An epic rendition of the imperial experience in India, and perhaps his greatest long work, the "Penguin Classics" edition of Rudyard Kipling's "Kim" is edited with an introduction by Harish Trivedi, and includes a general preface by Jan Montefiore. Kim, orphaned son of an Irish soldier and a poor white mother, and the lama, an old ascetic priest, ...
An epic rendition of the imperial experience in India, and perhaps his greatest long work, the "Penguin Classics" edition of Rudyard Kipling's "Kim" is edited with an introduction by Harish Trivedi, and includes a general preface by Jan Montefiore. Kim, orphaned son of an Irish soldier and a poor white mother, and the lama, an old ascetic priest, are on a quest. Kim was born and raised in India and plays with the slum children as he lives on the streets, but he is white, a sahib, and wants to play the "Great Game of Imperialism"; while the priest must find redemption from the Wheel of Things. Kim celebrates their friendship and their journeys in a beautiful but hostile environment, capturing the opulence of the exotic landscape and the uneasy presence of the British Raj. Filled with rich description and vivid characters, this beguiling coming of age story is considered to be Kipling's masterpiece. Part of a series of new editions of Kipling's works in "Penguin Classics", this volume contains a General Preface by Jan Montefiore and an introduction by Harish Trivedi placing the novel in its literary and social context. Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay. In 1882 he started work as a journalist in India, and while there produced a body of work, stories, sketches and poems - notably "Plain Tales from the Hills" (1888) - which made him an instant literary celebrity when he returned to England in 1889. His most famous works include "The Jungle Book" (1894), "Kim" (1901) and the "Just So Stories" (1902). Kipling refused to accept the role of Poet Laureate and other civil honours, but he was the first English writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, in 1907. If you enjoyed "Kim", you might like E.M. Forster's "A Passage to India", also available in "Penguin Classics". "Kipling's last work is ...his best, and not easily comparable with the work of any other man." ("Atlantic").
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I reread this book after a 40 to 50 year gap. I did so because I had had reason to speak with someone about Kim's Game.
Having reread I went though it again to fix some of the episodes in my mind.
Kipling himself says it has no plot. But the threads of the Great Game and a buddist lama's search for the River of the Arrow run through it. John Le Carre almost matches it in the thriller aspect
It includes some remarkable characters, a Sunni Horse dealer, a 'fearful" babu who aspires to Fellowship of The Royal Society, a british Colonel, Kim's father ( not stated but in real life the keeper of the Wonder House in Lahore0and of course Kim himself who we first encounter in Lahore as white but the poorest of the poor.
Set in NW India in I suppose about 1900 shortly after the Battle of Tirah( q.v.)
May 13, 2010
Kim, by Rudyard Kipling
This is written so well, it confronts us with a new world - and it is nearly one hundred year old already! I decided to read more Rudyard Kipling!
Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.
May 7, 2010
"Kim" is a gem!
In "Kim", Mr. Kipling has created a timeless imp of a character who steals your heart while both he and the reader gain wisdom of the world. The vivid portrait of India and it's people could only have been captured and rendered for the ages by the matchless Mr. Kipling. Each page of this volume is a delight, packed with wit, suspense, wisdom and the opulence and poverty of India. It's a "life book" - you'll carry it's wit and wisdom with you and always know your life is enriched for having read it.
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