Can't recall the name of the book that I read being a kid about a decade ago. It's written by a renowned English author who grew up as a blue-collar labor worker in 19th or 20th century England. As a matter of fact, he materialized many of his experiences in another book, which talks about a young poor hard-working man falling in love with a beautiful lady from aristocracy and working his way up by educating himself and becoming literate.

The short story or novel in question is about a weakened man, who was betrayed by his companion on a trip. He had no food or water and was exhausted to death. Soon after, he encountered an injured half-dead wolf and had to wrestle with him. The story emphasizes the physical as well as the psychological struggle, turmoil, and pain that the man endured. After winning the battle, he was rescued by a ship crew and was well fed and cared for.

It's a fascinating story by an extremely well known author, but I just can't remember either his name or the name of his book! Would be very glad if you could help me out.

  • 1
    young poor hard-working man falling in love with a beautiful lady from aristocracy and working his way up by educating himself and becoming literate reminds me of Jack London's "Martin Eden", but I don't recognize your story.
    – Ayshe
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 12:09
  • @Ayshe That's right! I must have mixed things up.
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 15:48
  • I meant I don't know the exact story you're looking for, I have read only 8-9 books of his and that was long time ago.
    – Ayshe
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 17:01
  • Did Ayshe's comment answer your question? Or are you looking for a different story?
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 12:30
  • @ChristopheStrobbe It was very helpful as far identifying the second story. But my original question about the mysterious book with a man and a wolf still remains unanswered.
    – Alex
    Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 1:06

1 Answer 1


This is Jack London's short story, "Love of Life".

  • It's about a man who's abandoned by his companion in an Alaska snow desert
  • The man, suffering from starvation, is slowly making his way towards the coast, chased by a similarly ill and starving wolf
  • The man, on the verge of death, eventually manages to kill the wolf and drink its blood which gives him some nutrition
  • The man is noticed and rescued by a ship crew and makes full recovery on the ship's way back to San Francisco
  • 1
    Great job on these story-ID questions! One suggestion: if possible, you might like to include a link for reference/further reading, so that the OP (or others who are interested) can easily check more details about the story to see if it's the one they remember. In this case, for instance, you could link to a nice summary/discussion or the full text itself.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 8:16
  • Bravo! I almost lost all hope for finding the book. Almost a year later, what a surprise! Thanks Quassnoi, I knew it was Jack Longon. Hard to believe that Google failed me, as all it suggested was The Sea-Wolf
    – Alex
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 3:10

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