Thursday, August 27, 2015

Top ten dog stories

Jill Ciment was born in Montreal, Canada. She is the author of Small Claims, a collection of short stories and novellas; The Law of Falling Bodies, Teeth of the Dog, The Tattoo Artist, Heroic Measures, and Act of God, novels; and Half a Life, a memoir.

One of her top ten dog stories, as shared at the Guardian:
The Call of the Wild by Jack London

All of London’s dog novels hark back to the courting stage of man and wolf, when we were still both beasts. London’s plots are really love stories - two wary beings learn to trust each other and fall in love. Buck, a huge St Bernard/shepherd mix, is kidnapped from his comfortable middle-class home, sold into bondage, and escapes. In the Alaskan wilderness, he discovers the bestial instinct within himself. Only late in life does Buck fall in love with a man, John Thornton, who saves his life. When he loses John to an Indian’s arrow, he returns to the wild and joins a wolf pack. London intends for Buck’s howl, “the song of the pack”, to be a dirge.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Call of the Wild is among Cliff McNish's top ten dogs in children's books, Brian Payton's top ten books about Alaska, Joshua Glenn's top 32 list of adventure novels of the 19th century, Sarah Lean's top ten animal stories, Ben Frederick's eleven essential books for dog lovers, Megan Miranda's top ten books set in a wintry landscape, Jill Hucklesby's top 10 books about running away, Charlie English's top ten snow books, and Thomas Bloor's top ten tales of metamorphosis. It appears on John Mullan's list of ten of the best wolves in literature and Alice-Azania Jarvis's reading list on dogs.

The Page 69 Test: Jill Ciment's Heroic Measures.

--Marshal Zeringue