The Call of the Wild

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Jack London’s classic story explores wilderness adventure and the return to the wild. Focalised through a sled dog known as ‘Buck’, this story takes readers from California, to Alaska and into Canada’s Klondike country. London explores the tension between domestication and the wilderness and readers are presented with the allure of the wild. ‘The Call of the Wild’ is a reminder that the earth was not always subdued and that sometimes it takes a return to animal instincts in order to thrive. A sweeping dog story that reminds readers of the connection to man and connection to nature that play tug of war within the great beasts that helped chart the northern reachers of North America.

3starsPG

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Les Miserables

Les Mieserables - Victor Hugo

For those of you out there who like a challenge.

Jean Valjean is a man on the run. Javert is a man on a mission to find him. Les Miserables follows Valjean’s journey as an ex-convict on a quest for redemption despite his dark past.

I read this book when I was in year 9 and declared it then and there as my favourite. It’s been a while since then, but the story has stuck with me and the outstanding musical is something I must see in my lifetime. It was originally written in French in the mid-eighteen hundreds and later translated into a massive, unabridged, English edition of 1400 pages plus. Abridged versions are readily available if you don’t feel quite up to that (and I wouldn’t blame you). Set in 1815, the story spans a seventeen year period following the stories of Jean Valjean, Fantine, Cosette, Marius and Javert. I will not mislead you, it is by no means an easy feat, but it also an incredibly beautiful and powerful story about justice, grace, redemption, love and sacrifice against the backdrop of a tumultuous French history. Hugo also doesn’t hold back, voicing his various views on politics, religion and philosophy.

I love this story. I recommend it to capable and ambitious readers who are after a bit of a challenge.
It is my favourite, so I better give it 5 stars.