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Jack: A Biography of Jack London

In 1913, Jack London was the highest-paid, best-known and most popular writer in the world…

Today, more than a century after his birth, Jack London’s books remain popular across the globe. European critics are even calling him the finest American novelist of all time.

The vitality, stamina, and passion which marked Jack London’s best work also filled his personal life with drama and adventure. From his impoverished and precocious boyhood, he entered his stormy adolescence as an oyster pirate and tramp. His gruelling months in the Klondike Gold Rush gave way to a bitter literary apprenticeship. This was followed by an intense involvement in Marxism and, aged twenty-seven, a leap to fame with Call of the Wild.

London’s inexhaustible energy and his sheer, all-conquering charm made him the hero of a myth. But there was nothing mythical about his prodigious deeds and productivity. Whether he was making headlines as a war correspondent, sailing his ketch across the Pacific or carrying on a scandalous love affair, his antics were on a scale larger than life. Even his death at the age of forty, due in part to an overdose of a prescribed drug, sustained and intensified the legend.

In producing this definitive biography, Andrew Sinclair has had unrestricted access to the London papers, including journals, letters and notes for unfinished work. He also had the full cooperation of the late Irving Shepard and his son Milo, proprietors of the London estate.

Sinclair sees London as the embodiment of the Californian dream. His book brings to life one of the most appealing, flamboyant and gifted Americans ever to seize the imagination of the public. Jack London was the prototype of the free spirit and the partisan of the downtrodden.


Praise for Andrew Sinclair

‘Splendid biography’ – James Dickey

‘Some incisive portraiture’ – Kirkus Reviews

‘Most enjoyable reading’ – The Irish Independent

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