Jack London s output never ceases to surprise me with its diversity There s a lot to him than stories about dogs and the Arctic For example the sailing adventure cum debate about evil The Sea Wolf autobiographically inspired story of a self educated writer Martin Eden pro Communist revolutionary tale The Iron Heel tongue in cheek philosophical action adventureThe Assassination Bureau Ltd and various science fiction shorts many of them also pro Communist including ones with pre historic settings This book takes us into another area again specific and direct social protest specifically regarding the California penal system circa 1910 It also covers uite a bit of ground overlapping with the works mentioned above including two sea tales and a story set in pre history Historical fiction can be added to the list and even a Wild West story Which might seem a little odd considering this is ostensibly a novelIn fact it is a collection of short stories linked by being found in the memoirs of a Folsom Death Row inmate Said inmate who openly admits to being guilty of murder rapidly gains our sympathy when he describes his experiences in a California prison where he is beaten abused threatened and tortured The torture comes primarily in the form of solitary confinement whilst strait jacketed for days at a stretch This jacketing is not to prevent self harm the protagonist is not an inmate of a secure psychiatric facility he is simply being punished for perceived willful refusal to co operate with the prison authorities I have no idea how accurate a depiction of the California prisons of the time this is but it reminds me very strongly of Oscar Wilde s Ballad of Reading Gaol in both intent and power to move It also provides cogent arguments against capital punishment including the fact that it is institutionalised revenge that makes all tax payers of the State involved no better than the murderers usually subject to it Reducing the entire populace to the level of its worst criminals seems to me a peculiar form of justice I m a victim of it when I lived in Illinois the USA Federal moratorium on executions ended I paid in part to kill a man for crimes I know nothing of Of course that is nothing compared to my forced complicity in the various resource wars of recent earsBut back to the book The fact is that the material warrants only a short story not a full length novel but a full length novel is what we have The bulk is made up of the experiences the protagonist has whilst strait jacketed He puts himself into a trance during these days at a stretch sessions in the jacket and relives previous lives London seems to have taken everything he has ever read or heard about mystical trances sensory deprivation and hypnotic regression and mixed it all up for these passages about how the protagonist resists the prison governor and escapes his abusers whilst sueezed than half to death in a basement solitary cell where he was kept for a period of Painting Landscapes from Your Imagination years And this is how we come to get such a varied collection of settings and stories within a novel that has almost no plot of its ownThe prison material is powerful but limited and repetitive which eventually weakens it The various past life retold adventures are almost as varied in interest as the they are in setting Personal taste will no doubt vary but my favourite was the desert island survival story London was the Grand Master of survival stories and knew the oceans from direct experience The Roman perspective on the Christ story was primarily interesting for its take on Pontius Pilate s character and motivations The historical Korean story vies with the pre historic story as my least favourite See how crazily diverse they areDespite the clever and powerful framing this book really feels too episodic for its own good I found it very easy to put down and I read a handful of other novels in the time I was also reading this Nevertheless it is worthwhile and I recommend it to anyone who ever liked anything else by Jack London His capacity to mix philosophical and moral musings with adventure stories was his great strength and it is on show once again here uite an extraordinary book has been recommended to me recently The book s name Star Rover written by Jack London may raise a feeling of doubt and uncertainty in readers especially if they are interested in universe or stars and in that case they should look for another read Being slightly dubious I gave it a try and was suffused with elation that I did not put it awayDarell Standing the protagonist first tells the readers how he got to be in prison The inmates are plotting a break out which only culminates in a failed attempt What is Darell is accused of having hidden a dynamite somewhere inside the prison which was all just a story created by another inmate In other words there was not any substantial evidence to back these claims Nonetheless the fact that the guards believed them is completely preposterousDarell finds himself in a grave situation when he learns his sentence has been wrongfully prolonged to life The heart of the book starts at this moment when the guards are putting to use their abhorrent torturing methods putting Darell in a straitjacket for hours on end The protagonist s strong resilience is breathtaking making anyone speechless Being imprisoned in a section for incorrigibles he forms a close friendship with other people like him Further him firmly tied in a straitjacket may hinder any means of communication However they devised a neat system to converse with each other tapping with a foot resembling a Morse code The torture seems endless and one of Darell s newfound friends advises him on how to cope with the excruciating pain He learns to separate his consciousness from his body and succeeds in achieving an astral projection in other words an out of body experience His new ability enables him to travel into past lives which are the basis for short stories throughout the bookThe intermittent stories and Darell s never ending willpower provide an excellent read for anyone who is interested in learning about life or who is compassionate The main protagonist of The Jacket is Darrell Standing a university professor serving life imprisonment in San uentin State Prison for murder Due to some low level intrigue amongst prisoners he is suspected of hiding dynamite and sent to solitary confinement There he is put into the jacket a canvas jacket which is tightly laced to compress the whole body and at first he experiences excruciating pain However another prisoner Ed Morrell introduces him to a trick that would make his condition in the jacket tolerable He is introduced to a techniue of entering a trance like state whereour conscience is freed from the constraints of our body and is free to roam the universe Once Standing accomplishes this state of mind he starts to recall episodes from what he believes are his previous lives These various episodes form the bulk of the narrative in the book The parts about the prison ar. The Star Rover in the UK published as The Jacket is a collection of short stories revolves around the concept of reincarnation It tells the story of San uentin death row inmate.
