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The Jacket (or Star Rover)

The Jacket (or Star Rover) by Jack London
By: (1876-1916)

The Jacket (or Star Rover) by Jack London is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that explores the themes of human suffering, resilience, and the power of the mind to transcend physical limitations.

The story follows the protagonist, a prisoner named Darrell Standing, who discovers the ability to escape his harsh reality by entering a trance-like state and exploring past lives through a form of astral projection. Through these vivid and haunting experiences, Standing gains a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all living beings and the universal nature of pain and redemption.

London's writing is both lyrical and evocative, drawing readers into Standing's surreal and often harrowing journey through time and space. The novel raises profound questions about the nature of consciousness, the limits of human endurance, and the enduring quest for freedom in the face of confinement and oppression.

Overall, The Jacket (or Star Rover) is a powerful and imaginative work that will leave readers contemplating the mysteries of existence long after they have finished reading. London's ability to blend vivid storytelling with philosophical inquiry make this novel a truly unique and unforgettable reading experience.

Book Description:
This book by Jack London was published under the name of "The Jacket" in the UK and "The Star Rover" in the US. A framing story is told in the first person by Darrell Standing, a university professor serving life imprisonment in San Quentin State Prison for murder. Prison officials try to break his spirit by means of a torture device called "the jacket," a canvas jacket which can be tightly laced so as to compress the whole body, inducing angina. Standing discovers how to withstand the torture by entering a kind of trance state, in which he walks among the stars and experiences portions of past lives.

The jacket itself was actually used at San Quentin at the time and Jack London's descriptions of it were based on interviews with a former convict named Ed Morrell, which is also the name of a character in the novel. For his role in the Sontag and Evans gang which robbed the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1890s, Morrell spent fourteen years in California prisons (1894-1908), five of them in solitary confinement. London championed his pardon. After his release, Morrell was a frequent guest at London's Beauty Ranch. (Introduction by Wikipedia)

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Review this book (Rated: 4 Stars - 1 vote)

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