tells the story of Buck a farm dog who is kidnapped from Northern California and forced to pull sleds for for miners in the Yukon gold rush. A cushy pet learns to fight for food and compete for leadership of the pack through fighting and violence, and eventually becomes alpha dog in a wild wolf pack after his owner dies.
Yes friends, before I read this book I knew it had something to do with Alaska and dogs, but I had no idea that the entire book is about a dog from a dog’s point of view. Granted, the book is very symbolic in that we humans sit very tenuously on the edge of civilization and brutality and savageness (and London wrote this before the World Wars, the Holocaust, and all the horrors of the 20th century that tested humanity). Still, as a book about dogs it’s a very good and accurate look at what may be going on in a dog’s mind.