Rave Reviews Log: Animal Stories

March 08, 2008

White Fang

By Jack London
Animal: Dog/Wolf
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

Many have read London's classic tale The Call of the Wild which tells of the kidnapped dog Buck, who is sold to become one of the greatest sled dogs in the Yukon during the gold rush. White Fang tells a similar tale, but in reverse. Kiche, a half-dog, half-wolf cross, runs with a wolf pack during the time of famine, and so White Fang is born--mostly wolf with a bit of dog. White Fang's early days are living like a wolf until he and Kiche run across her previous owners, then begins his domestication in an Indian village. White Fang is slowly tamed to obey humans, which he likens to gods, and to become a sled dog. But as is often the way, White Fang is sold into the hands of a cruel man who uses him as a fighting dog, and as cruelty often will, it turns White Fang into a terrible, fierce, wild animal. Until the fateful day he loses his first fight and is rescued by the first kind man he has ever known. London chronicles the harsh life of the frozen north, where sledding is the only way to travel, and the law of the land is kill or be killed, eat or be eaten. Readers who like survival tales mixed into their animal stories will enjoy this one, which imparts much lore of Alaska, wolves, and native life. It is not a very sentimental story, but rather a picture of a hard life and those who live it.