Monday, August 16, 2010

But It Was The Dog Story To End All Dog Stories

I wish I knew about Jack London's Dark Side when I, and later my children, were reading To Build A Fire. Or maybe not. It would probably have just raised those painful questions about whether or not I should be reading or enjoying the creations of disturbingly unpleasant people.

In another of those bizarre situations where I read something and a few days later read or hear something related, just last week I was doing some research on murders in the first three decades of the Twentieth Century. For some reason, Google turns up an account of London's final months. Thinking that reading about the demise of a writer was a good use of work time, I skimmed most of it. Then today I stumble upon more London.

A number of years ago, my family listened to Call of the Wild in the car while on a trip. I was a fan of dog stories of the Albert Payson Terhune variety when I was a kid, but as an adult I tend to avoid them. But the audio version of Call of the Wild was so good that I finished listening to it by myself at home (all the other Gauthiers in the car were unmoved) and became extremely fond of the name "Buck."

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