Martin Eden (Jack London)

Article by mark

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Martin Eden Cover Image
By Jack London, Andrew Sinclair (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780140187724
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - February 1st, 1994

MARTIN EDEN is one of Jack London’s lesser-known novels, but it’s also one of his finest. The title character is based on London himself, who grew up on the rough-and-tumble waterfronts of Oakland and San Francisco toward the end of the 19th century. At the time, San Francisco’s ports were notoriously seedy, populated more by pirates than by the seals and tourists of today. The colorful events of London’s life--joining a seal cruiser to Japan, participating in the Gold Rush to the Klondike, being an oyster pirate--mirror Martin Eden’s, especially his determination to become a writer. Despite his impoverished upbringing, Martin wants a life of the mind, to improve himself through literature. MARTIN EDEN is a surprising novel for those who associate London purely with his adventure stories such as THE CALL OF THE WILD. It’s the story of a man who strives to better himself, a classic underdog story that grapples with issues of individualism, literary fame and the culture of early 20th-century America.

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