Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel

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As with other characters of American literature, such as Rip van Winkle and Huckleberry Finn , Buck symbolizes a reaction against industrialization and social convention with a return to nature. London presents the motif simply, clearly, and powerfully in the story, a motif later echoed by 20th century American writers William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway most notably in " Big Two-Hearted River ". Doctorow says of the story that it is "fervently American".

The enduring appeal of the story, according to American literature scholar Donald Pizer , is that it is a combination of allegory , parable , and fable. The story incorporates elements of age-old animal fables, such as Aesop's Fables , in which animals speak truth, and traditional beast fables, in which the beast "substitutes wit for insight". In The Call of the Wild , London intensifies and adds layers of meaning that are lacking in these stories. As a writer London tended to skimp on form, according to biographer Labor, and neither The Call of the Wild nor White Fang "is a conventional novel".

The format of the story is divided into four distinct parts, according to Labor. In the first part, Buck experiences violence and struggles for survival; in the second part, he proves himself a leader of the pack; the third part brings him to his death symbolically and almost literally ; and in the fourth and final part, he undergoes rebirth. London's story is a tale of survival and a return to primitivism.

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Pizer writes that: "the strong, the shrewd, and the cunning shall prevail when Pizer also finds evident in the story a Christian theme of love and redemption, as shown by Buck's refusal to revert to violence until after the death of Thornton, who had won Buck's love and loyalty. Doctorow says the theme is based on Darwin 's concept of survival of the fittest.

London places Buck in conflict with humans, in conflict with the other dogs, and in conflict with his environment—all of which he must challenge, survive, and conquer. He learns that in a world where the "club and the fang" are law, where the law of the pack rules and a good-natured dog such as Curly can be torn to pieces by pack members, that survival by whatever means is paramount.

London also explores the idea of "nature vs. Buck, raised as a pet, is by heredity a wolf. The change of environment brings up his innate characteristics and strengths to the point where he fights for survival and becomes leader of the pack. Pizer describes how the story reflects human nature in its prevailing theme of the strength, particularly in the face of harsh circumstances.

Hearts Unleashed: A Second Acts Novel

The veneer of civilization is thin and fragile, writes Doctorow, and London exposes the brutality at the core of humanity and the ease with which humans revert to a state of primitivism. Doctorow sees the story as a caricature of a bildungsroman — in which a character learns and grows — in that Buck becomes progressively less civilized. John Myers O'Hara , Atavism. The stanza outlines one of the main motifs of The Call of the Wild : that Buck when removed from the "sun-kissed" Santa Clara Valley where he was raised, will revert to his wolf heritage with its innate instincts and characteristics.

The themes are conveyed through London's use of symbolism and imagery which, according to Labor, vary in the different phases of the story. The imagery and symbolism in the first phase, to do with the journey and self-discovery, depict physical violence, with strong images of pain and blood. In the second phase, fatigue becomes a dominant image and death is a dominant symbol, as Buck comes close to being killed.

The third phase is a period of renewal and rebirth and takes place in the spring, before ending with the fourth phase, when Buck fully reverts to nature is placed in a vast and "weird atmosphere", a place of pure emptiness. The setting is allegorical.

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The southern lands represent the soft, materialistic world; the north symbolizes a world beyond civilization and is inherently competitive. Buck must defeat Spitz, the dog who symbolically tries to get ahead and take control. When Buck is sold to Charles, Hal, and Mercedes, he finds himself in a camp that is dirty. They treat their dogs badly; they are artificial interlopers in the pristine landscape. Conversely, Buck's next masters, John Thornton, and his two companions are described as "living close to the earth".

They keep a clean camp, treat their animals well, and represent man's nobility in nature. The characters too are symbolic of types.

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Charles, Hal, and Mercedes symbolize vanity and ignorance, while Thornton and his companions represent loyalty, purity, and love. London varied his prose style to reflect the action. He wrote in an over-affected style in his descriptions of Charles, Hal, and Mercedes' camp as a reflection of their intrusion in the wilderness.

