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Kim. Novel by: Nobel Prize-Winning (1901) By: Rudyard Kipling.( Include: Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) by Rudyard Kipling ( Collection of Short 40 Stories ) PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Kim. Novel by: Nobel Prize-Winning (1901) By: Rudyard Kipling.( Include: Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) by Rudyard Kipling ( Collection of Short 40 Stories )
Author: Rudyard Kipling
Publisher: Published November 17th 2016 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published October 1901)
ISBN: 9781540458995
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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Kim is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author Rudyard Kipling. It was first published serially in McClure's Magazine from December 1900 to October 1901 as well as in Cassell's Magazine from January to November 1901, and first published in book form by Macmillan & Co. Ltd in October 1901. The story unfolds against the backdrop of The Great Game, the political con Kim is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author Rudyard Kipling. It was first published serially in McClure's Magazine from December 1900 to October 1901 as well as in Cassell's Magazine from January to November 1901, and first published in book form by Macmillan & Co. Ltd in October 1901. The story unfolds against the backdrop of The Great Game, the political conflict between Russia and Britain in Central Asia. Plain Tales from the Hills (published 1888) is the first collection of short stories by Rudyard Kipling. Out of its 40 stories, 29 were initially published in the '"Civil and Military Gazette" in Lahore, British India, (now in Pakistan) between November 1887 and June 1888.

30 review for Kim. Novel by: Nobel Prize-Winning (1901) By: Rudyard Kipling.( Include: Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) by Rudyard Kipling ( Collection of Short 40 Stories )

  1. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Kim , 13, a lonely, British orphan boy, born in India, his widowed father, was in Queen Victoria's army, but he died, a hopeless, pathetic, drunk. Kim's full name is Kimball O'Hara, the poorest of the poor, who lives mostly, in the slum streets of Lahore, the Punjab (now part of Pakistan). Sometimes the child, stays with an old Indian woman, addicted to opium, naturally, he prefers the outside, begging for money, trying to stay alive and surviving, day to day... Later meeting a strange Lama, fro Kim , 13, a lonely, British orphan boy, born in India, his widowed father, was in Queen Victoria's army, but he died, a hopeless, pathetic, drunk. Kim's full name is Kimball O'Hara, the poorest of the poor, who lives mostly, in the slum streets of Lahore, the Punjab (now part of Pakistan). Sometimes the child, stays with an old Indian woman, addicted to opium, naturally, he prefers the outside, begging for money, trying to stay alive and surviving, day to day... Later meeting a strange Lama, from faraway Tibet, while playing with his friends, in front of a museum, the monk is seeking information, about "The River of The Arrow", legend has it, that Buddha himself, shot an arrow in the sky, and when it landed, a river appeared miraculously. Anyone who bathes in the water, will have all his sins removed, and become pure again, the problem, nobody knows where this stream, is located. Kim decides impulsively, to follow Teshoo Lama, the monk in the "Search", becomes his disciple, in reality. Wanting to have fun, and exciting adventures., also, Kim is tired of the city. But first his friend, the mysterious Afghan horse trader, Mahbub Ali, who works for the British, as a secret agent. Has a message for Kim, to deliverer ( a dangerous mission) to Colonel Creighton, head of the British spy agency and get well paid too. War will occur in the north, as it always does, here, instigated by the Russians. Travelling by train, they encounter a colorful group of people, inside, all India goes in them, Kim begins to love the mad monk and the old man, likewise (the father he needs, the son he lacks) . Still the road, is endless, the odd pair, are not successful, in finding the river, tired and discouraged... Then the two encounter, Kim's father's, old regiment, by accident, the boy, against his will, is detained and made to attend, a British school. After three long years, the kid learns to read and write, in English, grows to enjoy learning, but never forgetting the monk.. Given six months, to go with his friend, and resume their impossible, strange, quest. The lama had visited numerous, Buddhist shrines, waiting for Kim, many unlikely incidents happen, on the road, even arriving near, the mighty Himalayas. Greatly helped by a rich, cantankerous, kindly woman, the Sahiba, as they go and see this unique land, spies are everywhere here, unknown dangers, but the real story of this book, is India... As Kim asks... who is Kim? Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Jains, Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, British or Indian. That question can be answered very easily, Kim is now a man, who loves India....You will too , if you read this novel.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Orsodimondo

