The Call of the Wild - Jack London, William Roberts To anyone who downloaded's free William Roberts narration: the end of chapter 4 is cut short and chapter 5 is completely missing. To bridge the gap, you can read those parts for free in whatever format here.Despite the above problem I quite liked The Call of the Wild, though I know that had I read instead of listened to [a:Jack London|1240|Jack London|]'s words my rating would be lower. In part, this is due to the authoritative voice of William Roberts, reminding me of Iain Glen's (Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey), delivering the story with gravitas - a voice made for the wise man telling stories around the campfire to a rapt audience - overruling the effect of the wordy prose, from which some classics suffer, and stifled any boredom and frustration I may have had. Saying that, the description of the scenery is above reproach. Although I've never been to Alaska or western Canada, I know it's a rugged, untameable and beautiful terrain where only the hardiest can eke out a living, somewhat echoing Buck's tale.Buck is a domesticated family dog, half St. Bernard (like Beethoven), half Scotch Shepherd (think Lassie), living a comfortably relaxed life when he's stolen and sold, his will brutally broken, into dog-sled teams, passing through the hands of various masters. Along the way he learns how to survive on little food while doing hard work, how to socialize with other dogs, and how to assert his will, eventually becoming top dog, an alpha.Once finished, I felt the overall message was this: being comfortable, i.e. fat and happy, or greedy, breeds complacency, and complacency in a world where it's the 'survival of the fittest,' is fatal - the strongest, most intelligent prosper, and the foolish die horrible deaths. A message applicable today as it ever was. Mercedes, her brother, and her husband all deserve Darwin Awards, though I felt for the poor, helpless, starved-almost-to-death dogs that die with them. Buck conquers every challenge put to him, each one more difficult, bringing him closer to his wild roots, his suppressed instincts surging to the fore. The one time he was unable to overcome his circumstances, in the neglectful and abusive care of Mercedes, and Co. he was granted mercy on two fronts. John Thornton puts a stop to his beating, which could've been fatal on its own, but moments after Thornton takes ownership of a near-dead, starved Buck, his canine comrades and their human masters die foolishly when the thin, spring ice breaks beneath them.Buck's journey shows him experiencing pain, hunger, anger, happiness, love (for his master John Thornton), and sorrow. Strangely, he doesn't appear to have a sex life until the end, after abandoning civilisation to become his own master and dominant alpha of a wild wolf pack, off-stage implying the next generation share his physical traits.I highly recommend the audiobook for anyone wishing to read [a:Jack London|1240|Jack London|]'s timeless classic.