Synopses & Reviews
The Sea Wolf
is Jack Londons powerful and gripping saga of Humphrey Van Weyden, captured by a seal-hunting ship and now an unwilling sailor under its dreaded captain, Wolf Larsen. The men who sailed with Larsen were treacherous outcasts, but the captain himself was the legendary Sea Wolf-a violent brute of a man.
Jack London was a worshipper of the strong and virtuous hero, and a firm believer in the inevitable triumph of good. The master storyteller nowhere demonstrates this theme more vividly than in this classic American tale of peril and adventure, good and evil.
A thrilling epic of a sea voyage and a complex novel of ideas, The Sea-Wolf is a standard-bearer of its genre. It is the vivid story of a gentleman scholar, Humphrey Van Weyden, who is rescued by a seal-hunting schooner after a ferryboat accident in San Francisco Bay. London uses Van Weyden's ordeal at the hands of a schooner's devious crew to explore powerful themes of ambition, courage, and the innate will to survive. The Sea-Wolf also introduces Jack London's most memorable, fully realized character, Wolf Larsen, the schooner's brutal captain, who ruthlessly crushes anyone standing in his way. As Gary Kinder states in his Introduction, "Wolf Larsen is one of the most carefully carved characters in American literature....London, himself, seems as fascinated as the reader with his own creation."
Humphrey Van Weyden, rescued by the crew of the Ghost, becomes an unwilling sailor under the command of Wolf Larsen.
About the Author
Jack London (1876-1916), by turns a renegade adventurer, a war correspondent, and an avowed socialist, first achieved fame with The Son of the Wolf (1900), a collection of short stories drawn from his experiences in the Klondike gold rush. "The greatest story Jack London ever wrote was the story he lived," said Alfred Kazin.