Post Update : No longer waiting on the review. :)
I picked up White Fang to work on my reading challenges this year and this book meets many of them, luckily. In addition, I have read this book along with it’s companion book ‘The Call of the Wild’ in comic form as a kid and remember that I loved it. I did read ‘The Call of the Wild’ book (not an abridged comic version) a few years after and was thrilled with the writing. Now, it was ‘White Fang’s turn. Jack London’s descriptions and words take you to a completely different world – I love, love, love his imagery.
In 'White Fang', Jack London does not attempt to soften the harsh images – be it the cruelty of humans at their evil worst or the ways of the wild when nature is harsh. At the same time, he portrays the best aspects of humans, animals, and nature equally well where the beauties of love, kindness, patience, loyalty, nature all clearly shine through his words.
The book follows White Fang on his adventures and trials (and that is a small word to use for what White Fang goes through) until he finally finds what he did not know he was looking for – a home and love. The beginning of the book captures the reader’s interest with the intense setting of two men in the Wild (remote Alaska) stalked by a pack of desperate, hungry wolves. You can feel the terror the men and their pack of sled dogs go through. This kind of descriptive imagery and characterization is a major part of the magic of this book.
I loved London’s descriptions of White Fang’s first impressions of the world (as well as at every other time in the book). I really felt I could understand the working of White Fang’s mind – as an animal – not as something ‘personified’. We discover how White Fang – part wolf and part dog – toughens up, grows, rediscovers himself with each learning experience – in the Wild and with a series of human masters (as a sled dog, a fighting dog, and as a loved family pet).
I have a great many favorite quotes/sections from this book (almost the whole book) so here are just a few to share:
'He was justifying his existence, than which life can do no greater; for life achieves its summit when it does to the uttermost that which it was equipped to do.'
'They were his environment, these men, and they were moulding the clay of him into a more ferocious thing than had been intended by Nature.'
'To accomplish the change was like a reflux of being, and this when the plasticity of youth was no longer his; when the fibre of him had become tough and knotty; when the warp and the woof of him had made of him an adamantine texture, harsh and unyielding; when the face of his spirit had become iron and all his instincts and axioms had crystallised into set rules, cautions, dislikes, and
Reading Level: 10 and above (for it does have brutal imagery and sad too)
Reread Level: 4/5
For Three Word Wednesday: (Focused pair vacant)
Vacant pair of eyes
They stared at me, unfocused -
A little creepy.
For NaBloPoMo prompt of the day:
Talk about a time when you used up an extraordinary amount of energy and were exhausted.
The word extraordinary stopped me short. I have used lots of energy and was exhausted many a times. So exhausted, in fact, that at the end of the day, all I wanted to do was sleep, even if I was hungry or thirsty. But – extraordinary amount of energy – I am not sure if I can quantify that.
Days when it has been a flurry of activities from start to end – just like most days, but a little more intense. But, there is one other thing common at the end of these energy-consuming, exhausting days – satisfactio– at whatever-was-done done and if done well, then, even more satisfaction!
For ABCWednesday’s letter Z
Zillion miles to the zenith
Or is it at arm’s length
Zebras at the zoo we see
And bats upside down on a tree
Two Z books I recommend for you
For dVerse OpenLink Night: I reused the opening lines of my z poem for some inspiration
Zillion miles to the zenith
Or just an arm length away
I watch that virtual point
That I plan to achieve someday
If from my path I do not stray
Zillion miles to the zenith
An impossible goal? Not realistic?
but if I do a little each day,
if I practice, take a risk
it is doable - be a little optimistic
Zillion miles to the Zenith
Oh, that is not true at all
Said a local Mumbai-ite
It is a beautiful waterfall
90 kms – you can be back by nightfall!
For Wondrous Words Wednesday, from books I am reading currently. Duenna is one word I think I knew but included it as was not sure. And ki-yi, I included, because though the word was understandable, I did not know the word was there!
· debouch – Verb - Emerge from a narrow or confined space into a wide, open area: "the stream debouches into a silent pool".
· duenna - 1: an elderly woman serving as governess and companion to the younger ladies in a Spanish or a Portuguese family . 2: chaperone
· brangle - noun a squabble; verb (used without object) to dispute in a noisy or angry manner; squabble.; Origin: 1545–55; perhaps variant of branle
· epigram -
o witty saying: a concise, witty, and often paradoxical remark or saying
o short poem: a short poem, often expressing a single idea, that is usually satirical and has a witty ending
o witty form of expression: a witty or concise mode of expression, either written or spoken
· deleterious - adjective 1. injurious to health: deleterious gases. 2. harmful; injurious: deleterious influences. Origin: 1635–45; Greek dēlētḗrios destructive
· certitude - 1: the state of being or feeling certain. 2: certainty of act or event .
· ptarmigan - Any of three species of small grouse in the genus Lagopus found in subarctic tundra areas of North America and Eurasia.