This is the most satisfactory biography of Jack London that has been published, the only one that catches the vital and lusty spirit of the man and is at the same time a factual and a critical commentary of the man and his work. Irving Stone made his name with his fictional biography of Van Gogh, Lust for Life. London's character is proof that the truth is stranger than fiction. Illegitimate son of an itinerant astrologer and brilliant writer -- an adventurer who won bare subsistance for himself and his mother and her other children, turning his hand to anything, -- oyster pirate, seaman, coal heaver, gold miner -- his erratic education -- his restless seeking for material to turn into fiction and his dogged determination to be a writer in spite of dire poverty and discouragement. Then success -- and an irrational and sensational pouring out of money and more money, always in debt, generous, erratic, unstable, a brilliant genius. His amorous adventures, with his two marriages highlighting his life. His disillusionment -- and his death. The book is based on authentic letters and notes, turned over to the author by Mrs. London and Jack London's half sister; and on interviews with everyone who had known London and who played an important part in his life. The book, in addition to being one of the maddest success stories ever lived, is a definite contribution to the study of American letters and American society. Most important of all, it is unflaggingly good reading. A book which should have a popular as well as a scholarly sale -- and plus interest for older boys.