Martin Eden by Jack London

Martin EdenA young working class man living in California sets his sights on a life as a writer, but quickly realizes his lack of education and resources could prevent his dreams from ever coming to light.

Martin Eden struggles with more than just realizing a dream.  He struggles with his minimal education, his financial shortcomings, and his social status.  Determination and belief in self drive this man to move forward even when it seems there is no chance for success.

The novel’s namesake, Martin Eden, is resolute in achieving his goal of becoming a published author.  He is quick to realize his inadequacies and is willing to close the gap to ensure he will not fail.  His journey allows him to grow, not only as a writer, but as a friend, brother and humanitarian.

The apple of Martin’s eye, Ruth Morse, is a privileged and educated young woman.  Bored with her life, she is attracted to Martin as a rebel  outside her social circle.  She takes him on as her personal project;  recommending classes he should take and books he should read.  She is also quick to correct his grammar and pooh-pooh any social faux pas.  As Martin’s efforts become evident, Ruth begins to fall in love with her tutee.

Russ Brissenden, a tortured writer introduces Martin to socialism and a very different view of life.   He both encourages and discourages Marin in his writing efforts, but his own demons eventually get the best of him.

While there might be some momentary pauses in our dialog, there would nary be times without topics at the ready.  Such an interesting life would surely lend itself to some fantastic tales Mr. London could spin around an outdoor fire or aboard a seafaring vessel.

My rating for Martin Eden is a 7 out of 10.

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Next up, Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury TalesThe Cantebury Tales

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