Read Before Adam by Jack London Dennis L. McKiernan Loren Eiseley Online


A young man in modern America is terrorized by visions of an earlier, primitive life. Across the enormous chasm of thousands of centuries, his consciousness has become entwined with that of Big-Tooth, an ancestor living at the dawn of humanity. Big-Tooth makes his home in Pleistocene Africa, a ferocious, fascinating younger world torn by incessant conflict between early huA young man in modern America is terrorized by visions of an earlier, primitive life. Across the enormous chasm of thousands of centuries, his consciousness has become entwined with that of Big-Tooth, an ancestor living at the dawn of humanity. Big-Tooth makes his home in Pleistocene Africa, a ferocious, fascinating younger world torn by incessant conflict between early humans & protohumans.This commemorative edition features a map of the world of Big-Tooth, an epilog by Loren Eiseley, striking illustrations by Chas Livingston Bull, contemporary reviews & a listing of peoples & characters....

Title : Before Adam
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780803279933
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 266 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Before Adam Reviews

  • Jake
    2019-02-25 09:36

    I happened on this one during a browse session at my local used book dealer. Since I remember loving Call of the Wild, this seemed a no-brainer to try. Furthermore, thanks to the first section of Arthur C. Clarke's 2001, I was also anxious to see another fictional take on prehistoric humans. Both as a Jack London outing, and another dip into literature about prehistoric times, this book paid off.Before Adam may not be as attractive a story as other Jack London fare. The content reads even more brutal. The protagonist also seems less sympathetic than Buck, the hero of Call of the Wild. The combined effect is a book that feels quite dark, even though it focuses on daytime danger. The first person narrative provides a Poe-like feel, as we are taken into the protagonist's nightmarish memories of primitive time. Though the story contains an antagonist, a romance, and a sense of morality, the ape-like behavior makes it difficult to connect with the main characters. Nevertheless, I found myself grinning during the story's courtship chapter. Apparently females have been playing hard-to-get for eons. Kudos to Mr. London for resisting the urge to humanize and prettify the subject material. Before Adam reads as a sincere effort to dramatize the best evolutionary theory of early-1900s. It makes the story, though harder to warm up to, more legitimate. If you've read other London, I recommend giving this one a read.

  • Jose Moa
    2019-03-01 06:43

    Jack London, a writter well known by his great tales of south seas and about the gold rush in Alaska with tales as To Light a Fire or Law of Life is a forefather of several genres : the postapocaliptic, with the novel The Scarlet Plague ,the utopian distopian with The Iron Heel and this rather unclassifiable Before Adam,written in 1907 when few was known about human evolution.This novel has curious similarities with two later novels,The Shadow Out of Time by Lovecraft Witten in 1934,where a man dreams of a previous ancient life in other body, and with the Inheritors by William Golding written in 1955 where is described the extinction of the Neantherthals at hand of the Homo Sapiens,with this one the novel by London has stronger similarities.This novel by London tells the dreams of a previous life preserved in the brain as innate recalls of the life and fight of a inferior race of hominids that in this fight become near extinct with the superior race that know the bow ,the arrow and the fire.The inferior hominide have not a developed language and its comunication is by mean of signs and intuitive.A very interesting novel with the added value that i think that is the first novel written about the subject of human evolution trough several stages of hominids and the social life and comunication of them,all in the proces of abandon the trees and take the land.

  • Gülay Cansever
    2019-02-22 10:19

    Muhteşem bir kitaptı. Ben yere çakılanlardanım ama :) Sanırım benim atalarım düşüp sağ kurtulandan. Jack London böyle bir kitabı yazarak engin zekasını bir kez daha ortaya koymuş. Okumama vesile olan Bumin Varlı arkadaşıma bir kez daha teşekkürlerimi sunuyorum :)

