Kershaw, Alex Jack London: A Life

ISBN 13: 9780006548485

Jack London: A Life

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9780006548485: Jack London: A Life

A full-blooded, pacy biography of one of the most charismatic writers of the century, whose life and work were to inspire Hemingway, Steinbeck, Kerouac and Mailer. ‘We cannot help but read on’: TLS. ‘The energy, dynamism and sheer bursting life-force of Jack London bowls you over’: Scotsman.

• Jack London’s life story (1876–1916) is as dramatic as any of the fiction he wrote. Born illegitimate in San Francisco, he was (in his teens) an oyster pirate, seal-hunter, hobo, Klondike goldminer – and spectacular drinker.
• On publication of The Call of the Wild in 1903, he became the most highly publicised writer in the world. Subsequent books, including Martin Eden, White Fang, The Iron Heel, The People of the Abyss, John Barleycorn, The Sea Wolf, continue in print as world classics in many languages.
• Apart from writing 50 books, he lectured for the Socialist Party in America; was a war correspondent in Korea and Mexico; introduced surfing to the West Coast; sailed the seven seas in his yacht, the Snark…

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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:

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.

“A well-paced, unstuffy and engaging account of one of this century’s most paradoxical literary figures … We cannot help but read on, compelled at least in part by morbid curiosity to find out how a great man could be brought so low.”
PAUL WATKINS, 'Times Literary Supplement'

“Money, love passion is the troika that powers [Kershaw’s] book … Everyone who met Jack London felt his largeness of spirit. Kershaw’s triumph is to evoke this in a racy narrative that gulps the same air as London’s fiction … Kershaw’s brilliant portrait ripples … his compelling book fits its subject marvellously.”
JAMES WOOD, 'Guardian'

“I read this fascinating book at a gulp, appalled and admiring all at the same time. The energy, dynamism and sheer bursting life-force of Jack London bowls you over.”
ROBERT CARVER, 'Scotsman'

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Kershaw, Alex
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006548482

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