Newest iOS app ‘iLondon’ immerses readers in Jack London’s stories

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Carsten Savage

BY CARSTEN SAVAGE (’17)

Orchestral music plays as an artistic rendition of the Northern Lights floods the screen, and the words of Jack London’s narrative “The Story of Keesh” materialize in the painted sky. This is “iLondon,” the newest iOS app from iClassics Collection, a developer that specializes in blending the short stories of classic authors- such as Poe, Wilde, and Lovecraft- with artwork, animation and music.

The mechanics of “iLondon” are analogous to those of the newspapers in Harry Potter. Unlike physical novels, the artwork often moves while you read, and the pictures are usually interactive; you can drag a torch to illuminate the dark snow, give a slice of poisoned meat to a dog and even prompt the main character to kill a polar bear. This transforms reading from an uninvolved activity into an active one, which helps hold contemporary readers’ attention for prolonged periods of time.

"The Story of Keesh" offers both fantastic visuals and life lessons (BluePrints Photo/Carsten Savage/Artwork by iClassics Productions)
“The Story of Keesh” offers both fantastic visuals and life lessons (BluePrints Photo/Carsten Savage/Artwork by iClassics Productions)

All iClassics productions offer an orchestral soundtrack that accompanies every page, and in “iLondon,” the music is as good as ever. For a moderately low-budget company, every song is surprisingly high quality, and there are many tracks in total that always fit their respective stories, increasing the reader’s immersion in the tales. The soundtrack in “The Law of Life” and “The Story of Keesh” is of a warm and spiritual nature, for example, while the music in “Moon-Face” is frantic and humorous.

The artwork itself is extremely creative and is a pleasure to view. The iClassics team has invested painstaking detail into every picture, which helps new readers unfamiliar with London’s work better visualize the stories in their minds. In addition, the quirky drawings establish a fantastically strange atmosphere that words could never convey.

An old man finds ultimate understanding in "The Law of Life" (BluePrints Photo/Carsten Savage/Artwork by iClassics Productions)
An old man finds ultimate understanding in “The Law of Life” (BluePrints Photo/Carsten Savage/Artwork by iClassics Productions)

While books are becoming less popular as YouTube, Netflix and Hulu have become the new storytelling vehicles, iClassics and its interactive stories promise to teach the next generations that reading is still a worthy and entertaining activity. A genuine love for Jack London’s work shines throughout the app, and thus I can recommend it as an amazing way to acquaint oneself with his stories.