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Synopsis

Of Jack London's many short story collections, Moon Face is one of the best I've read. The stories vary widely in style and subject, and, for the most part, you won't find the wilderness adventure stories for which London was famous (There is one, out of eight). London liked to experiment with diverse subject matter and literary techniques, often with mixed results. In this collection, originally published in 1906, he is successful on all counts. These eight stories are well-crafted, vividly descriptive, and suspenseful. A few of the stories explore the psychology of murder, and show the influence of Edgar Allen Poe, as does the closing novella "Planchette", which deals with the supernatural. "The Minions of Midas" is a tale of terrorism that's years ahead of its time. "The Shadow and the Flash" is pure science fiction, incredibly imaginative for its time and still exciting 100 years later. The only wilderness adventure story in this book, "All Gold Canyon", is one of London's absolute best. It contains some of his most beautiful descriptions of the natural environment, and a detailed nuts-and-bolts description of the process of gold prospecting. If you're familiar with London's work, you'll love this book. If you only know him from his sled dog stories, give this collection a try and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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