  • Nick
    2019-03-07 10:35

    Unexpectedly awesome. The entire thing is on libravox, which is how I listened to it. This is technically a work of science fiction, I suppose. Its premised on an idea of "genetic memory" which Im pretty sure is wholly discredited. The narrator has a genetically imprinted memory of his ancestors, particularly one ancestry: A prehuman ape. But its just a premise to get you into the real story. The story of that ape's life. Its fascinating to read a narration of such a life. The ape is born into a "tribe" of sorts, of apes who are somewhere in between tree dwellers and cave dwellers. There are other surrounding bands of apes with different levels of development. One is even more primitive, staying wholly in the forest, and another is pretty advanced, has tools including bows and arrows etc. Im not sure how anthropologically plausible this is, but its interesting anyway. Even if its not strictly accurate, you can envision very minor textual changes which would bring it in accordance with anthropological reality. Anyway, the ape as you might imagine has to deal with numerous challenges. Being hunted by other apes, and saber toothed cats, etc. There are problems of communication as language has not yet evolved. There are some apes which are asocial and try to kill or rape other apes. The narrator must make alliances with other apes, find a mate at some point, feed himself, avoid danger. The whole description of the mindset of being a prehuman though is what makes the book so fascinating though. Its really a trip.

  • Beste Bal
    2019-03-05 06:32

    Klasiklerin kapaklarının 'klasik' olmak zorunda olmadığını düşünenlerin elinden çıkma kapak tasarımıyla Jack London'ın harrika hayal dünyasının şahane birlikteliği. Epey heyecanlanarak okudum, hatta geç okuduğum bir metin olduğunu da düşünüyorum, oldukça ufuk açıcı bir metin. Martin Eden, hayatımda çok ciddi bir değişimin tetikleyicisiyken Âdem’den Önce de yeni bir kapı araladı algımda.

  • Chris
    2019-03-07 03:41

    This was an interesting glimpse into what life was like for primordial man. The story begins with a modern man who is having dreams and nightmares which are of a type so distressing and profound, that they are disabling to his waking life. In these dreams he is embodied in an early evolutive stage of humanity predating homo sapiens—basically a low-intelligence caveman—and through these dreams he relives an entire lifetime of intermittent images and experiences that he later puzzles together into a coherent narrative. These dreams turn out to be genetic or “racial” memories—snippets of real life that his progenitors experienced over 1 million years ago in the Mid-Pleistocene when hominids began to evolve into their current form but still coexisted with other contemporaneous hominid species.London actually does a good job of establishing the possibility of genetic memories of bygone eras being transmitted to and through each of us as our biological heritage. It is in line with Jung’s theory of the Collective Unconscious, and is primarily how we define or describe what we know as instinct. London explains through the protagonist that one of the most familiar vestiges of this evolutive memory is the fear of heights, which is posited to be a leftover from our tree-dwelling ancestors. Why else would a newborn baby be sent into convulsions when it suddenly detects instability beneath it? London wiggles his finger into this hole and works it wide enough to accommodate the possibility of a person having concrete memories and dreams that conduct ungarbled sensory data from a past life to the present one. This, other than a strong imagination, could explain some people’s claim to reincarnation or what is referred to as ‘remote viewing’. The main character describes his primitive experiences without allowing his modern viewpoint to internally vitiate, only retrospectively comment upon, the ancient perspective. His story follows the journeys of his ancestor Big Tooth, a hominid, from shortly after birth, wending through his entrances and exits of tree- and cave-dwelling communities, and finally culminating in his mating with Swift One. It was entertaining to witness the perpetually accidental discoveries which would advance a community or set them back, mostly without them ever realizing how much a small adjustment could have changed everything for better…or worse! It was accidental living at its best. Big Tooth and his friend Lop Ear accidentally discovered boating by falling into a river and catching onto a floating log. They accidentally discovered tools and language and music and even water storage…without remembering it from one minute to the next. As you might imagine, the hominid community was no paradise. They were brutal towards each other, even towards their kin and friends. They had very short attention spans, laughed a lot, played a lot, tormented anything that moved, and were driven by desire for food and sex. And everything they did was colored by fear. In the collection of stories called “Love Of Life” London wrote, “Fear…lies twisted about life’s deepest roots.” This must have been one of London’s interests in writing this story, for it was the atavistic fear of falling from a height that London premised the tale upon.I believe London uses this backdrop of prehistoric times to explore the nature of fear, survival, desire (‘hunger’), language (‘thought symbols’), self-awareness (self as ‘universe centers’), community, art, music, and science. Even the provenance of religion was alluded to in a passage about darkness: “We were afraid only of the dark…We knew only the real world, and the things we feared were the real things…the darkness was the time of the hunting animals…Possibly it was out of this fear of the real denizens of the dark that the fear of the unreal denizens was later to develop and to culminate in a whole and mighty unseen world.”London has limned for us a picture of rudimentary humanity in a state of unreflective, sensual existence. Fortunately or unfortunately, a lot of it feels contemporary. This is still the story of civilization—of all history—only stripped of the logic which we like to imagine can explain most of our actions. It is emotional humanity, which often seems to sum us up quite succinctly. The question London leaves unanswered is: have we as civilized men and women come as far as we like to think?Hmmm…..