Conversely, when describing Buck and his actions, London wrote in a style that was pared down and simple—a style that would influence and be the forebear of Hemingway's style. The story was written as a frontier adventure and in such a way that it worked well as a serial.

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As Doctorow points out, it is good episodic writing that embodies the style of magazine adventure writing popular in that period. The Call of the Wild was enormously popular from the moment it was published. Menken wrote of London's story: "No other popular writer of his time did any better writing than you will find in The Call of the Wild. London's book popular, it ought to be rendered so by the complete way in which it will satisfy the love of dog fights apparently inherent in every man.

The making and the achievement of such a hero [Buck] constitute, not a pretty story at all, but a very powerful one. The book secured London a place in the canon of American literature. After the success of The Call of the Wild London wrote to Macmillan in proposing a second book White Fang in which he wanted to describe the opposite of Buck: a dog that transforms from wild to tame: "I'm going to reverse the process Instead of devolution of decivilization I'm going to give the evolution, the civilization of a dog.

The first adaptation of London's story was a silent film made in The Hollywood Reporter said that Graham Ludlow 's adaptation was, " Much more faithful to Jack London's classic than the two Hollywood versions. A comic adaptation had been made in for Boys Life magazine. Due to cultural sensitivities, the Yeehat Indians are omitted, and John Thorton's killers are now white criminals, who as before, are also killed by Buck. Harrison Ford will star as the lead role and Terry Notary will portray Buck through motion-capture.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Call of the Wild disambiguation. The Call of the Wild. Illustrated by Philip R. Goodwin and Charles Livingston Bull First ed. Silent Hollywood. The Hollywood Reporter. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 26 January Works by Jack London. Lost Face South Sea Tales Jack London 's The Call of the Wild. White Fang. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. The payoff is very gratifying.

I love reading about older people evolving, and Liam, the year-old newly-fired ex-teacher starts out sleepwalking another theme I love: from sleepwalking through life, to awakening, and especially when this happens to older people. A literal conk on the head starts Liam questioning his memory. At this time he is a complacent object of derision at the hands of the female members of his family oddly the few males in the story range from accepting to kind re Liam.

His evolution is rewarding. Her depictions of their worlds are gritty, impoverished. This is an aspect of restraint that I respect. A fine story. I have been told that becoming a famous writer—which I suppose means having a book on the New York Times best-seller list—is not an unmitigated blessing. The mitigations, I suppose, are the weighty expectations concerning the next book, and of course, not being able to walk down the street without people bugging you for autographs.

There will be no collection of letters between me and my writing friends, responses to negative or positive reviews, or rejection letters from agents and publishers. Enter Nick, an unexpectedly nice and inobtrusive actor cast to play Mort in an upcoming feature film about his life, which will explore the sexual abuse that the world has come to believe occurred in his childhood.

Whether it was what the world thinks it was or not comprises another interesting plot layer. Glass does a masterful job of creating three sympathetic characters who are in most ways in opposition to each other.

By the end, even the ambitious museum curator kind of a PR person, too comes across at the end as a reasonable and caring, if troubled, human. When she finally does, enlightenment dawns all around. This is a fine depiction of the complexities of a long-term marriage, the reasons we become who we are and develop a certain way, the negotiations with our mates, our parents, our kids.

The tales we tell ourselves. What talent. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Noteworthy: the romantic lead, Alec, is a beta male. Also noteworthy is that the romantic couple is older, in their late 40s, early 50s, resp. Finally, but not the least important, is that the impediment to their romance is a husband who is nuanced. His illness is dealt with sensitively, although some may say adultery is adultery and put the book aside. I have only two knocks on the book. Some of the descriptions really were too long.

Two or three aspects to give us a sense of place is fine; beyond that, I skimmed. Second, the ending is wrapped up far too quickly. A mountain of information is skipped over with the turn of a page, and the resolution was less meaningful than it could have been. It was a bit like an epilogue without an ending. Still, a thoughtful and lovely book. This book had me riveted. Elizabeth Berg is amazing in her ability to make you laugh and cry. I know. An example is the hide-and-seek scene, when Myra, the main character, remembers play ending as parents call their kids in for the night, and Myra was the last child to go home.

