Jack London by Jack London
San Francisco Stories

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Synopsis

From one of America's great writers, this delightful collection - the first of its kind - contains twenty-three adventurous tales set in the San Francisco Bay Area. If San Francisco has captured the world's imagination through the hardboiled stories of Dashiell Hammett, the prose and poetry of Jack Kerouac and his fellow Beats, through Orson Welles' Lady From Shanghai and Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, it is as a romantic city of vast suspension bridges and foggy back alleys, not as the wild west of Jack London's day. Pre-quake San Francisco was a tough town, and Jack London - hobo, sailor, oyster pirate, hard drinker - was pretty tough, too. Although famous for his stories of the Klondike and the Pacific, London wrote extensively about his home base. This collection contains such classic stories as 'The Apostate' and 'South of the Slot' as well as extracts from John Barleycorn and The Sea-Wolf. The overlooked 1905 story cycle Tales of the Fish Patrol is included in its entirety. London's vivid eyewitness report of the Great 1906 Earthquake and Fire - which destroyed forever the old city - stands as a fitting epilogue. Discover a vanished San Francisco in these wonderful stories of Jack London. Selected as one of the 16 BOOKS TO READ IF YOU LOVE SAN FRANCISCO: "Most of us know San Francisco as a soft foggy charmfest of a city. But it wasn’t always so tame. Jack London’s San Francisco Stories chronicles the tougher annals of SF’s pre-earthquake days, and includes Jack London’s firsthand account of the city burning in the wake of the 1906 quake. Either a must-read or must-avoid for anyone waiting for the next shaker. In this collection, you can find the San Francisco that is no longer, but still haunts the back allies. Recommended for: True lovers of San Francisco [and] neighborhood dive bar drinkers." —ANISSE GROSS, BuzzFeed.com "A meaty, compactly packaged book. If you don't have these stories, a great intro to a city that was lost in the 1906 quake and fire, by the most famous author born in town." —DON HERRON, the San Francisco Dashiell Hammett Tour "This collection by scholar and writer Matthew Asprey finally brings together London's best writing about the coastal communities of Northern California that he loved so well." —RODGER JACOBS, Journalist, Author, Jack London Scholar
 

About Jack London

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One of the pioneers of 20th century American literature, Jack London specialized in tales of adventure inspired by his own experiences. London was born in San Francisco in 1876. At 14, he quit school and became an "oyster pirate," robbing oyster beds to sell his booty to the bars and restaurants in Oakland. Later, he turned on his pirate associates and joined the local Fish Patrol, resulting in some hair-raising waterfront battles. Other youthful activities included sailing on a seal-hunting ship, traveling the United States as a railroad tramp, a jail term for vagrancy and a hazardous winter in the Klondike during the 1897 gold rush. Those experiences converted him to socialism, as he educated himself through prolific reading and began to write fiction. After a struggling apprenticeship, London hit literary paydirt by combining memories of his adventures with Darwinian and Spencerian evolutionary theory, the Nietzchean concept of the "superman" and a Kipling-influenced narrative style. "The Son of the Wolf"(1900) was his first popular success, followed by 'The Call of the Wild" (1903), "The Sea-Wolf" (1904) and "White Fang" (1906). He also wrote nonfiction, including reportage of the Russo-Japanese War and Mexican revolution, as well as "The Cruise of the Snark" (1911), an account of an eventful South Pacific sea voyage with his wife, Charmian, and a rather motley crew. London's body broke down prematurely from his rugged lifestyle and hard drinking, and he died of uremic poisoning - possibly helped along by a morphine overdose - at his California ranch in 1916. Though his massive output is uneven, his best works - particularly "The Call of the Wild" and "White Fang" - have endured because of their rich subject matter and vigorous prose.
 
Published October 11, 2010 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 380 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Jack London

Kirkus Reviews

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A dozen yarns, out of the crudeness and rawness of the West Jack London knew, and virile, lusty tales they are.

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Kirkus Reviews

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London's remarkable life makes for good reading: He was a fearless explorer whose struggles to become a successful writer filled his short life.

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The Telegraph

When Jack London died suddenly in 1916, aged 40, he had replaced Mark Twain as America’s most celebrated writer: a “rampant individualist”, as he styled himself, in the tradition of Joshua Slocum, Robert Louis Stevenson (whose grave he visited in Samoa) and W H Hudson – and a precursor o...

May 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Jack London: San Francisco St...

Dallas News

By CLAY REYNOLDS / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News Novelist Clay Reynolds is professor of arts and humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas and is the editor of The Plays of Jack London.

Jun 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Jack London: San Francisco St...

San Francisco Chronicle

Jack London (1876-1916) is best known for his popular fiction such as "The Call of the Wild," but some may also recall him as an adventurer and a socialist dedicated to the equality of humankind.

Dec 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Jack London: San Francisco St...

Tampa Bay Times

Hall Setting his novels in Alaska, Hawaii and other exotic locales then unknown to most Americans, London became well known not only as a writer but as a celebrity — famous for being famous.

Feb 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Jack London: San Francisco St...

Gather Books

JACK LONDON'S RACIAL LIVES, A Critical Biography by Jeanne Campbell Reesman.

Apr 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Jack London: San Francisco St...

Look At OKC

Born in San Francisco in 1876, London came to age in the depression of the late 1880s.

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My San Antonio

Many if not most London biographies, from that of London's second wife, Charmian Kittredge London, and Stone onward, are biased and sensationalized.

Aug 29 2010 | Read Full Review of Jack London: San Francisco St...

Project MUSE

and the composite portrait of London as the unschooled vagrant, drunken sailor, Klondike survivor, wide-ranging reporter, Socialist lecturer signing himself "Yours for the Revolution," navigator of the Snark among cannibals in the South Seas, landed gentleman on an almost feudal scale—all made be...

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http://www.lareviewofbooks.org

More 203 total reviews Science & Technology "The nineteenth century believed in science but the twentieth century does not."

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Gambit

Anyone who has lived in a small town, particularly one in Texas, will recognize the trappings of existing in such a fishbowl in the lives and characters of Jack Woodville London's Tierra, Texas, in the first book of his French Letters trilogy, Virginia's War: Tierra, Texas 1944.

Apr 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Jack London: San Francisco St...

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