With alcohol drinking adventures When he wrote Star Rover he was in pain much of the time and taking morphine to get through the day Perhaps his adventures under opium were far different than they had been with alcohol Where Alcohol John Barelycorn trudged alongside him step by step whispering in his ear like the Devil once he was no longer physically able to adventure Opium released his soul to find new adventures in his mind It s my opinion that this book is a little bit of all threeFive StarsSuitable for any reader I finished reading The Star Rover a few days ago but I wanted to let the story rest in my head so I could write a better reviewI wanted to read something about Jack London for a long time ago so when I read the synopsis of the Star Rover I didn t think it twice The approach of the novel is tremendously original especially considering that it was written at the beginning of the 20th century But while I was reading and getting and into the story I realized that I couldn t totally connect with it Sometimes the author becomes too much repetitive until the point where the same idea is crushed again and again in each chapter At first I didn t care I thought it was just a resource to emphasize some parts of the story but when it became such a repeated resource throughout the text I started to get tired of it Also the main character tries to indoctrinate the reader in a too obvious way in which the author s hand is easily visibleSo at the end and after much thought I decided to give it a 3 but it is a 35 than a 3 In general I must say that it isn t a bad book I liked the concept of the story and some of its ideas but in the end I wasn t able to truly love the novelSpanish versionHace d as ue termine de leer El Vagabundo de las Estrellas pero uise dejar reposar un poco la historia en mi cabeza para poder escribir una mejor rese a Desde hacia tiempo uer a leer algo de Jack London as ue cuando le la sinopsis del Vagabundo de las Estrellas no me lo pens dos veces El planteamiento de la novela es tremendamente original sobretodo pensando en ue se escribi a principios del siglo XX Pero a medida ue iba leyendo adentrandome en la historia me di cuenta de ue no terminaba de conectar con ella El autor se vuelve algo repetitivo hasta llegar al punto en ue la misma idea esta una Chasing McCree Chasing McCree y otra vez machacada en cada capitulo Al principio no me importo cre a ue se trataba de un recurso para enfatizar pero cuando se vuelve un recurso tan repetido durante todo el texto empec a cansarme Por otra parte el personaje intenta adoctrinarnos de una manera a veces demasiado evidente en el ue es f cilmente visible la mano del autor Al final despues de mucho pensarlo he decidido darle un 3 pero se trata mas de un 35 ue de un 3 En general debo decir ue no es una mala novela El concepto de la historia algunas de las ideas ue explora me parecieron geniales pero al final no consigui convencerme I m not going to lie I went into this book without knowing the actual plot I was simply intrigued by the title and a friend of mine was willing to let me borrow it And it turned to be not at all what I had anticipated It was mostly a very long prison story and I don t like them There weren t a lot of actual adventures and even they were uite depressing and not exciting at all in my opinion So I understand that it was partially my fault for not looking up the synopsis before reading the book but I didn t enjoy this one THE STAR ROVER is just an amazing book especially for its time This is an incredible look into the mind of a prisoner and his visionary uests as he mentally escapes the brutality of his asylum What a powerful story The Star Rover is unknown compared to Londons other works but this is an amazing book A straight jacketed prisoner is brutalized and basicly left in the dark in solitary confinement wills himself to learn astral projection and relives past lives from previous incarnations Very uniue book that is unlike anything else Jack London wrote Although the theme of struggle defiance strength of spirit and willpower are one of the main themes in The Star Rover as in most of Londons other work but even that aspect is different in the sense that the main character achieves his vic To begin with The Star Rover is by no stretch of the imagination science fiction Its hero Darrell Standing is a prisoner at San uentin Because of lies told by a snitch the prison warden erroneously believes that Standing knows where a hoard of dynamite is stored Because Standing does not cooperate he is wrapped tight into a straight jacket for days at a timeMost of the book tells of Standing s previous lives which he dreams of while in his straight jacket These range from Egypt Korea Judea at the time of Christ and perhaps best of all a 19th century seamen cast away on an island near Antarctica Jack London manages to keep the reader s interest up though the episode in Judea strains the credibility Ultimately we as the readers know that Standing will be