Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book #7 Review: Sea Wolf

Part of my reading goal this year is to include a few classics into my repertoire. I never read very many classics growing up and I am trying to expand my knowledge. I picked Sea Wolf by Jack London because I remember reading Call of the Wild on a whim as a teenager.


This was nothing like what I remembered about Call of the Wild. I thought to myself a couple of times while reading Sea Wolf that I might need to revisit Call of the Wild. Maybe my memory is not up to par.

Once I got over the fact that this was not a "girly" book, I enjoyed myself. As I read about the Sea Wolf and his complex and opposing views on life and its meaning, I found myself wishing someone would read this book along with me. Not just anyone. James, to be more precise. I wanted to discuss so many things with him, just for the sake of discussion. I know it would be a very lively and diverting discussion.

I wondered as I read, how I would act and what I would say to someone such as the Sea Wolf. Would I even know how to stand up for my beliefs? Would I just walk away? Reading this book brought up a lot of thought provoking questions like that for me.

But then the book ended as all books should end. The wonderful thing about this book was that I didn't not know how it would end. Very few books (or movies) can totally surprise me. And it wasn't that this was a "surprise" per se. Just that I just didn't know. I hoped, but I didn't know. That not knowing felt so exciting and riveting. I felt myself breathing out "Ahhh, good" when I finally switched off my Kindle after reading the last word. Whew!

What endeared this book to my heart was not actually in the book, however. I find it fascinating when various components of a person's life converge in a single moment. Last spring I sat down and spent some time putting together a list of folk songs Chloe and I would learn during her first grade year. One of those songs happened to be an Irish sea shanty called The Fish of the Sea. Every morning for the past two weeks we have sung this sea shanty, while every evening I read a couple chapters of Sea Wolf. I could envision the sailors I was coming to know in the book, swinging from the ropes or swabbing the deck while singing this shanty. Perfect timing, if you ask me.

Now I can't read classics back to back. I need to give my brain a break. So, the next couple of books I picked up were easy reads. More on those in other posts.

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