    IL RAGAZZO CHE NON VOLLE FARSI RE Romanzo per ragazzi, e per adulti. Lettura per tutti. Romanzo picaresco, quindi d’avventura, di viaggio. Ma anche romanzo di spionaggio, racconto mistico, d’iniziazione… Romanzo intriso di speranza, di fiducia nella possibilità, un inno alla gioia: è gioia leggerlo e gioia è quella che comunica e trasmette. Il suo nome completo è Kimball O’Hara: è l’orfano di un sergente irlandese che ha sposato in India la governante della famiglia di un colonnello inglese, sua ma IL RAGAZZO CHE NON VOLLE FARSI RE Romanzo per ragazzi, e per adulti. Lettura per tutti. Romanzo picaresco, quindi d’avventura, di viaggio. Ma anche romanzo di spionaggio, racconto mistico, d’iniziazione… Romanzo intriso di speranza, di fiducia nella possibilità, un inno alla gioia: è gioia leggerlo e gioia è quella che comunica e trasmette. Il suo nome completo è Kimball O’Hara: è l’orfano di un sergente irlandese che ha sposato in India la governante della famiglia di un colonnello inglese, sua madre, morta di colera – il padre comincia a vivere come un vagabondo, dedito all’oppio, e muore giovane. Kim viene cresciuto da una donna indiana. Questa donna gli ha cucito un porta-amuleti che Kim tiene addosso, nel quale conserva i tre documenti che lo riconoscono di razza bianca, incluso un certificato massonico (proprio tramite questo viene riconosciuto e ‘catturato’, adottato e arruolato dall’esercito inglese). La Great Trunk Road all’epoca di Kipling. È il bianco più nero e il nero più bianco, il più povero dei poveri tra i bianchi, cresciuto per le strade, libero indipendente irrequieto, un perfetto incrocio di razze, la bianca e l’indigena, entrambe accettate integrate perfezionate. Un mix felicemente esplosivo che si esprime in una curiosità smisurata per il mondo e i suoi abitanti: la gioia di Kim è muoversi, spostarsi, viaggiare, vedere, ascoltare, incontrare, conoscere, vivere in prima persona ogni possibile esperienza. Il film del 1950: Kim, impersonato da un giovanissimo Dean Stockwell, è in braccio al mercante pashtun di cavalli, interpretato da Errol Flynn. Kim è soprannominato il ‘Piccolo Amico di tutto il Mondo’: piccolo perché è giovane, tredici anni all’inizio del racconto – e, amico di tutto il mondo per quanto detto sopra, per la sua apertura curiosità interesse. Un ragazzino che vuol fare esperienza e accrescere conoscenza, ma di entrambe è già pieno: del male già sapeva tutto da che aveva la parola. Quando inizia la storia lo troviamo a cavalcioni del fusto di un cannone, monumento al centro di una piazza, che non faceva niente, e con enorme successo, un monello per le strade di Lahore che vive di espedienti, disposto a mendicare se occorre, sveglio, furbo, intelligente, pronto a cogliere l’attimo, a non sprecare nessuna occasione. Kim a cavalcioni del fusto di un cannone e il lama tibetano che attraversa la piazza: il loro primo incontro. Mi ha ricordato i due celebri personaggi giovani inventati da Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, e soprattutto Huckleberry Finn. Su è giù per il subcontinente, lungo la Grand Trunk Road, alla ricerca del sacro fiume per accompagnare il lama tibetano nel suo pellegrinaggio, e contemporaneamente studiando e trasformandosi in spia dell’impero inglese. L’Inghilterra e la Russia, due imperi, si sfidavano per il controllo dell’Asia con quello che è stato definito il Grande Gioco, portato avanti da spioni e soprattutto spie di professione. Che farà Kim alla fine, quale sarà il seguito della sua avventura, calcare le orme del suo lama tibetano o darsi anima e corpo ai servizi segreti inglesi? Mi piace pensare che non trascurerà nessuna possibilità, e porterà avanti entrambe, continuando il gioco della sua vita. Illustrazione del romanzo nell’edizione originale del 1901 a opera del padre di Kipling, John Lockwood Kipling

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    Although somewhat drowned in Orientalist ideals and British colonialism, Kim is an exciting tale of espionage and adventure for kids of all ages 9 to 99. It is an exciting read. I just with that Kipling had been a little less bigoted towards the Empire. Nonetheless, probably the peak of his writing for children at least in terms of character and plot development and complexity.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Kim served as inspiration for my novel "The Game", the seventh entry in the Mary Russell series. Feel free to come and join in the discussion, even if you come across this after December has passed--the discussion will remain open indefinitely for new thoughts and comments. Click for more information about the Virtual Book Club Oh, this is such a wonderful book. Coming-of-age tale and historical treatise; spy thriller and travel narrative; rousing adventure coupled with a sleek and subtle tale Kim served as inspiration for my novel "The Game", the seventh entry in the Mary Russell series. Feel free to come and join in the discussion, even if you come across this after December has passed--the discussion will remain open indefinitely for new thoughts and comments. Click for more information about the Virtual Book Club Oh, this is such a wonderful book. Coming-of-age tale and historical treatise; spy thriller and travel narrative; rousing adventure coupled with a sleek and subtle tale of the meeting of ancient traditions—and all of it told in a rotund and glorious English that would make Shakespeare feel right at home. Read it aloud: "He sat, in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammah…" The short patter of a two-word phrase: when used to open a book it is a vigorous and active statement, not some paired monosyllable made feeble by surrounding text. The phrase, tucked apart by the comma, is followed by the perfect juxtaposition of defiance and municipal orders: the mind's eye is immediately shown a small brown urchin facing down the cumbersome, pale, foreign tools of white authority. Then comes the drawn-out adverb astride: a mere eight words into the story, and we receive our first intimation that this creature who sits will turn out to straddle much more than the barrel of a big gun. And then the personification of that gun, Zam-Zammah, a name that fills the mouth from teeth to soft palate. Prose that swells the chest and engages the mind. And I'll bet the bastard didn't even fiddle endlessly with that line in order to get it right. Rudyard Kipling breathed the air of India for his formative years. He was an Englishman, who never doubted the superiority of the British way of life, or of the British person. And yet, Kim is infused with the opposite, the native's good-humored willingness to go along with the Sahib because after all, the poor white man needs to think himself superior, and it doesn't hurt to permit him, does it? Thus, Kipling's characters are both caricature and fully realized individuals: his Babu is every upstart Bengali who came up against the Raj and failed, although not quite utterly—and his Babu is a man with enough stout self-regard to play the role of an upstart Bengali who came up against the Raj and failed, because that role is a most useful disguise when dealing with men of the West, who see the world in two dimensions. Kim is both easy to read and hard to digest. Kipling's world view was that of the English Imperialist, with Victoria on the throne and God in His place. I don't know that I would call Kim a "profoundly embarrassing" novel, but it does without a doubt open a rich vein of discussion on colonial responsibilities, just as Mark Twain's novels open up discussions on American racism. Anyone interested in the background of the story, particularly the real life paradigms for Lurgan Sahib and Colonel Creighton, would do well to look at Peter Hopkirk's excellent Quest for Kim. It will have you eyeing the cost of travel to Simla…

