Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Making Fun of Jack London

Character versus nature. A narrative conflict seemingly perfected by Jack London. At times it seems if it weren't for his paving the way for dog-obsessed literature, civilization would have gone without canine-focused classics such as Old Yeller. 101 Dalmations. And Beethoven's 2nd.

But Jack was so much more than that. So much more than the inspiration behind Lassie and Cujo. He was a master storyteller.

So, what was it about this successful American and his 'wildly' verbose fiction that spoke to the reader so?

Recently, Tad felt compelled to experience a bit of the nature boy's wonder, committing himself to listen to White Fang on audio cd. His findings are astonishing, and may help unravel the secrets behind Jack London's success.

1) Rope them in in the first 75 pages. Rather than introducing the main character within the first fifteen minutes, Mr. London knew best to keep his audience at the edge of their seats. In the audio version of White Fang, the protagonist, of the same name, is not born until disc 2. What brilliance!

2) Bring the story to life with descriptions that take just as long to read as they would to act out in real time. Reality and believability is the essence of a story. With that being said, what is more appropriate than a thirty-minute description of Fang's first frolic in a field? With London, you never feel left out!

3) Repetition is key. Jack knew too well...Americans are suckers for frostbite and feral dogs. And once he found the recipe to a bestseller, he used elements of it over and over. Did you think it was by chance that each work includes a character with missing fingers or toes?

1 comment:

  1. To think Dr. Hensely loves Jack Londons like Amanda likes Swedish Pancakes LOL.

    Oh amanda you brough so many memories back with White fang that triggered the movie to my skull then there was White Fang 2 that was freaking hilarious the kid was emo in that one the entire time!