Although the plot is about a woman caring for a terminally ill man who she loves, the story is about an emotionally neglected child growing up and learning to accept her feelings, and to embrace life in spite of that burden. The ending was beautifully literary although I had to read it twice to see the thematic resolution.

When I did see it, I felt uplifted. We always have a choice.

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The novel was profoundly moving, and I recommend it. Enjoy this very much. Bosch is retired now and volunteering for the San Fernando Police Department, working cold cases. His mission in life is to bring bad guys to justice, and that every victim matters. Harry is working on one case when he is asked to go undercover as a drug-addicted senior citizen the subplot , and both stories are thrilling and rich. As a silver-hair myself, I also enjoyed the references to the passage of time, of life.

Highly recommended. This is an unusual book. The story just demonstrates it, a literary victory of show over tell. Dulcie aptly named is a sweet person whose primary food group is cake. Dulcie never married. She has no friends except for acquaintances from church, and her only family is Alexis, a very hostile daughter who is also struggling. Dulcie has a secret that she fears will tear Alexis from her. Enter the homeless preacher. They meet at her church, and become friends.

She quickly becomes enamored. Is he playing her or is he legit? This question alone drives the book, especially with that title, which could be taken two ways. I found this story fascinating. I cared about Dulcie. Yet she seemed so authentic, I felt like a fly on the wall in her life. For the length of this book, I was able to visit another world. It was interesting, watching her go about her life and make decisions that endangered her…or did they?

The ending will be controversial, I think, for readers. It demonstrated the change in Dulcie that needed to happen. What a great collection of stories. Various individuals all face life challenges…some unique to the second half of life and some ageless. The wife, like so many of the women, settles in right away, very happy, while Itch Isaac the husband, has no friends and no interests, until…. This collection was originally published in , and in some ways, that shows. In the book, a year-old man is considered old. The inhabitants of Sunset Village are far less active and fit than they would be today.

The best thing about this book is that Warren Adler is a great storyteller. Really a delightful book. What a cool book! I loved it. And boo to the titles that make aging look like nothing but a horrific slog, filled with negativity and unpleasantness. Strout is a magnificent writer, and she had me in her thrall—for a while. I include it here because most of the characters are well over age fifty. You feel less alone in the memory, and maybe understand it a bit more.

Quite a feat for a storyteller! But some say we read to understand the human condition; I surely do. Examples from the book, cryptic to avoid spoilers: when the three Barton children reunite, and the way their emotions range from one extreme to another; when Tommy and Charlie both demonstrate the loneliness of not being truly one with, or having secrets from, the person you love; and when Dottie feels used by the neediness of one of her guests. Oh, relatable! So even though I was disappointed in the structure, the writing is a ten.

I would have loved this story even if the person charged with bringing the year-old back to her family had been a younger man. Joanna was kidnapped by Indians when they raided her farm and killed her family. Captain Kidd is You know I look for stories with older main characters, and this one is a real standout. He thinks about how much his bones hurt and how, after fleeing danger, he needs more time now to recover, but he perseveres. As he and the girl grow closer, to each other and to their destination, he becomes more and more concerned about her future welfare.

How he resolves that is delicious. After I finished the book, I replayed it over in my mind, enjoying it again. The author, Paulette Jiles, is so skillful that I was entranced from the first page.

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She uses dialogue in the same way as Kent Haruf, without quotation marks, which makes it more subtle, as if you just happened to hear it in passing. Her descriptions are sublime. What a talent.

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I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Fine character development, good dramatic tension, rich scenes and settings. I appreciated the depiction of an older woman living life on her own terms, even though she had to buck most of her family to do so. The ending is very satisfying. The only aspect of this work that I feel could have been improved on was its length.

However, for some, that would be a rich element. A good read. When I first began reading, I thought, oh, no, another author with a low opinion of old people. And Arthur Pepper does change, because he is curious about who his wife was before she met him. The discoveries shake his world, but ultimately for the good. Following in the footsteps of James Michener, Jim Misko has penned an award-winning tale of the Barrett brothers, two men in their sixties, who must travel up and down the South Platte River through Nebraska, a journey of hundreds of miles. Their recently-deceased mother stipulated in her will that the brothers travel halfway on horseback and halfway via canoe, with the midpoint being the confluence of the North and South Platte.