  • Simge
    2019-03-12 10:32

    Adem'den Önce'yi okurken, öncelikle böyle bir kitabı yazma fikrinin çok ilginç olduğunu düşündüğümü hatırlıyorum. Bana göre oldukça yaratıcıydı ve aynı zamanda hayal gücümü çalıştırmamı sağlayan da bir kitap oldu. "Yarı- insan" olma halinin ve o zamanki koşulların müthiş bir ustalıkla ve sürükleyici bir dille anlatıldığını söyleyebilirim. Okurken tekrar eden şekillerde "Acaba yazarın kafasında yazma fikri nasıl oluştu, süreç nasıl ilerledi?" diye düşünüp durdum. Diğer taraftan, bildiğimiz anlamda modern bir insan olan anlatıcının anlatımına odaklanmaya çalıştım sürekli; o dönemi, koşulları ve var olan yaratık ve yarı insanların hareketlerini düzgün bir şekilde anlayabilmek için. Bunun sebebi dönemin oldukça dikkat çekici olmasıydı. Anlaşılacak bir dilin, düşünmeyi sağlayacak bir beynin henüz gelişmemiş olduğu, yaşayanların ortak hareket etmeyi bilmedikleri, bu nedenle türlü zorluklarla karşılaştıkları bir dönem...Aslında bence bir nevi "yaşama mücadelesi" dönemi. Konuya ilgi duyan herkesin yaşamlarının bir döneminde tanışması gereken bir kitap Adem'den Önce.

  • Charles
    2019-02-21 05:21

    I have an earlier edition. Not one of London's best but it is pretty decent.

  • Timothy Ball
    2019-03-23 05:28

    Pictures! Pictures! Pictures! Often, before I learned,did I wonder whence came the multitudes of picturesthat thronged my dreams; for they were pictures thelike of which I had never seen in real wake-a-day life.They tormented my childhood, making of my dreams aprocession of nightmares and a little later convincingme that I was different from my kind, a creatureunnatural and accursed.In my days only did I attain any measure of happiness.My nights marked the reign of fear--and such fear! Imake bold to state that no man of all the men who walkthe earth with me ever suffer fear of like kind anddegree. For my fear is the fear of long ago, the fearthat was rampant in the Younger World, and in the youthof the Younger World. In short, the fear that reignedsupreme in that period known as the Mid-Pleistocene.

