To Build A Fire And Other Stories

ISBN: 0613175573
ISBN 13: 9780613175579
By: Jack London

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About this book

It was so cold that his spit froze in the air before it hit the ground. He was so far above the Arctic Circle that the sun never rose. Seventy below zero, and there was nothing but whiteness in every direction: ice and snow. No trees, no houses, no wood, no warmth. He had only a few matches and a handful of frozen fingers. And yet, to survive, he had to build a fire.Jack London's tales of adventure are unsurpassed because London was there. From Alaska to the Yukon, from the Klondike to the Arctic tundra, London knew the outlaws and the wolves, the prospectors and the grizzlies. In these collected stories of man against the wilderness London lays claim to the title of greatest outdoor adventure writer of all time.

Reader's Thoughts

Mike Bloom

"To Build A Fire" is an exquisite short story which sets forth, in simple terms, the consequences of a lack of humility before nature. A perfect example of a story EVERYONE should read.

Deirdre Keating

It's the second story, Love of Life, that haunts me---the feel of the wolf's breath on his cheek, the will to life. Our Russian friends turned me back on to London, just as they did Somerset Maugham, and they were right. Two unappreciated, great writers.

Kevin-Abandoned Myers-Abandoned

This is the very first book I read and has shaped my reading habits for the rest of my life. Because of this book I never waste my time on what I believe is a poorly written book.


I really had a Jack London phase in middle school. I remember writing a short story based on the same style and even featuring the same morals. Good times.


It is unfortunate that London is grouped in with classic literature. Compared to the greats, he pales. Nevertheless, his writing is still quite exciting, gripping, and insightful. The tales he weaves take place in areas few know much about, yet he is able to take us into the minds of men living in extreme conditions throughout the globe.The most famous story, of course, is To Build a Fire. I was surprised to find that his other short stories has just as much merit and originality. At times I was put off because of the animal slaughter from hunting, but for the most part he shows profound respect for nature and wildlife, and for the men who brave to live amongst it all.An easy read, and certainly worthwhile if you like adventurous stories at all.


A collection of eight of Jack London's best short stories, including his famous 'To Build a Fire.'Listen to To Build a Fire and Other Stories on your smartphone, notebook or desktop computer.


I've read this a few times as well as listened to it on tape. Everytime it makes me cold. Also, everytime I'm out in the snow parts from this story cross my mind. I know it's not supposed to be a scary story, but I've been scared because of it more than a lot of other stories I've read.


No matter how brilliant a writer Jack London is, there are only so many times I can read a story where a young man succeeds against all obstacles, only to die in a heroic/tragic/interesting manner. The Klondike section of the book is phenomenal, but the "Other Stories" is hit or miss. Well worth reading, but I would still recommend this one in small doses at a time. Trying to read through the whole thing at once will end up with all of those wonderful stories blurring together, where you can't remember if it's the prizefighter who's fighting for money to support the Mexican Revolution or the one who's fighting to pay his family's rent that you like better.


Jack London just can't go wrong; I have not read anything by him that I have not absolutely loved. This book is a nice collection of some awesome stories with interesting facts, such as at what temperature does spit freeze?


Jack London sure can write a short story. The ones here range from good to amazing, and they're all worth reading. The 25 stories are presented by order of date written, and you can really see how his writing improves and his interests change. My favorites were "The Mexican", "Love of Life", "An Odyssey of the North", "The God of His Fathers", and "Batard", which felt like the the twisted part three to Call of the Wild and White Fang.


I have 3 favorite short stories,"To Build a Fire""Leningen versus the Ants"and "The Most Dangerous Game"*********************And I just bought 2 of them on Audible to give them another go! I can't find Leningen--I'll keep looking!


An excellent collection of short stories!The plot for To Build A Fire can be summarized with: There’s a man in the wilderness and he’s trying to build a fire. In fact, the title itself summarizes the story. But this is a story you have to experience—a summary just doesn’t do it justice. When I first began reading it in high school, I thought, “Okay, so a guy is trying to build a fire…so what else happens? Is there a mystery to it…is there romance…?” There’s no romance…there’s no real mystery. But as you read it you find yourself being drawn into the story: alternately cheering for and then commiserating with the hero. And when the story is over you feel…well, I’ll let you find out for yourself how you feel.

James Blatter

I believe there is no more emotional and effecting story written in human history than "To Build A Fire" if this story does not bring you to tears, does not remain with you for the rest of your life than you have no idea what it meansd to be a human and have love and companionship with animals or other humans

David Nichols

While he is probably best-known for his novels (especially CALL OF THE WILD and WHITE FANG), London made much, if not most, of his literary revenue from his short stories. Most of his shorter fiction, as this collection demonstrates, was mediocre, weighed down by unengaging plots, racist language, and one- or two-dimensional characters. There are several very fine pieces here, however, including the title story; "Love of Life," which was apparently the last story Lenin had read to him (he enjoyed it); the claustrophobic "In a Far Country"; and "The Wit of Porportuk," detailing a conflict between a Native American chief and his rival's daughter. The anthology also includes several tales not set in London's usual Arctic milieu: "A Piece of Steak," one of the best-constructed pieces of short fiction I've read; "The Mexican," a boxing story nested inside a narrative of the Mexican Revolution; "The Apostate," a moving tale of a child worker which manages to end both realistically and happily; "South of the Slot," a secret-identity story about a sociology professor in working-class San Francisco; and "The Strength of the Strong," an allegory about socialist revolution disguised as a Stone Age drama.

Humberto Hernandez

La constante en la literatura de Jack London es aquella de la ley de la vida, la vida misma de Jack London reflejada en pequeños relatos y pequeños puñetazos a manera de una prosa boxística bastante ágil, el buen Jack permea todo relato de ficción con lo que no podemos imaginar como otra cosa que sus propias experiencias. El escritor conocía bastante bien su oficio, por lo que si bien en algunos relatos no hay mayor trasfondo que el argumento mismo, su prosa está muy bien pulida, Jack London boxea como el mejor al escribir cada palabra de cada relato.

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