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Smoke Bellew

Jack London

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Shorty. After all, he concluded, it wasn't the reward of the game but the playing of it that counted. Mind, and muscle, and stamina, and soul, were challenged in a contest with this Shorty, a man who had never opened the books, and who did not know grand opera from rag-time, nor an epic from a chilblain.

"Shorty, I've got you skinned to death. I've reconstructed every cell in my body since I hit the beach at Dyea. My flesh is as stringy as whipcords, and as bitter and mean as the bite of a rattlesnake. A few months ago I'd have patted myself on the back to write such words, but I couldn't have written them. I had to live them first, and now that I'm living them there's no need to write them. I'm the real, bitter, stinging goods, and no scrub of a mountaineer can put anything over on me without getting it back compound. Now, you go ahead and set pace for half an hour. Do your worst, and when you're all in I'll go ahead and give you half an hour of the real worst. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A very underrated and forgotten book, this was Jack London's best writing. Almost nobody has heard of it.

This story brings you the transformation of an innocent kid working for a newspaper company, into a meat eating, full bearded man. Christopher (Smoke) Bellew, a newspaperman, embarks on a journey into the rough Alaskan wilderness, only planning to help out his relatives and be present for a few w...more

Scritto davvero bene, in maniera fluida e scorrevole nonostante l'inglese ovviamente non modernissimo, ma devo dire che una buona metà del libro non mi ha interessata granché, forse perché un po' monotona. Non che fosse male, semplicemente non mi diceva nulla e i personaggi non mi prendevano a pe...more

What a cracker of a story! My review

Another amazing stories from my beloved Alaska. The second part not so exciting, though.

A real book about what is man made of. Only Jack London's characters are capable to make you want to trade your life for theirs. I will always love this book.

It was a quite entertaining book to read. I was inspired to read about Alaska and gold fever after watching TV show "Į Šiaurę", where my two favourite Lithuanian travellers visited Canada and Alaska. So it was really fascinating when I was familiar with all those places when I was reading a book...more

Появилось желание побывать на Юконе за северным полярным кругом на золотых приисках ))

I didn't re-read Jack London for a long time, and when I did, last year, I had a surprise: one of my favorite pieces, and the one that is extremely popular and well-loved in Russia, Smoke Bellew is virtually unknown here. It is a later work, published in 1911-12, and Jack London himself called it...more

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