White Fang

Jack London

White Fang cover



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A classic adventure novel detailing the savagery of life in the northern wilds. Its central character is a ferocious and magnificent creature, half dog, half wolf, through whose experiences we feel the harsh rhythms and patterns of wilderness life among animals and men. Children's Literature - Judy Katsh Jack London's story of the dog-wolf hybrid who is raised first as a wolf and later comes to know the world of dogs and humans is a riveting one. Teachers and other readers interested in growth and development will be especially fascinated by London's philosophy as repeatedly portrayed in the book as the "clay" of nature being "molded" by the environment of nurture. In this annotated version of the story, the original text is complete as written. Notes about the physical and social environment of the times during which the story takes place appear in wide margins. While many teachers of history and literature may find these connections helpful in their lesson planning and/or delivery; readers may find them distracting and intrusive. Oftentimes the marginal notes relate directly to events on that page of the text, but more often, they do not. Further, the detached reportorial style of these notes put them in direct conflict with the personal and emotional story that's being told. It's instructive to relate history and literature, but this may not be the best way to accomplish that interdisciplinary goal. 1999 (orig. AudioFile - Susan B. Stavropoulos Eerie music sets the scene of the Alaskan wilderness. HagonÆs rendition of LondonÆs anthropomorphic story of a wolf/dog is geared toward a younger audience. His voice contains that sense of intimacy and emphasis that characterizes the act of reading to the young. The reading is smooth and clear although there are times when regional accents (some overdone) get a little mixed up. The abridgment makes a good introduction to the author, and the well-chosen musical interludes throughout donÆt interfere with the story. S.B.S. ¬AudioFile, Portland, Maine AudioFile - Judith S. Girardi White Fang is a powerful story of courage and loyalty in the untamed Yukon. The sense of immediacy that comes with oral storytelling makes it a perfect choice for audio. Norman DietzÆs narration shows the range of effects that can be achieved through audio. DietzÆs smooth, calm voice emphasizes LondonÆs underlying themes, making the work more thoughtful and intense. However, the sense of danger and adventure that makes LondonÆs literature appealing to a broad audience is lost with DietzÆs straight, risk-free style. For adult listeners, DietzÆs performance makes White Fang a haunting and multi-dimensional experience. However, for young adults, this rendition is too tame and slow-paced. J.S.G. ¬AudioFile, Portland, Maine