Monday, August 9, 2010

Tuesdays Tomes: The Scarlet Plague by Jack London plus photographs

Tuesdays Tomes: a weekly book review. No one seems to be using the Linky so I’m leaving it off…if you have reviewed a book recently and would like to share, just send me an e-mail and I will add a link to your post.

I must confess that the name Jack London reminds me of slogging through White Fang in high school and thinking “How mean can an English teacher be”. But while browsing the Librivox catalogue, I came across the “The Scarlet Plague” and thought,.. hmm. I’m happy to report I enjoyed this book.

The Scarlet Plague is a novella first published in 1912 in the London Magazine and tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world. A terrible plague-the Scarlet Plague- has killed almost all the people of the world…we meet one of the survivors called Grandser and his grandsons sixty years after the disaster.

Grandser is a very old man now and is the last link between the world before and the new world of his grandsons. They ask him to tell them the story of the Red Death and as he tells the story we see the gulf between them and him and learn what this new world is.

What I liked about this story was the open-endedness…not everything is all worked out and there’s a lot to think about after finishing. For one, Grandser was an English professor…so why hasn’t he taught the children to read?

The original book had illustrations…you can see them in the scanned edition at Google Books.
The Librivox audiobook was pleasantly read by Christopher James.
You can download this free audiobook here or the free e-book in pdf or Kindle format here.

We once took the kids to Jack London’s Beauty Ranch, now a part of the Jack London Historic State Park in Sonoma County, California and only a few miles from Santa Rosa. If you are ever in the area, you may want to visit too.

Here are some photos of Jack London and the Beauty Ranch.Wasn't he handsome?
In his study at the ranch.

Jack London's own bookplate designed by E.J. Gross.


Heather said...

I tried to borrow this from my library but they didn't have a copy so I went to Librivox and downloaded it. I must be getting better at the ipod as it only took me an hour to figure out how to get it to load on it.

Heather said...

Hi Miri, Thanks for recommending this book. I really enjoyed listening to the audio and now want to find a paper copy. I posted my review and have linked with yours.

Unknown said...

I'm the reader of the Librivox version. So glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the kind review.

- James Christopher