Key word: tried.
In short, I wasn't very enthusiastic in reading this book. And what's up with addiction to wolves? A lot of people like them, but I would prefer the soft, furry puppies that I know and love. The cover, on the other hand, was something to be enthusiastic about. It's very artistic y'know?
The first thing I see when I open the book is an introduction from K.A. Applegate (well, actually, the first thing I saw was the title page, then a list of Scholastic classics, another title page, and the verso), who I know as the author of Eve and Adam. I found that it was one of the most enlightening introductions I have ever read (which is great, but not that big of an achievement considering the fact that it was one of the few introductions I actually read).
So then finally I get to the actual book. And even though it took me a whole week to read it, I actually enjoyed it. A lot.
So it starts out with these two dudes who have a bunch of sleigh dogs. But there's this pack of hungry wolves and a reddish color dog kept bringing the dogs to the pack and eating them. So one of the guys dies and the other guys almost dies, blah blah blah. Then you get to hear more about the reddish dog and how there are three dogs hitting on her. One of them is, like, really young, the other has one eye, and the last one is just some youngish one.
This part was really epic. One-eye and youngish one team up and kill the really young one, and then One-eye kills Youngish! And then She-wolf has the hots for One-eye and have pups together. And, of course, one of those pups is our very own White Fang!
It really surprised me that White was introduced so late into the book. But, hey, fine with me! It's kinda cool to see how everyone is connected. So, One-eye ends up dying and so do White Fang's siblings. And White Fang goes exploring and finds man, who are described as gods. His mom finds him and it is revealed that her name is Kiche. I found the way humans were described very...revealing. I never really thought about how the relationship between man and dog might feel different to the animal than to us.
Gray Beaver acts like a weirdo and gets drunk, eventually selling White Fang to stupid Beauty. And then Beauty is EXTRA mean, making White Fang fight. I was wondering when he was actually going to become a pit dog...it didn't seem like he was going to for the longest time (I read the back cover, y'know?). But he does and then FINALLY he is saved by a new owner!
I love, love, LOVE the ending! When he was learning to love and to be loved, I almost cried. It was so adorable!!!!
"White Fang had ceased eating, lost heart, and allowed every dog of the team to thrash him. In the cabin he lay on the floor near the stove, without interest in food, in Matt, nor in life...And then, one night, Matt...was startled by a low whine from White Fang...A moment later, Matt heard a footstep. The door opened, and Weedon Scott stepped in. The two men shook hands. Then Scott looked around the room.
'Where's the wolf?' he asked.
Then he discovered him, standing where he had been lying, near to the stove. He had not rushed forward after the manner of other dogs. He stood, watching and waiting.
'Holy smoke!' Matt exclaimed. 'Look at 'm was his tail!...He never looked at me that way all the time you was gone.'...What of his joy, the great love in him, ever surging and struggling to express itself succeeded in finding a new mode of expression. He suddenly thrust his head forward and nudged his way in between the master's arm and body. And here, confined, hidden from view all except his ears, no longer growling, he continued to nudge and snuggle" -White Fang, 203.I thought that the above quote was one of the cutest things! I loved that. So much. Another thing I really loved is that the dog doesn't die at the end. Jeez, what a relief.
So, you kind of have to read the book yourself to understand why it's such a good book. The first few chapters might be hard to read, but once you get to the part that focuses more on the dogs (I think it's about Chapter 4), it gets really good! And the chapters are really short, so it won't take that long to get to that point.
Just read it.
Rating: 5 stars