Book Notes: "Martin Eden" by Jack London

Martin EdenMartin Eden by Jack London

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If Martin Eden is indeed autobiographical, it demonstrates the extraordinarily perceptive intellect and much-tortured soul of Jack London. The book is riveting. At first, somewhat banal in its celebration of the typical hard man, then academic in its treatment of the philosophers of its time, then ending in a way that Hemingway would have been proud. London's own story of intellect and physical rigour are captured in the work. While White Fang and Call of the Wild may have been his more popular works, and I found The Assassination Bureau fascinating, here London is at his best. Much like George Bernard Shaw's Back to Methuselah, which Shaw considered to be his masterpiece, I cannot help but think that this was London's masterpiece, although the purchasing public may not have agreed.

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