  • Chris
    2019-03-17 05:31

    I've always loved London for his naturalistic adventure writing; here, he's applied that to the prehistoric age, the Pleistocene in specific, a time when three separate groups of humanoids exist. First are the Tree People, arboreal humanoids closer to savage apes. Next are the Cave People (the “Folk”), a race on the verge of culture, living both in trees and cave shelters, developing the seeds of language and tools. Last are the Fire People, who have yet to master domestication but whose tools include fire and the deadly bow and arrow. The easiest task for a writer would be to follow the Fire People, but London took the more challenging route—the one more suited to his talents—and made his protagonist one of the Cave People, a race lacking a real language (and therefore dialogue). Here, we follow the adventures of Big-Tooth and Lop-Ear, of the Swift One and the atavistic Red-Eye, roaming among the many wild carnivores and dangers of the Younger World.After an intriguing first chapter, the second bogs down in London’s (now archaic) rationalizations for the novel as buried racial memories portraying a long-lost evolutionary ancestor to humanity, from a time “before Adam.” It’s a neat frame-story device, though one lacking conviction. Soon enough, we're back to the forest primeval of the Pleistocene, and follow the protagonist's ancestor Big-Tooth on his adventures. Apart from a few critical weaknesses--referring to Red-Eye as "an atavism" every time he appears, and an emotional distance which cripples the "romance" between Big-Tooth and the Swift One---the novel is well-written and engaging.While it's rough around the edges and scientifically dated, Before Adam excels as entertainment: it’s an impressive imagination of the earliest humanoids and the brutal world in which they lived. London dies a remarkable job making the protagonists near-but-not-yet human, making the Folk unique and sympathetic yet savage and alien; he did not beautify their lives, nor did he fully humanize a non-human species. The picture of rudimentary humanity that London has is impressive, their adventures compelling. Really, the novel’s worst aspect is that it’s too short. (Full Review Found Here.)

  • George K.
    2019-03-22 09:21

    Αυτή είναι μόλις η δεύτερη επαφή μου με το έργο του μεγάλου Τζακ Λόντον, μετά το Κάλεσμα της Άγριας Φύσης που διάβασα τον Ιανουάριο του 2013. Δεν είναι και τόσο γνωστό βιβλίο όσο άλλα του, είναι όμως πραγματικά πολύ ωραίο και ιδιαίτερα καλογραμμένο, που με αρκετό ρεαλισμό αναδεικνύει έναν κόσμο μακρινό, έναν κόσμο από τον οποίο προερχόμαστε.Ένας άντρας στη σύγχρονη Αμερική μας περιγράφει τα οράματα του, οράματα ενός πολύ, μα πολύ μακρινού προγόνου του, του Μεγαλοδόντη, που έζησε στην Αφρική στην εποχή της Πλειστοκαίνου, όταν οι Άνθρωποι δεν ήταν ακόμα άνθρωποι. Η ζωή που περιγράφεται είναι, φυσικά, πρωτόγονη, βλέπουμε την καθημερινότητα των πλασμάτων από τα οποία προερχόμαστε, τον καθημερινό τους αγώνα για τροφή και επιβίωση.Πέραν της τραβηγμένης θεωρίας της γενετικής μνήμης, που πιστεύω πάντως ότι μπορεί να ισχύει για κάποια πράγματα, αυτά που περιγράφονται είναι απόλυτα ρεαλιστικά και φαίνονται ιδιαίτερα αληθινά. Σ'αυτό συμβάλλει ο μοναδικός τρόπος γραφής του Λόντον, που δεν κουράζει με ατελείωτες περιγραφές και δεν αναλώνεται σε ασήμαντα γεγονότα. Αυτά που περιγράφονται έχουν νόημα και μ'αυτά ο συγγραφέας θέλει να μας δώσει να καταλάβουμε πως συμπεριφέρονταν και πως αντιλαμβάνονταν τον κόσμο γύρω τους οι πρόγονοι μας.Γενικά πρόκειται για ένα βιβλίο που αξίζει να διαβαστεί, με την περιπέτεια και τα τοπία θα ταξιδέψει την φαντασία του αναγνώστη μακριά από την πραγματικότητα και, παράλληλα, θα του δώσει λίγη τροφή για σκέψη. Το αγόρασα από το περσινό παζάρι βιβλίου έναντι τεσσάρων ευρώ και το είδα και φέτος στην ίδια τιμή. Υπάρχουν και άλλα βιβλία του συγγραφέα στο παζάρι, τα οποία τίμησα. Λίαν συντόμως θα πιάσω ένα από τα αρκετά βιβλία του που έχω στην βιβλιοθήκη μου και δεν είναι νωρίς να πω ότι ίσως βρήκα έναν ακόμα γαμάτο συγγραφέα, πολύ κοντινό στα γούστα μου.

