By Megan Harlan
Updated March 13, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST
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Jack London: A Life

type
  • Book
genre

Now that adventure sagas are such hot best-sellers, the handsome ”he-man of American letters” makes a timely biographical subject. British journalist Kershaw incisively reveals in Jack London: A Life how the Oakland native’s stints as a child laborer, Barbary Coast oyster pirate, box-car hobo, and Alaska gold rusher would, by his mid-20s, inspire his finest popular fiction. But London’s alcoholic binges would dull his writing (he resorted to buying plots from Sinclair Lewis) and destroy his health (he OD’d on painkillers in 1916 at age 40). Here — as in all good adventure tales — the hero’s psyche proves the most dangerous terrain. B+

Jack London: A Life

type
  • Book
genre
author
  • Alex Kershaw

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