Published in 1905 by MacMillan, The Game is a short novella about a young boxer, Joe Fleming, who ordinarily works as a sail maker. When he becomes engaged to Genevieve, the narrator, he decides to... More > take one more fight before giving up. He persuades Genevieve to watch and her viewpoint as a narrator provides London with the opportunity to describe, in excruciating detail, the fight that ensues.
It's clear from this description that London knew his business, but it's also obvious that he wasn't taken in by the glamour. The game, like any London Klondike story, is a brutal piece of writing.< Less
The God of his Fathers
Published in 1901, The God of his Fathers, is an early collection of London's Klondike stories. Amongst this collection is Grit of Women, a tale told second hand over a stove that is 'red hot and... More > roaring', while outside the temperature has plummeted. The tale is about an epic journey to the Bering Sea made by a man and his wife and while the man, Sitka Charley seems like the stuff the north was made of, it is the wife, Passuk, initially timid and downward looking, who emerges as the one with heart.< Less
The House of Pride
Published in 1912, The House of Pride is a collection of six short stories linked by their location in the Hawaiian Islands and a general theme of race and class within the context of a mobile... More > immigrant culture. London was particularly interested in the way in which American money was influencing Hawaiian culture and he was sympathetic to the native tribes in their struggle against exploitation on a number the levels.
Another theme here is leprosy, which was present in the islands during the time London was visiting. The disease features in the best story in the collection, Koolau the Leper, in which the eponymous character leads a rebellion of lepers against the police and military when they are threatened with deportation.< Less
The Little Lady of the Big House
Published in 1915 by MacMillan, The Little House of the Big House is, by modern terms, an understated erotic novel centred around a love triangle between on the one side, rancher Dick Forrest... More > (associated with Jack London), his vivacious and overtly sexual wife Paula, (associated with London's wife, Charmian) and the hobo philosopher Aaron Hancock, (associated with London's house-guest, Frank Strawn-Hamilton).
The novel was criticised on publication for being too erotic, although by modern standards its nowhere near explicit enough to give any notion to the description. That said, London managed to provide a distinctly sexual charge to the narrative that is as strong as many of his intense Klondike adventures.< Less