Jack London: A Life

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9780002555852: Jack London: A Life

Jack London's life was frequently more dramatic than any of the fiction he wrote. Born illegitimate in 1876 on the San Francisco waterfront, his writing life was relatively short but hugely prolific. Apart from writing 50 books, he lectured for the Socialist Party of America, gathered first-hand material in the London slums for "The People of the Abyss", supported several families, worked as a war correspondent in Korea and Mexico, introduced surfing to the West Coast, sailed the seas in his yacht the "Snark" and slowly drank himself to death.

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Review:

Alex Kershaw plunges readers into the world of Jack London by using lots of direct quotations and maintaining a fast-paced narrative--just right for dealing with an author who crammed as much action into his brief, 40-year existence (1876-1916) as can be found in his classic adventure fiction The Call of the Wild. Kershaw does justice to London's ardent socialism and pioneering efforts to protect the natural environment; his distasteful racism is acknowledged, but only briefly. This heartfelt tribute aims to kindle our admiration for "the passion and energy with which [London] lived, and which still sustains his best prose."

From the Back Cover:

Jack London is perhaps the only novelist this century of whom it can be said that his own life story is as dramatic as any of the suspenseful fiction he wrote. This full-blooded biography evokes the man whose life and work were to inspire such writers as Hemingway, Steinbeck, Kerouac and Mailer, and who, in himself, created the classic image of the macho (and deeply flawed) all-American writer.

Born illegitimate in 1876 on the San Francisco waterfront, Jack London became a legend before he was out of his teens: as oyster pirate, seal-hunter, hobo, Klondike goldminer in Alaska, and spectacular drinker. On publication of 'The Call of the Wild' in 1903, he soon became the most highly publicised writer in the world, whose appeal has survived to this day.

His writing life, though relatively short, was hugely prolific. Apart from almost fifty books (including 'White Fang', 'Martin Eden', 'The Iron Heel', 'John Barleycorn', and 'The Sea Wolf'), he lectured for the Socialist Party of America; gathered first-hand material in the London slums for 'The People of the Abyss'; supported several families; worked as a war correspondent in Korea and Mexico; introduced surfing from Hawaii to the West Coast of America; sailed the seven seas in his yacht the 'Snark'; and slowly drank himself to death at the age of forty on his ranch in California.

Basing himself on the West Coast, Alex Kershaw has dug deep into the archives to recreate the indomitable life of this Nietzschian Superman of American letters. It is a dramatic work of singular energy, insight and drive, which has already been bought for filming in Hollywood by the director Michael Mann.

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Alex Kershaw
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (1997)
ISBN 10: 0002555859 ISBN 13: 9780002555852
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
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Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2555859

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