BOOK REVIEW: White Fang

This is a story written from the point of view of the canine White Fang, about its journey to domestication. It is set in the Yukon Territory, Canada during the Gold Rush period in the 1890s.

Book title: White fang

Author: Jack Kongin

Reviewed by: Arnold Agaba

This is a story written from the point of view of the canine White Fang, about its journey to domestication. It is set in the Yukon Territory, Canada during the Gold Rush period in the 1890s. The story starts with two characters delivering a coffin on a dog sled and they are chased by a starving pack of wolves. Bill and the dog team are eaten and Henry is rescued by other sledders.

The wolf pack has to find other prey and they find a moose, after which they split and newly born White Fang and his family are left alone. The siblings of White Fang (five cubs) die of hunger while the father, One-Ey,e a wolf,  is killed by a lynx. The mother, Kiche (a half wolf-half dog) later kills the lynx and her kittens.

Kiche is soon rediscovered by her former masters who take her in their Native-Americans camp.  The master Grey Beaver gives our baby friend his name. White Fang is introduced to other puppies that see him as a wolf and always attack him. The constant danger helps him fully develop his predatory and defence skills, making him a good fighter.  

 Grey Beaver takes him on a trip to trade with gold hunters, a dog-fighter Beauty Smith notices his fighting ability and acquires him by getting Grey Beaver addicted to whiskey.

White Fang defeats all opponents, including several wolves and a lynx, until he is up against a bulldog. In the fight, White Fang falls on his back exposing his neck and the bulldog goes for it and nearly suffocates him. He is rescued by a rich, young gold hunter, Weedon Scott, stops the fight and forcefully buys him. The greedy Beauty Smith tries to steal him back later but White Fang attacks him.

Scott attempts to domesticate White Fang and succeeds. He treats White Fangs differently from the previous masters. When Scott attempts to return to California alone, White Fang pursues him, and Scott decides to take the dog with him back home. In Sierra Vista, White Fang can no longer be wild because he is punished and rewarded accordingly and he adjusts. At the end of the book, an escaped convict Jim Hall, comes to kill Scott’s father.  Judge Scott Scott tried and sentenced him unaware that he was misaccused and Hall wants revenge. The dog kills Hall and he is nearly killed too.  The women of Scott’s estate consequently name him “The Blessed Wolf”. White Fang lives on ever after with the sheep-dog Collie and their puppies.

 It’s a good read for wild animal documentary lovers and is so inspiring .

ADVERTISEMENT