The Call of the Wild

The Call of the WildThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To use the words of the immortal Curley Howard, “I’m a victim of soicumstances,” and so it was with Buck, from pampered behemoth to a beast of burden. But Buck had a higher calling, and the road to that calling went straight through the Alaskan wilderness.

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The Fight for a Free Sea: A Chronicle of the War of 1812

The Fight for a Free Sea: A Chronicle of the War of 1812The Fight for a Free Sea: A Chronicle of the War of 1812 by Ralph D. Paine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A dizzying array of names, dates, locations, ships, regiments, forts, garrisons, military campaigns and the routine types of military blundering seen even to this day. But this book just glosses over the the main aspects of the war of 1812; if you want details, a bibliography in the back can point you in the right direction. The book is a good starting point if you know nothing about this war, much in the same vein as H.G. Wells’ A Short History of the World. Apparently, this book is part of a series as well, so if you find yourself ignorant of fledgling American history…

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Miles Wallingford: Sequel to Afloat and Ashore

Miles Wallingford: Sequel to Afloat and AshoreMiles Wallingford: Sequel to Afloat and Ashore by James Fenimore Cooper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is presented as the sequel to Afloat and Ashore: A Sea Tale, although in reality it is the same book divided in two. As prolific a writer as James Fenimore Cooper is, you will have to suspend belief to buy the storyline in this volume.

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Afloat and Ashore: A Sea Tale

Afloat and Ashore a Sea TaleAfloat and Ashore a Sea Tale by James Fenimore Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The life and times of Miles Wallingford, part one, with the sequel literally picking up where this book leaves off-in the middle of an action sequence. It was a time before safe spaces, clap backs and micro-aggressions. In short, masculinity was the order of the day-at least for sea faring types, and it applied to boys as well as men. Miles was one of those boys, and later, became one of those men.

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The Pilot

The PilotThe Pilot by James Fenimore Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If anybody can spin a tale, it’s Jimmy Cooper, and I mean that with the utmost respect. He can literally put you in the story, in that time period, and given that none of us are from any but this one, can leave you confounded and a little unsettled. But then, the times were much that way in this story, so if that was the intent of Cooper, it was mission accomplished.

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