executed by hanging so there is no chance of a happy ending Yet just before he dies we hear Standing s defiant credo just before being hangedThere is no death Life is spirit and spirit cannot die Only the flesh dies and passes ever a crawl with the chemic ferment that informs it ever plastic ever crystallizing only to melt into the flux and to crystallize into fresh and diverse forms that are ephemeral and that melt back into the flux Spirit alone endures and continues to build upon itself through successive and endless incarnations as it works upward toward the light What shall I be when I live again I wonder I wonder London was never known for writing pleasant books and this is certainly not one but his indomitable spirit comes across and grabs us by the throat There is a lot to write about this book Death seems like a petty thing for Darrell Standing who is about to be hanged for killing his professor The mere thought of being confined in a solitary makes Impossible Things you wiser and closer to understanding what s the reality ofour true self it also makes Keto Diet for Beginners: The Keto Diet Cookbook with Quick and Healthy Recipes incl. 30 Days Weight Loss Plan you ponder the perplexing uestions which people are afraid to answer London narrates his previous selves traveling beyond his prison walls living thousands of lives he is a vagabond that roves in the past and lingers between the stars he is a man he is an immortal god he is a fighter and a killer His soul only remains Here I close I can only repeat myself There is no death Life is spirit and spirit cannot die Only the flesh dies and passes ever a crawl with the chemic ferment that informs it ever plastic ever crystallizing only to melt into the flux and to crystallize into fresh and diverse forms that are ephemeral and that melt back into the flux Spirit alone endures and continues to build upon itself through successive and endless incarnations as it works upward toward the light What shall I be when I live again I wonder I wonder I actually still wonder if I possess what london describes as Soul Thankou Jack London for this amazing book ou made me wander. Obleman and an Englishman in medieval Korea Based on the life and imprisonment of Jack London’s friend Ed Morrell this is one of the author’s most complex and original works.
E brutal and horrifying and the seuences of past life recall detracts from this in part but it s still a very good readWhen Jack London wrote this the jacket was actually being used in San uentin and London s descriptions of it are based on interviews he had with an ex prisoner called Ed Morrell who had spent five ears in solitary Although written almost 100 Criminal Juries in the 21st Century: Psychological Science and the Law (American Psychology-Law Society Series) years ago it s still a powerful read it s a shame its had under 250 downloads on Gutenberg and is available for free here Star Rover by Jack London Uleash the Powers of Your Mind I ve struggled with how to review this one It s getting five stars because I think it s greater than the sum of its parts The book description states that this is a collection of closely related short stories Having read it I think that s either a mistake or a very sad attempt to water down what I feel is a very thought provoking story Jack London for his day was a great researcher and shrewd observer of the human condition In fact I think that particular aspect of his genius for writing has been overlooked I m not an expert on literary history but I wonder if Jack London had not supported socialist views or if the United States had not been paranoid of Socialists to the point of blindness how his writing would have been perceived Perhaps it might not have made a difference As I understand things with my limited brain observations of the Human Condition do not have a political persuasion or perhaps it s that their message transcends political beliefs or even perhaps the struggle of the human spirit is larger than any political party or caucus I m certain that Jack London s book Star Rover can be looked at in many ways I ll focus on the three of them that ring truest to me First as a historical novel historical fiction that offers a look into life at the turn of the century and the dark ugliness in our nations prisons In a strange twist of fate London s book supports the work of his alleged father attacking the practice of jacketing as a cruel and inhumane practice used by Warden s and prison guards to punish interrogate or torment prisoners There is rarely a good reason to torture somebody I say Jack s alleged father because the individual William Chaney was an astrologist and journalist About the time this book was released he was working to force the state government of California to stop Jacketing and other inhumane practices in the state s prisons To prepare for this book Jack London interviewed Ed Morrell in prison Though his main character is Professor Darrell Standing Standing is largely based