  • Shaun
    2019-02-21 07:24

    This is a short, but sweet, Jack London work. London is primarily known for Call of the Wild, White Fang and The Sea Wolf, which on one level can be read as adventure stories for children, but they resonate on much deeper levels. Before Adam is a science fiction novel, for lack of a better term, and it too can be read as an adventure story, but again, to do so slights London's talents.London is dealing with some heavy themes here: the cold and callous nature of evolution, and the ideas of racial memory. When I say racial memory, I'm not referring to the "white" race or the "black" race or "Asian" race--but humanity in general. The protagonist dreams of living a life in the early stages of humanity's evolution, and while the dreams seem like a MacGuffin to get the story going, it taps into ideas on the fringes of science, or psuedoscience, as the case may be.I bought the complete works of London for 3 bucks on the Kindle, and reading the more obscure works has given me a great appreciation for London's depth and range. It's a shame these books aren't sitting next to White Fang and Call of the Wild on bookstore shelves. That's not a slight against those books--they're wonderful too, but I feel that bringing other London works, like Before Adam, to a larger audience would be beneficial to many parties.

  • John Montagne
    2019-03-22 05:40

    Paleoliterature (some call prehistoric Lit.) at its finest. It remains vague enough to label some of the humanoids, whether they be australopithecus, Cro-Magnon or other unidentified precursor race. Yet defines them enough to get a real sense of 'humans' of the past. Granted, these species did not co-exist (as far as evidence is concerned at this time), but it in no way detracts from the story's historical value. The vehicle used as a transit to the past is interesting, the main character dreams of a "subhuman", himself. London's sympathy (and thus the reader's) obviously lie with the underdog, which is common throughout his works (I like this). The novel indirectly gives the reader an extended glimpse of our evolutionary tree through the eyes of a person who is the "missing link" (note on this myth of popular culture: there actually isn't any links that are missing, because that implies one steady chain of evolution). Through all the novel's excellent word crafting lies a story that is timeless, because despite being thousands of years in the past it features some of the intrinsic characteristics that make us human, ingenuity, friendship and love.

  • Clark Smeltzer
    2019-03-12 09:43

    Hesperus Press is a godsend for those looking to find out of print or not so popular titles from major authors. This is one of two Jack London titles I have read from them-the other being "The Red Plague." Read the synopsis (for the Red Plague) and one might assume that Cormac McCarthy gave it a read before writing "The Road." The only problem I have with Hesperus is that they often set a publication date for a particular title and then don't actually publish the title. Can be frustrating. Anyhow, Before Adam is an entertaining book that I highly recommend. So there.clark.

  • Gülsen Sırma
    2019-03-08 03:26

    Adem'den Önce hikaye ve kurgusu çok farklı bir kitap. İçinde evrim barındıran ve bunu farklı bir ağızdan anlatan, bizi yarı-insan dönemine götüren ve anlatıcının ilk elden bağıyla kurgulanmış bir hikaye. Daha fazla anlatırsam spoiler gibi olur ama şunu söyleyebilirim ki özellikle beğendiğim kısımlar, ırksal atalarla günümüz insanının anlatıldığı bağlar oldu. Jack London bence iyi bir kurguya imza atmış.

