It’s Day 24 of the #A2ZChallenge. This year, I invite you to read and discuss short stories with me. Each day, I bring you a ‘Read of the Day,’ a short story in English, so that we can indulge in the joy of reading. You can visit my site daily for a short story with analysis and participate in the discussion in the comments.
Read of the Day
Today, we will read A Thousand Deaths by Jack London. You can read the short story online here.
About the Author
More popularly known as Jack London, John Griffith London was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He broke the ‘starved writer’ perception by becoming an international celebrity and earning a fortune from his writing. He is considered a pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazine and an innovator in the science fiction genre. Some of his famous works include The Call of the Wild, White Fang, To Build a Fire, The Iron Heel, An Odyssey of the North, Love of Life, The Pearls of Parlay, and The Heathen.
A Thousand Deaths by Jack London is a bizarre Frankenstein-style science fiction story written and first published in The Black Cat Magazine 1899.
It’s a story about a man born and raised in a dysfunctional wealthy nuclear family. His socialite mother is too busy with the vanities of the world, while his scientist father is too engrossed in his research work. The man moves away from his family when he reaches adulthood and goes about his life travelling the world as a sailor.
Until one day, he drowns in the San Francisco Bay during one of his adventurous explorations. When he wakes up, he can see his dead body in an uncomfortable posture and being attended to by two dark-skinned aboriginal men.
The science fiction story moves into a paranormal space from this juncture and gets into disturbing territories, as it gets more cold and brutal by the end of it.
A Thousand Deaths is one of Jack London’s earliest stories, and it explores the dark side of science and technology and the human psyche.
* I’m participating in the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge.