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Summary

When Humphrey Van Weyden finds himself struggling in the freezing waters of San Francisco Bay, he thinks the worst that can happen to him is drowning. After he is rescued by the Ghost and its captain, Wolf Larson, Humphrey discovers that there are fates far worse than death.

On Larsen's hell-ship, the dilettante hero is forced to slave as cabin boy and humble seaman. Over the seven months' voyage to the sealing grounds off Siberia, he engages in an epic duel with his ruthlessly Nietzschean skipper, a conflict that must end with the death of one of them.

In Humphrey's story, Jack London recalls his own adventures on a sealing vessel at the age of 17. And in the vivid dialogs between Larsen and Van Weyden, he gives the clearest definition of his savage philosophy of life.

Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor

What listeners say about The Sea-Wolf

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Jack London' best book?

Some consider this book Jack London' best book. It is a good story, but I prefer "Call of The Wild" and "White Fang" - and the other stories from the far North.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-01-17

Great classic

I really enjoyed the narrator's voice for Wolf Larsen. It was confident and husky and puzzled all in the perfect proportions.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Scott
  • 11-08-13

Great in every way

What did you love best about The Sea-Wolf?

A true classic and the way Stephen Hoye read it was perfect.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sea-Wolf?

Wolf Larson is an amazing creation.

What about Stephen Hoye’s performance did you like?

His voice doesn't distract at all. His many voices and accents were perfect throughout.

Any additional comments?

Listen to this version!

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  • Zeno
  • 09-10-20

A great antagonist ... and too much fawning

Wolf Larsen is right up there with the best larger-than-life characters. He looms, menacingly so, in every way. Brawns, brains, you name it - he is also utterly amoral and ruthless. Killing is as much his nature as is breathing. He harms, he intimidates and kills as he sees fit. It may be out of necessity, but it may also be for the pure pleasure of cruelty and in the knowledge of the fear that instills in his crew. His actions, his thoughts, his way of looking at life, are all definitely intriguing.

But then there's literary critic Humphrey van Weyden who is lost at sea and picked up by Larsen's ship. Forced to become part of the crew, he struggles to stay alive and in time becomes a man who can fend for himself. In all this, however, Jack London gives van Weyden such an over-the-top fawning way that it is insufferable. The way he describes Larsen, his ever ripple, you'd think he falls in love with him. Then, when they pick up a woman, also lost at sea, he starts fawning over her and again, it's just way, way too much in the way he thinks about her.

You can't help but wish that Wolf Larsen comes out on top in the end. Will he? Well, wouldn't want to give it away! This novel is worth reading for the character of Wolf Larsen. London could have skipped van Weyden completely - it would have been so much better to just live with Larsen and the terrorized crew on a seal-hunter for a while.

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  • Rebecca Bright
  • 13-05-20

Great narration of Sea Wolf!

I enjoyed listening to this narration of Sea Wolf. The narrator was a great Wolf Larson and was able to move between the other characters as well.

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  • Joia
  • 16-05-16

great narration

good story. interesting mix of sea adventure with a little romance. some of the philosophies expressed may be a bit painful for the idealist.