  • Gizem
    2019-03-20 10:32

    London insanlığın başlangıcını, klasik tarih kitaplarından sıyrılıp ama yinede kendi doneminin bilimsel verilerine sağdık kalarak , kendine has uslubuyla, bize sanki bugunu anlatıyormuş gibi aktarmış. Çokta güzel olmuş. Hem klasik hem çok farklı bir tat, daha ne olsun. ***bundan sonrasi spoiler içeriyor***Baş kahramanımız ilginç bir şekilde gündüzleri kendi hayatini yani günümüzü yaşarken, geceleri rüyasında insanlığın ilk çağlarını görmektedir. Ama bunlar o kadar gerçekçidir ki kendi hayatında bile içgüdüsel olarak hayvanat bahcesine gidince buyuk hayvanlardan korkmasi gbi etkileri olmaktadır. İki benliği birbirine girmistir. ilk insanlarin o sirada yasamis ve basindan gecmis olan tum hikayeleri ruyasinda tum ayrintisiyla gorur ve siraya sokup hikayeye donusturur. Bunu da eski insanlarin yasadigi olaylarin anilarinin kalitimsal olarak nesilden nesile gecip kendisine aktarıldığıyla açıklar. Hatta tum evrendeki insanlarin en az 1 kere gordugu yuksekten dusme bir ruyasiylada orneklendirir. Psikolojiye gore bu ruya bizim bilinçaltımıza gecmisteki atalarimizdan kalitim yoluyla gecmistir. Eski insanlar agaçlarda yuksek mağaralarda yasadiklari icin en buyuk korkulari yuksekten dusmekti ve yasamlari boyuncada en az 1 2 kerede kesin dustuklerini varsayarsak bu şoku öyle korkuyla yaşıyorlardı ki genlerine bile bunu taşıdılar. Bizimde bilinçaltımıza bu yolla geçmiş oldu. Ve yere düşmeden de uyanıyorduk çünkü bize anca sağ kalan atalardan bu gen geçebilirdi.

  • Mert Dostol
    2019-03-11 07:19

    Ademden Önce, bırakın edebiyatı, yazıyı; konuşmanın bile oluşmadığı, ancak ilkel seslerden oluşan bir iletişim sisteminin kullanıldığı insanlığın bir safhasını konu alıyor. Çoğu kitabında evrime değinen London, bu kitabında da evrimden uzak kalamıyor ve 'ırksal hafıza' konusunu açıyor bize, bazı geceler uykuya dalarken yaşadığımız 'düşüyor hissi' nin atalarımızdan bir miras olduğunu açıklıyor. Ancak kitabın ana karakteri -çoğunlukla kendisini değil ama onun atasını okuyoruz kitapta- daha güçlü bir ırksal hafızaya sahip, atalarının hayatını hatırlayabiliyor. Tam da burada bir hayal kırıklığı yaşadım; çünkü kitabın başlangıcında tek bir ataya bağlı kalmayacağımız ve insanlığın birden fazla evresine tanıklık edeceğimiz algısı ve beklentisi uyanmıştı bende, ne yazık ki bu böyle olmadı. Sadece bir atasının yaşamına konuk oluyoruz. O yüzden 4/5 verdim; yoksa kitabın dili, baskı, çeviri vs.'de sorun yok.Kitabın adı ayrı ilgi çekici. İnsandan önce demek oluyor sanırsam çünkü konu da henüz tam olarak insanlaşmamış bir canlının yaşamı."Ortak bir öfke ve işbirliği yapma dürtüsüyle dolu olan bizler, kaba bir ritmin etkisiyle nasıl da unutmuştuk her şeyi!" Kitabın bazı yerlerinde insan-insan olmamış arasındaki benzerliklere de değiniyor ama bunun dozu hiçbir zaman "bakın bizler aslında çok benziyoruz onlara" zorlamasına hiç gelmiyor.Kısa, hoş bir kitap.

  • Joe Ure
    2019-03-04 08:37

    This book was about as brutally realistic as "Hurry, Skurry, & Flurry" when it comes to characters you've come to like dying at the hands of nature. Jack London's understanding of human evolution was way ahead of its time in 1907 and is still a bit ahead of its time in 2017.

