Book Notes: 'The Valley of the Moon' by Jack London

The Valley of the MoonThe Valley of the Moon by Jack London

Others have suggested this was the forerunner to Jack Kerouac's On the Road, but this is only evident in the third book. I was surprised by a dead-end thread character who reappears only briefly to show the changes in the prize-fighting protagonist as he becomes wiser. The usual Jack London class consciousness is evident but this time he seems to highlight the false consciousness of the proletariat not as a consequence of the system per se, but as the fault of an individual's lack of imagination. Although somewhat the epic, an interesting read that gripped me whenever I picked it up. And surprisingly, no classic London macabre ending to regret, although the climax is the weaker for it.

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