Jack London was born a working class, fatherless Californian in 1876. In his youth, he was a boundlessly energetic adventurer on the bustling West Coast-an oyster pirate, a hobo, a sailor, and a prospector by turns. He spent his brief life rapidly accumulating the experiences that would inform his acclaimed bestselling books The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and The Sea-Wolf.
The bare outlines of his story suggest a classic rags-to-riches tale, but London the man was plagued by contradictions. He chronicled nature at its most savage but wept helplessly at the deaths of his favorite animals. At his peak the highest paid writer in the United States, he was nevertheless forced to work under constant pressure for money. An irrepressibly optimistic crusader for social justice and a lover of humanity, he was also subject to spells of bitter invective, especially as his health declined. Branded by shortsighted critics as little more than a hack who produced a couple of memorable dog stories, he left behind a voluminous literary legacy, much of it ripe for rediscovery.
In Jack London: An American Life, the noted Jack London scholar Earle Labor explores the brilliant and complicated novelist lost behind the myth-at once a hard-living globe-trotter and a man alive with ideas whose passion for seeking new worlds to explore never waned until the day he died. Returning London to his proper place in the American pantheon, Labor resurrects a major American novelist in his full fire and glory.
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by Professor Michael Shelden
by Lisa Earle McLeod
by Steve Earle
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"At the height of his popularity at the beginning of the twentieth century, Jack London was the highest paid author in the United States. Narrator Michael PrichardÕs low, foreboding voice creates an atmosphere that both reinforces and undermines this story of LondonÕs life. London was a contradiction and a great artist who was uniquely American. His early life suggested that he would be drawn to raw adventure, and many of his most well-known works (CALL OF THE WILD, WHITE FANG, and more) bear that out. PrichardÕs pacing and diction allow us to hear each word clearly, but his tone doesnÕt reflect the joy and adventure that infused the hallmarks of LondonÕs life. He delivers those passages well but doesnÕt vary his delivery enough for listeners to experience the emotions of LondonÕs uplifting experiences. R.I.G. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"
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