on the testimony of Ed Morrell who claims to have been a Star Rover like Standing in the book He also featured Ed Morrell in the book as one of the prisoners in solitary confinement with Darrell Standing who served as sort of a mentor So even though London does not claim to be a star rover the tale is based on reports from someone who at least believes that they were London also helped win Ed Morrell s release from prison and remained his friend until London s death in 1913 Ed Morrell wrote a play that went nowhere based on his life that he tried to publish in 1925 But the genius of London does not stop there Standing believes in reincarnation Star Roving is much like what people have often referred to as Astral Projection Standing used Star Roving as a means of going back through the daisy chain of lives his spirit has been part of and re living them or part of them This is another place Jack London s true life adventures and his shrewd observation and keen memory of details and dogmatic researching show his genius It is true that some of the stories are not verifiable but most of them involve times and events in history which are For example the story of the man stranded on a small rocky island after his ship is lost in a storm is based on a true accounting and documented in the Philadelphia Museum The sadet triumphant story of the European Sailor marrying a Korean woman then suffering for decades at the hands of a politically powerful rival is based on a true story and verifiable Perhaps the most valuable historical account is the accounting of the Mountain Meadows Massacre which London tells through the eyes and mind of a oung boy This account though a fictional story is considered by many to be one of the most accurate accounts of the tragic attack There was also a very interesting story about a man who was friend with Pilot at the Crucifixion of Christ who was dumped by the love of his life a Christian because he wanted to flee with her rather than help Christ Escape Though all of these stories are fiction they are likely also accurate accounts based on what was known at the time How much value we should place on historical fiction is debatable and conclusions about what is and is not relevant are subject to individual understanding on an account by account basis The second way to look at this is as a story with Spiritual value The opening story offers an interesting twist on what is fair and just and how human nature can be easily corrupted when one group believes they have been given power over another We have inmates who are clearly guilty of heinous crimes Darrell Standing admits that he murdered a colleague Ed Morrell was a renegade bank and train robber and what we might call a domestic terrorist today but was just considered a criminal in his day Put in this story the prisoners become the victims of a brutal system There are several stories about the enduring spirit of man where Standing in a past life endures tortures and harsh treatment heroic survival and isolation under the most difficult circumstances imaginable Yet as thought provoking as these stories are London does not draw any conclusions Darrell Standing is simply a reporter of history here not a judge It s like London s famous short story To Build a Fire In the end the man dies and we are left with an enormous unsettled spiritual argument about the nature of man the wisdom of man s attempt to conuer nature and the right of man to believe his species should dominate the world Each of the stories in this book offer a look at complex dilemma s facing mankind Is it honorable right to kill rather than give women over to someone else How can anyone ever justify a brutal slaughter of innocent people Can love really conuer all Are we really strongest or able to withstand punishment at our weakest not at our strongest There is no way these stories were written without any spiritual significance when they talk about man murder God Christ overcoming Nature and inhumanity to man Even if London had never intended a spiritual observation there is clearly one here The third and darker way of looking at this that is not proven one way or the other That would be that Darrell Standing has an autobiographical side to him This is about Jack London finding escape from the pain and torture of failing kidneys and likely gallstones disease and renal colic In John Barleycorn The Memoirs of an Alcoholic London called his bouts. Darrell Standing who escapes the horror of prison life and long stretches in a straitjacket by withdrawing into vivid dreams of past lives including incarnations as a French
Jack London was an American novelist journalist social activist and short story writer whose works deal romantically with elemental struggles for survival At his peak he was the highest paid and the most popular of all living writers Because of early financial difficulties he was largely self educated past grammar schoolJack London was a white supremacist and socialist In his 1901 essay T