‘John Barleycorn’ is a deeply personal novel by Jack London. The book tells about London’s own struggles and problems with alcohol and alcoholism. It is a touching story of a young, sensitive man, who loses his battle against spirits. London had the feeling that alcohol made him able to write the way he did, but at the same time it was one of the reasons why the extremely talented writer died at the age of only 40.
The book is an honest overview of an alcoholic mind, in which London confesses that he is against spirits – even though he himself was not strong enough to resist the King alcohol.
Jack London (1876–1916) was an American writer and social activist. He grew up in the working class, but became a worldwide celebrity and one of the highest paid authors of his time. He wrote several novels, which are considered classics today, among these 'Call of the Wild', 'Sea Wolf' and 'White Fang'.