Buck lives a content life. Half St. Bernard, half shepherd, he is top dog on a California ranch. But the gold rush in the Klondike has produced an enormous demand for sled dogs, so when a gardener at the ranch needs to pay off a gambling debt, stealing and selling Buck is a quick way to do it. Having never been mistreated, Buck soon learns that man can be the cruelest animal. He is whipped, beaten, and caged, but never broken. Confronted by the law of survival, Buck learns to fight, steal, and pull a sled. He takes pride in his new strength and ferocity. Buck manages to escape this life of abuse and learns to love a new master more than his own life. He gradually discovers the skills of his forbears and finds his home in the primordial forest—eventually, Buck cannot resist the call of the wild. This classic book brings out the true spirit of the gold rush days at the turn of the last century. It portrays the brutality, kindness, love, and folly that Jack London experienced first-hand during his time in the far north. The Call of the Wild was his first successful book, and it catapulted him to literary fame.