Sunday, July 5, 2020

240. The Iron Heel

Iron Heel
Jack London
1908
Around 350 pages












I decided to read the two Jack London novels on this List when the pandemic hit, thinking they would awaken the rugged survivalist in me. Well, it turns out that my perception of what Jack London novels are about was really off and the rugged survivalist in me unfortunately remains dormant.

The novel is structured as a manuscript written by Avis Everhard, and edited by a scholar from 2600 C.E. The story begins with Avis falling in love with Ernest, a socialist who is capable of striking his detractors dumb with his rhetoric. I always hate it when authors do this; I think you make a much more compelling case when you don't paint everybody that disagrees with you as an idiot. Anyway, the story then follows the fall of the US and Avis and Ernest's involvement in the Rebellion.

So this is a slight twist on the socialism novel that is so seemingly so popular in this era. London takes a more dystopian, sci fi approach with the story, which I guess is meant to serve as a warning about the direction socialism was headed in 1908. It's a pretty fascinating perspective at times, and the point of view was refreshing and different, even if London doesn't make the most convincing woman.

More an interesting product of its time than a riveting read, but I'm still glad I experienced it.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Cited as an influence behind George Orwell's 1984.

UP NEXT: The Inferno by Henri Barbusse. This one sounds juicy.

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