Midlife Fiction Novels

They must complete the journey in 61 days, and must observe, learn, and complete a report on the impacts of their increasingly-industrialized farming methods on the river. If they fail to meet her stipulations, their family farm will be donated to charity. Thus all three are forced into new and life-changing roles. A certain avaricious landowner conspires with a power-lusting attorney to thwart the Barrett brothers.

All manner of difficulties are thrown in front of the three siblings, orchestrated by a man whose hold on the region is matched by his great wealth. I enjoyed this story of midlife growth and change. There are other subplots and story threads within the main story, and Jim Misko paints a compassionate picture of American culture with all its greatness and failings.

This was a first-class read from a wonderful writer. What a wonderful novel! It had everything. Here are some of the elements that made me love it: beautiful writing. Beautiful setting — contemporary Alaska. Other themes: Family, who offer both frustration and sanctuary. A middle-aged woman dealing with grief and finding her true direction in life. The conflict between commerce, politics, power, and ancient lands. Losers and outlaws redeemed; the mighty brought low. Of course, my favorite thing is to read about very old characters who bring strength, wisdom, and a bittersweet flavor to the story.

When we meet him, old Keb is on his way to a hospital to see his grandson, a star athlete whose career has just ended before it began due to a logging accident. Keb is very ill and weak, but he has to see his grandson. Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die. What to do? Keb straightened up and sealed his mind. Raven looks for scars, the signs of suffering that give a man his depth. Add this wound to the others no strangers see. There are two tragedies in life: not getting what you want, and getting it. After that, Old Keb Wisting would return to Alaska and walk into the woods and lie down and die.

A divorced couple, both in their forties, are dealing with the loss of their year-old son. Before he d ied, he became friends with a year-old woman, Ona Vitkus. Afterwards, the parents and Ona are drawn together because of the boy. The story portrays the parents moving beyond grief, but this beautifully written book is far broader than that. Ona in particular has such a rich history, yet she was strangely passive in her own life until something happens to shake her out of it, at an age when she was far from young. Well done. You can tell from the cover and whimsical title this book is colorful.

Morayo, the main character, is So few books about this age group. I felt inspired after reading it. What a woman, what a life. I read it on Kindle but ordered a few copies to give as gifts. Ove and Britt-Marie, both by Fredrik Backman, delivered on the premise. I had Ove on my To Read list for a long time, but the beginning was a turn-off. Such a stereotype of older age: the cranky old man, which Ove carried to the extreme.

Both stories are based in Sweden. Britt-Marie was also hard to get into. Britt-Marie is eccentric and limited, again an unrealistic portrayal of a contemporary year-old. Yet Backman fed me tidbits that kept me reading, and then I was hooked. I loved the story of older-age rebirth and redemption.

If something within her has been knocked down and shattered, she tries to tell herself, it is all her own fault, because these feelings she has inside should never have been set free in the first place. After reading and enjoying Britt-Marie, I had to read Ove.

The Call of the Wild - Wikipedia

The ending is even more fulsome and rewarding than with Britt-Marie. Both Ove and Britt-Marie would have been happier in their little ruts, had death and divorce respectively not jarred them into the modern world. The joy is in seeing how they learn to navigate and contribute to their communities. Also, Backman is a skilled writer. He reveals details at exactly the right time, not frontloading backstory or dumping information on us too soon. He creates a hunger and then satisfies it. Her husband, who allegedly is not demented, lets her go, knowing she sees it as an adventure.

Her neighbor, who has always loved her, goes looking for her, and has his own fun on the way. Meanwhile, Etta keeps company with a talking coyote James. My apologies to the author for not appreciating her form of art; many did, as reflected in the number of good reviews. This is a love story, and surprise!

Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel
Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel
Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel
Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel
Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel
Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel
Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel
Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel Sleeping With Dogs and Other Lovers: A Second Acts Novel

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