Book Review: White Fang by Jack London

29 January 2011

At the tutorial I attend, I take a literature/compostition class. In this course, we cover a large volume of classic books in a short period of time. Some of the books are good, some are not-so-good, and some just don't interest me (I am a very independent reader, and I enjoy choosing the books I read, so when it comes to required reading... well, let's just say that just because I love books and reading doesn't necessarily mean I am going to give every book I read for school a 10+). 

This book that I am going to review right now is one of the best books I have ever read, which is strange, because, from the surface, White Fang doesn't seem like the type of book I would enjoy. And I wasn't the only one. My entire class absolutely LOVED this book. I should really learn to stop judging books by their covers... 

So, without furthur ado, let us get on with this book review...

White Fang
By Jack London

The frozen northern Yukon Territory is a wild and cold place. The wind is savage, the climate fierce, and the animals fight to survive. Predator and prey are constantly battling. The weak are soon killed off, for this is a land that holds no compassion. Deep in the woods of the brutal North, a litter of pups are born to a mother who is half dog and a father who is all wolf.  Then famine strikes. Only one of the cubs survives, and the father dies in a battle with a lynx. This is the lone cub's first experience with the Wild, and it will not be his last. 

The cub grows older, and as he grows, he learns much, uncluding the rule of the Wild: eat or be eaten. He and his mother are found by Indians in the woods, who take them back the the Indian camp. There, White Fang, as he was now called by the Indians, is terrorized by a puppy pack. He learns to steal food, for that is the only way he can survive. White Fang grows more and more terrible, and soon is able to stand up to the puppy pack. He is the fiercest pup in the Indian camp, and, unfortunately, is doomed to be subjected to situations that will make him even fiercer. Is there room in his cold and fierce heart for love?

I think one of the reasons I love this book is because it is so real. Not once in the book does White Fang actually speak, nor does he think, like a human would. There are so many animal books out there in which the main character thinks and acts like a human being, which can be cute... but it's not very realistic. Reading this book is like being in a real wild animal's brain--not an animal that has been "humanified." 

I should warn you, though--this is a very savage book. After reading White Fang, your whole perspective on animal books will change. There is nothing cute or adorable about this story: it is wild, harsh, and cold.

Why, then, do I like it?

Good question. The real reason I love this book is because it's such an amazing example of salvation. 


White Fang, as I've said before, is wild and savage, and he has not a speck of love in his heart. He has never been shown love in his life, and thus, he has never shown love to any animal or human being. His cold soul seems beyond repair... until he meets Weedon Scott. Weedon is a wealthy goldminer, and he buys White Fang from his current owner. Through a series of small acts of kindness, and MUCH patience, Weedon breaks through White Fang's icy heart and shows him love. Because of Weedon, White Fang is changed from living his whole life an enemy to every living being. And that is the sweetest part in the whole book. 

We are like White Fang. We are all sinful because of the Fall. In our sinful natures, we often seem beyond repair. But Jesus reached out His hand to us, took us, and washed us clean. He showed us LOVE, the greatest love there ever was. He died for us, sacrificing His perfect self for our sinful souls. Because of Him, we, like White Fang, will never be the same. We are born again.

To tell you the truth, the end of this book made me cry. Now you know why.


"He became quicker of movement than the other dogs, swifter of foot, craftier, deadlier, more lithe, more lean with ironlike muscle and sinew, more enduring, more cruel more ferocious, and more intelligent. He had to become all these things, else he would not have held his own nor survived the hostile environment in which he found himself." ~White Fang, part 3, chapter 3

4 epistles:

  1. Great book review; thanks for posting! I tried reading Jack London's The Sea-Wolf once, but thought the violence was really overdone. This book sounds a lot better, though! :)

  2. I own this book, but I haven't read it. I didn't think it was my kinda book. But after reading this review, I really want to read it. Great review!


  3. Great review! It sounds like a really good book..

  4. You have got some interesting writing skills..more suitable for a story than a review..


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