  • Last Ranger
    2019-03-01 11:37

    In The Forest Primeval---.Suppose you were having dreams of a previous life. Not just from someone who lived a generation or two ago, but an ancestor that lived thousands of years ago and who was not human. Written by Jack London in the early days of the 20th century, Before Adam was first published 1907 (serialized) in Everybody's Magazine then later, in book form, as a novel. The hero of the story is a modern day man with two personae; in the wake-a-day world the modern man, in the sleeping dream-world a kind of semi-arboreal proto-hominid that lived in the Mid- Pleistocene. The modern man is the narrator of the story and he explains how he pieced it all together from fragmented dreams over the corse of his lifetime. The story is one of hardship, danger, love and hate. It has all the elements that make up our lives but acted out in a very different world. The author makes it all come to life with his brutal, in your face, narrative. The characters are: Big Tooth, the dream-world persona, Swift One, his love interest and Lop Ear, his friend. They all live in caves with a band of other hominids, who call themselves the Folk. The band's leader is called Red Eye, an "Atavism", who rules the Folk with an iron-fisted brutality and seems to desire Swift One and hates Big Tooth with a passion. There are other, more primitive, kinds of hominids living in the surrounding woodlands. Some, called the Tree People, are more arboreal than the Folk and may be Red Eye's original people. As a general rule the Tree People are no threat to the Folk but the Fire People definitely are, and being a more advanced kind of human they often hunt the Folk with bows and arrows and they have also learned to use fire. These, then, are the players in this prehistoric drama. They face, not only threats from each other but dangers from animals and the environment. Part of the story deals with a kind of cultural shock that the modern-day persona must deal with. Why is he different? Who can he trust, what is real and what is dream? The first time I read this book, as a child, I was totally blown away by it's unique concept. I found my self drawn back to it time and again over the years and with each rereading I discovered a kind of reawakening of all my original feelings. London was one of a rare breed of writer that not only wrote about adventure but lived it as well. People like Zane Gray and Teddy Roosevelt (non-fiction), as well as London, spent time in the out-of-doors and often faced danger and hardship in their pursuit of the "vigorous life". In this book Jack London again proves himself as one of the best writers of action-adventure stories. As always, London's stories are infused with his fatalistic out look on life: man, standing alone, against a vast, uncaring universe. This is, of course, a work of fiction and not a paper meant for publication in a science journal so don't look for 21st century scientific accuracy. In 1907 not many people knew about genetic theory or human evolution so just set back and enjoy the action. If you're careful, and lucky, you just might make it through the night. This 2014 Kindle edition includes numerous sketches and paintings by Charles Livingston Bull that add real depth and clarity to the story. I had no technical or formatting problems with this edition but apparently Amazon no longer offers it. Too bad.Last Ranger

  • Reid
    2019-03-19 04:19

    Just a simple tale of you and me as cavemen and tree-dwellers, with a modern man "remembering" his ancient alter ego, relating his dreamscapes as a proto-human, competing and evolving with the Tree-dwellers and Fire-men. A lovely perfectly executed turn of the century simple story of man's evolution. This illustrated version is totally recommended. Big-Tooth lives! Long live Big-Tooth.What else? Why am I tempted to add his grinning smile as a favorite after only 240 illustrated pages? One, because of his quote that Neil Young must have stolen, better to burn up than fizzle, and also, I suppose because he describes the nature of man so well, our necessities and pleasures - laughter, comradeship and companionship, play, love and sex, survival, anger, creativity, stupidity, sympathy, admiration, and striving. The novel is kind of a tragedy, but doesn't read like one, and I suppose that fits his quote.I would rather be ashes than dust!I would rather that my spark should burn out in a blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot.I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.The function of man is to live, not to exist.I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.I shall use my time.

  • Kevin
    2019-03-23 04:49

    This was written just a few years before Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Tarzan of the Apes," and I wonder if it helped inspire that classic adventure tale. There are vague similarities, though the Jack London work convincingly uses dreams and racial (or species) memories to convey its version of the noble savage, in this case what it might have been like to live as an Australopithecus in prehistoric times. The work holds up pretty well today in spite of the many discoveries in paleo-anthropology over the intervening hundred years.As a story however I feel it lacks much in the way of page turning tension and plotting, but is rather more about eating berries, falling out of trees and how hard life can be when all you have are sounds in place of language, however vivid its descriptions. It's a fun short read but I can see why London is better remembered for "The Call of the Wild." I'll likely forget this one in a day or two myself.

