->Thornton grabbed the man's arm before the lash could land on Buck's back. "If you strike that dog again," Thornton said flatly, "I'll kill you."
->''The Call of The Wild''
'''''The Call of the Wild''''' is a 1903 novel by Creator/JackLondon. The plot revolves around a dog named Buck and how his primal instincts return as he serves as a sled dog in the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush. It's usually considered his best novel, and he followed it with a SpiritualSuccessor called ''Literature/WhiteFang'', a longer and even darker story about a wolf being domesticated and eventually sent to live in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco. Because the protagonist is a dog, it is often mistaken for a kid's book. The dark tone and gritty violence make it decidedly ''not''. The novel has had a lot of adaptations over the years, [[HumanFocusedAdaptation usually focusing on the human characters more than the dogs]].
[[folder: Adaptions include: ]]
* A 1935 version starring Creator/ClarkGable and Loretta Young.
* The 1972 film starring Charles Heston and Mick Steele
* An anime film adaptation in the 1980s by ToeiAnimation
* A different anime adaptation called ''Anime Yasei no Sakebi'' (English ''Anime Cry of Wildness'')
* A 1997 adaptation, ''The Call of the Wild: Dog of the Yukon'' starring Rutger Hauer, which was actually fairly faithful to the book.
* [[Series/TheCallOfTheWild2000 A television series broadcast in 2000]].
* A family-friendly PG-rated film called ''Call of the Wild in Digital Real-D 3D'', which failed at the box office
!!''The Call of the Wild'' provides examples of the following tropes:
* TheAce: Buck is strong, intelligent, bold, clever, patient and just about whatever else he needs to be. By the end of the story he's a legend in Alaska.
* AnyoneCanDie: The death toll in dogs and men grows quite high throughout the story.
** The book has a grizzled older sledding dog named Sol-Leks, with one blind eye. Buck, the mutt protagonist of the novel, takes a nasty bite when he approaches Sol-leks from his blind side and is careful never to do it again. Animals that are partially blind really will lash out of things that approach from their blind side.
** God have mercy on your soul if you hurt John Thornton in front of Buck. He will ''tear you to pieces!''
* BigDamnHeroes: John Thornton saves Buck from certain death by beating up the guy who was whipping him.
** Buck in turn saves him twice in return. Black Burton punches John once...and is rewarded by a torn throat from Buck. And John falls into a fast-moving river...and Buck jumps into the water to save him.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:John Thornton, the only man Buck was truly devoted to, is dead. But Buck is able to find a new pack in the forests of the Yukon.]]
* BookEnds: When published with ''White Fang''. Amusingly, it works no matter which order you read them in -- if you start with ''Call of the Wild'' (written & published first), the book ends are set in human homes, while starting with ''White Fang'' has the book ends in the forest.
* ComicTrio: Hal, Charles, and Mercedes. At least, they're comic until their inexperience starts to endanger their lives and those of their dogs. Eventually [[spoiler:they drive their sled onto thin ice despite a warning, killing themselves and all their remaining dogs.]]
* CrapsackWorld: Just surviving in Alaska means you have to be a bastard, whether you're a dog or a man.
* DeathByNewberyMedal: [[spoiler: John Thornton dies.]]
* DeathWorld: Alaska is a frozen wasteland where just daily survival is a horrible struggle for both humans and animals, beset at all sides by hostile wildlife, savage natives and dangerous climate.
* EatenAlive: All dogs that lose a fight.
* EveryoneIsArmed: Set in the Klondike gold rush, a nearly lawless wilderness where hunting for game and defending against predators (animal and human) means virtually everyone goes armed.
* FamilyUnfriendlyViolence: All over the place.
* HandicappedBadass: Sol-Leks may be blind in one eye, but that doesn't make him any weaker. Buck learns this the hard way.
* InjunCountry: John Thornton wanders into it while mining for gold. Sure enough, [[spoiler:he and his partner are killed by a passing band of Yeehats]].
* InsultOfEndearment: A borderline example, for whenever John Thornton pets Buck and cuddles with him, he lavishes him with ''curse words and insults''. But Buck enjoys this and sees this as a loving (yet strange) gesture.
* KickTheDog: Starve the dog, shun the dog, bite the dog...
* KlingonPromotion: Subverted, Buck expects to be made lead dog after killing Spitz, but Pierre tries to put the more experienced Sol-Leks in front instead. Buck eventually gets his wish after making it clear that he won't accept any other position. [[spoiler: And at the end Buck takes over a wolf pack by [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority killing a few of the wolves]].]]
* TheLeader: [[spoiler:Buck becomes the ''alpha'' of a wolf pack.]]
* MercyKill: Dogs which are too tired or hurt to work get this treatment.
* MightMakesRight: The "law of club and fang".
* NobleSavage: Buck becomes the canine equivalent of this at the end of the book.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Buck slaughters almost every Indian in the village after they [[spoiler:kill John Thornton and his companions]]. In fact, he was so angry that he dodged every arrow and made the hunter kill each other by accident.
* PolarOppositeTwins: Billee and Joe. Billee is a good-natured fellow, while Joe is vicious and ruthless.
* ThePowerOfLove: Buck's relationship with John Thornton.
* RatedMForManly: Rated D for Dogly ?
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Buck goes on one after [[spoiler:John Thornton is killed by the Yeehats]].
* SacrificialLamb: Curly is killed by a pack of huskies early on, providing Buck with a harsh lesson in survival. Also an example of KillTheCutie.
* TheSavageIndian: The Yeehats.
* ThisIsMyHuman: Buck thinks of himself as the Judge's "steward", if nothing else, and thinks of the Judge's children as the Judge's property (and thus beneath himself). He realizes the error in his thinking after he's [[BreakTheHaughty stolen and beaten into submission as a sled dog]].
* TooDumbToLive: Hal, Charles, and Mercedes. Though they are completely inexperienced and unsuited for the icy wilds of the North, they refuse to take the advice of more experienced explorers and try to make it their way. [[spoiler:This gets them killed.]]
* WeHardlyKnewYe: We only knew Curly for a bit, and she's killed off rather quickly.
* WhiteHairBlackHeart: Spitz is the canine equivalent of this. He is described as having snow-white fur, and has a rather cruel temperament.