Jack London by Alex Kershaw
A Life

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Raised in poverty as an illegitimate child, Jack London dropped out of school to support his mother, working in mind-deadening jobs that would foster a lifelong interest in socialism. Brilliant and self-taught, he haunted California's waterside bars, brawling with drunken sailors and learning about love from prostitutes. His lust for adventure took him from the beaches of Hawaii to the gold fields of Alaska, where he experienced firsthand the struggles for survival he would later immortalize in classics like White Fang and The Call of the Wild.

A hard-drinking womanizer with children to support, Jack London was no stranger to passion when he met and married Charmian Kittredge, the love of his life. Despite his adventurous past, London had never before met a woman like Charmian; she adored fornication and boxing, and willingly risked life and limb to sail and explore. She typed his manuscripts while he churned out novels, serving as his inspiration and his critic.

Lover, fighter, and onetime hobo, Jack London lived large and died before he was forty. This is a rare biography that proves the truth can be more fascinating--and a far greater adventure--than a fiction.


About Alex Kershaw

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Alex Kershaw is the New York Times bestselling author of several books on World War II, including The Bedford Boys and The Longest Winter. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Published April 11, 2013 by Flamingo. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, History, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Jack London

Kirkus Reviews

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Without making any contribution of his own, Kershaw, a contributing editor to GQ, patches together his work from these sources, as well as the two main London biographies, Irving Stone's romantic Sailor on Horseback (1938) and Richard O'Connor's stolid Jack London: A Biography (1964).

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Publishers Weekly

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Kershaw, a Los Angeles-based English journalist, writes that by the time London was 39, in early 1915, the muses had indeed deserted Jack. Actually, London seems to have deserted his muses, produc

Dec 30 1996 | Read Full Review of Jack London: A Life

Entertainment Weekly

British journalist Kershaw incisively reveals in… Alex Kershaw Biography Book Review Jack London: A Life Alex Kershaw ...

Mar 13 1998 | Read Full Review of Jack London: A Life

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