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“Jack London’s ‘Before Adam’ Battles: The Media Frenzy Over His ‘Most Unfortunate Book’”

New book by Vince Emery explores the accusations of plagiarism surrounding London’s adventure novel

By Melissa Dowling

Most who have lived in the Sonoma Valley for a while have heard of Jack London and have likely visited the site of his Beauty Ranch. Fewer are familiar with his controversial novel, the caveman saga, “Before Adam,” which he published in 1906 as a serial in Everybody’s Magazine, a popular periodical of the era.

In “Jack London’s ‘Before Adam’ Battles: The Media Frenzy Over His ‘Most Unfortunate Book,’” editor and literary detective Vince Emery has assembled news stories, historical letters, advertisements, and book reviews concerning London and his prehistoric novel. “They range from glowing adoration to vitriolic hatred to laugh-out-loud comedy,” said Emery. He found the 221 items he compiled in the book while researching another project and found that they were “too entertaining not to publish for Jack London fans.”

Emery provides commentary with the literary artifacts he presents in the book, including background on London’s reaction to the controversy, biographical insight on the literary scene of the era, and the consequences of this early 20th century media attack on one of the most popular authors of the period.

Emery’s new book was published this August and is available on Amazon, Ebay, and in select bookstores. The first edition, first printing, is limited to 100 copies that are numbered and signed by the editor.

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