Call of the Wild: On Men and Civilization

I’ve never said this before but Call of the Wild by Jack London is probably, seriously, one of the best novels I’ve ever read in my adult life. It ranks so high up, easily top 3.

Now with that out of the way, I can say that there are some parts of this book that taught me and disturbed me a lot at the same time. The biggest, and probably the most significant one, was during the early part of the story, where a dog was trying to be kind to another dog—which was much more seasoned, and wilder than her, in a sense—and seeing her kindness, civility was paid with violence immediately. Why?

In the word of Buck himself:

So that was the way. No fair play. Once down, that was the end of you.

Those simple three sentences hold deeper meaning in my opinion, and some of them are easy to digest: this is the wild. They are animals. Being kind and sympathetic would mean showing weaknesses, and the wild don’t like weaknesses. Going into the wild would mean shedding the virtues of civilization and back into the ages of self-protecting, constant vigilance, staying strong, and never going down nor giving up.

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The Fold by Peter Clines

Okay, this one’s going to be quick. This is a novel that I’d just started reading last night and actually made me to read it completely within one sitting. 5 hours straight. The last English book capable of doing that to me was Ender’s Game, thus I am compelled to write a review for this. I also realise that it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here, so bear with me for a bit if my review feels like a mess, alright? Thank you.

So, let me start with a summary: the protagonist of this story, Mike, was a superhuman, one of the few people on the planet who actually possessed a photographic memory. While he was living his ordinary life as a high school teacher, an old friend came and offered him a job: observe a group of scientists who claimed that they have invented The Albulquerque Door, a device that can create a “Fold” in reality which allowed near instantaneous travel over a great distance. He accepted it, and for the first couple of days, things seemed to run without problems although some of the scientists seem a little bit skittish about their Door. And then an incident happened, and Mike realised that there were secrets buried deep within the team, that the device was not as it seemed, and that they had to race against time to stop a great catastrophe from leaking through the Door toward all known realities.

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