Before Adamby Jack London
A young man in modern America is terrorized by visions of an earlier, primitive life. Across the enormous chasm of thousands of centuries, his consciousness has become entwined with that of Big-Tooth, an ancestor living at the dawn of humanity. Big-Tooth makes his home in Pleistocene Africa, a ferocious, fascinating younger world torn by incessant conflict between early humans and protohumans.
Before Adam is a remarkable and provocative tale that thrust evolution further into the public spotlight in the early twentieth century and has since become a milestone of speculative fiction. The brilliance of the book lies not only in its telling but also in its imaginative projection of a mindset for early humans. Capitalizing on his recognized ability to understand animals, Jack London paints an arresting and dark portrait of how our distant ancestors thought about themselves and their world.
Details updated August 30, 2021
Jack London (1876–1916) was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone. He is best remembered as the author of White Fang and Call of the Wild, set in the Klondike Gold Rush, as well as the short stories "To Build a Fire", "An Odyssey of the North", and "Love of Life". He also wrote of the South Pacific in such stories as "The Pearls of Parlay" and "The Heathen", and The Sea Wolf, of the San Francisco Bay area.