White Fang, by Jack London

Cover ImageFinished 7-8-10, rating 4.5/5, classic fiction, pub. 1906

White Fang became hated by man and dog.  During this period of his development he never knew a moment’s security.  The tooth of every dog was against him, the hand of every man.  He was greeted with snarls by his kind, with curses and stones by his gods.  He lived tensely.  He was always keyed up, alert for attack, wary of being attacked, with an eye for sudden and unexpected missiles, prepared to act precipitately and coolly, to leap in with a flash of teeth, or to leap away with a menacing snarl.

Chapter 11

Part wolf, part dog White Fang came into the cruel Yukon world during a famine.  He and his mother were the sole survivors of the family and eventually went to live with a group of natives who gave them security, but took away their freedom and eventually took away White Fang’s mother.  White Fang was the biggest, cruelest, and most lethal of the dogs.  When his loyalty was betrayed he became hardened to the dog in him.  Is he redeemable?

Let me start by saying that I am a girl who cannot even watch the nature channels once one animal kills and eats another.  It’s a little too much reality for me.  I am much more likely to cry in a movie if a beloved animal is killed than a person.  So, when I say that I love White Fang and all of his wild ways it is no small thing.   I am sure that part of it is London’s writing – I loved The Call of the Wild as well- but the story itself is so compelling that I was riveted by White Fang’s life.

The book is mostly told from White Fang’s perspective once he is born, but the opening scenes that tell the tale of a sledding team on the run from wolves was perfect.  I won’t tell you who wins, but it was as good as any thriller I’ve read lately.  There was so much cruelty and abuse that White Fang never really had a chance until someone took the time to try to save him.  It is a lesson in humanity and redemption and I loved it.


This is from my personal library and chosen by GMR and Rhapsody in Books.  Here’s what they had to say…

“Unforgettable story about man’s relationship with nature.”  Rhapsody in Books

“A definite classic, but not so heavy that you’ll be stalled in your reading challenge.”  GMR

19 thoughts on “White Fang, by Jack London

  1. StephanieD says:

    This is one of those books that every 4th grader in my district was required to read, but since I came in as a 5th grader, I missed being exposed to it. Sounds like I should put it on my list.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      This was never required for me either, but I probably appreciated it more now, than I might have as a kid.

  2. bermudaonion says:

    I have to turn my head when animals get killed in nature documentaries too. I’ve never read White Fang, but my dad loved this book, so I really should read it.

  3. Caspette says:

    I am the same I can not stand the documentaries that insist on an animal being eaten (or dying). Yes I know its nature but does EVERY doco have to do it? Unfortunately that seems to be the way all animal docos are going.

    Is the book anything like the movie that got release around the early 90’s (cant remember exactly now)?

  4. Staci says:

    this sounds like a stellar read. I should make plans to read this when school starts back up. I would love to tell others about this one! 😀

  5. Bumble says:

    I call all of the “prey” on those nature shows Forrest – as in “Run Forrest, Run!!!” Poor things. I got upset a few weeks ago watching an ant go flying off of my windshield – short of pulling over and stopping to save him there was nothing I could do but watch him die a harsh death. Andy thinks I am absurd. So perhaps I will skip White Fang. He sounds like my kind of underdog (pun intended).

    • stacybuckeye says:

      In the past month we have found a dead mouse, a dead bird and a dead rabbit in our yard. It has been very stressful!!

  6. Margot says:

    This book is one of my husband’s favorites from his childhood. For some reason it didn’t appeal to me. Probably those big teeth and the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

  7. jennygirl says:

    This another one of those books I have never read. I am like you and understand survival of the fittest, but I feel so bad for those poor hunted and caught animals. Love nature shows but have to hide my eyes from time to time.
    Glad you enjoyed this one.

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