  • Johnny Waco
    2019-02-26 08:23

    This is the grandaddy of prehistoric fiction, with a much tougher edge than later novels that cover similar territory, such as Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear. A young man realizes that the vivid, interlocking dreams that have terrified him since childhood are actually racial memories from a proto-human ape-like species that had advanced to living in caves, communicating with a few rudimentary words, and living in monogamous "marriages." In most ways however, it is still a world "red in tooth and claw"--will Big Tooth and Swift One survive the attacks of the still more advanced Fire People? London's attraction to Darwinism and to Nietzsche's emphasis on power are effectively showcased in a world in which species and individuals obey no rules other than the instincts to survive and pass on their genes. An interesting corollary to works like White Fang and The Call of the Wild.

  • B. Han Varli
    2019-03-10 05:25

    jack london ile tanıştığım kitap.tüfek, mikrop ve çelik ile başlayan insanlık tarihine merakım bu kitap ile görsel bir boyut ve kimlik kazandı diyebilirim.sanıyorum evrimin cro magnon halkasını anlatıyor. yarı insan olduğumuz bir dönem ise ancak bu kadar eğlenceli ve büyüleyici olabilir. uzak geçmişinizi okurken sık sık gülümserken ve hayal kurarken buluyorsunuz kendinizi.kısa bir şey. renkli karakterler var...köpekler yerine kurtlar, tüysüz insanlar yerine gorile benzeyen yaratıklar var mesela...bir şeyler okumak isteyen küçüklerinize hem jack london ile tanışsın hem de kafasında bir insanlık tarihi tablosu oluşsun diye önerebilirim ya da uzun süredir kitap okumayan yetişkinlere iyi bir yeni başlangıç olacağını söyleyebilirim.ben can yayınları etiketlisini okudum, çeviriden memnun kaldım. başka yayınevleri basıyor mu, çevirileri nasıl bilemiyorum ama.

  • Michelle
    2019-03-16 07:20

    Read this in elementary and re-read it in high school. Lent it to someone, and never saw it again. Forgot about it until I went on a field trip on Amtrak (picked up train at Jack London Square), and the parents/teachers/chaperones were discussing our favorite London stories. This was my first pick, and I was quite surprised no one, not even the teachers, had heard of it. OK, I think the teacher who was there at the time had heard of it (not sure if the others were there at that moment, so no fair), but the mass of blank stares was a bit disheartening. So I tried to explain the premise to them, and realized how much I had not remembered. I did get them excited (as a fantasy-style novel, not anthropology ;)).... And now I get to put it on my essential re-read list. Got a bunch of those sneaking up on me lately -- a bookworm's version of midlife crisis?

  • Marian Allen
    2019-02-22 03:21

    London, using the science current at the time and a rigorous imagination, has created a pre-linguistic hominid society. London frames the story as a modern man's organization and chronological recounting of atavistic dreams he's had since childhood informed by adult study and contemplation. This enables him to communicate between what he imagines as the pre-human thought process and the modern human one. It's brilliantly done. A compelling read. I wish it weren't over.

  • Gregory Milliron
    2019-02-25 07:20

    An enjoyable and brief book. I would have been interested in a little more development at the end, but it could have gone too far. A risky subject to be fictionalized at such a time. I am embarrassed to say that I have never read a Jack London book. I will probably look into the better known novels, later.

  • Sharon
    2019-02-21 05:27

    Jack takes us back till we still lived in the trees, and his hero had to fight an even more primitive member of the tribe. Jack London's tales are ageless. He just plain tells great yarns.Reccommend it highly to anyone who like adventure.

  • Ecce
    2019-03-20 08:28

    İnsansı kimliğimizin sirk hayvanların ki gibi yitirilmesine göz yuman, bunlara çanak tutan ve görmezlikten gelen, para verip eğlencesine ortak olan içinde yaşadığımız hayatla yazar bir benzerlik kurar.

  • Ivan
    2019-02-26 06:43

    Rollicking adventure of pre-historic man told by a master. I haven't read anything by London in years (decades even) and had quite forgotten the urgency and energy of his prose.

  • Carol Giles
    2019-03-12 07:31

    Not a review. I just loved it. Plain & simple.