  5. 5 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    “There is no sin so great as ignorance. Remember this.” ― Rudyard Kipling, Kim This is one of those novels that I read and instantly regreted not reading earlier when I was a boy. I was able, however, to experience reading this with my two kids (one boy 12; one girl 11). It was perfect. I wandered into it expecting a well-written, more or less Empire-centric Colonial novel. It was way more than that. I get the whole Postcolonial Lit thing, but I'm not ready to abandon Kim to this debate or even t “There is no sin so great as ignorance. Remember this.” ― Rudyard Kipling, Kim This is one of those novels that I read and instantly regreted not reading earlier when I was a boy. I was able, however, to experience reading this with my two kids (one boy 12; one girl 11). It was perfect. I wandered into it expecting a well-written, more or less Empire-centric Colonial novel. It was way more than that. I get the whole Postcolonial Lit thing, but I'm not ready to abandon Kim to this debate or even the Colonial designation. It is so much more. It is an bildungsroman, an adventure story, a wild vibration of the whole of India (North and South, mountains and plains, rich and poor, rivers and roads, believer and unbeliever). I was a tad worried at first that the specificity of the place and time would throw off my kids , but it was like driving through a country bazar in a foreign country. They didn't understand every sign or shout, but were transported by the smells, the vistas and the atmposphere of Kipling's last great masterpiece.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This coming of age tale had a lot of charm in many spots, but too often was a bit slow for my tastes. Kim O’Hara is a 12-year old orphan in Lahore in the 1850’s, child of an Irish soldier and Indian mother. Despite the loss of both parents he thrives well as a street urchin, always finding a way to make himself useful to community members or to engage sympathy from strangers and thus able to earn or beg his daily keep. His life opens up when he assists a Tibetan lama on a pilgrimage and joins hi This coming of age tale had a lot of charm in many spots, but too often was a bit slow for my tastes. Kim O’Hara is a 12-year old orphan in Lahore in the 1850’s, child of an Irish soldier and Indian mother. Despite the loss of both parents he thrives well as a street urchin, always finding a way to make himself useful to community members or to engage sympathy from strangers and thus able to earn or beg his daily keep. His life opens up when he assists a Tibetan lama on a pilgrimage and joins him on the road, pretending to be a disciple. He carries a coded message for an itinerant Afghan Pashtun horse trader, which turns out to serve the British secret service in their campaign against insurgents against their colonial rule. He already knows several languages and is a master of disguise and escape, skills which the British develop through mentoring by others in the secret network along his travels. At one point he is sent to a Catholic school for British kids, but he gets away for long holidays and further adventures in the freedom of the road. Kipling was a jingoistic true believer in the rightness of British imperialism. Yet he clearly loved India and its diversity of peoples and respects their cultural differences. But he sees through a romantic lens. Still that lens is a wonderful way to view the world, especially given Kipling’s poetic skills in writing. The alluring fantasy he constructs is that being open with the senses to the world and its people, unbound by creed or family responsibilities, is an ideal state of being in true harmony with the world. The morality of pretense and lies that allows Kim to thrive is no dark cloud because of his playful attitude it seems. All the spy work is not driven by ideology, but by the thrill of being “in the game”. Having a few friends he can be truthful with grounds him, and the spirituality of the lama and his quest for the origins of a sacred river rubs off on him. Yet there is little development in Kim’s character over the several years covered in the book. His perpetual journey is its own end. The sense of the book as a travel tale, exploring the geography and urban settings of India, was part of the book’s charm. It would be great to travel with such a boy who sees the world as his oyster and each day a promise of exciting new adventures. Here is a sample passage that conveys tis flavor: The diamond-bright dawn woke men and cows and bullocks together. Kim sat up and yawned, shook himself and thrilled with delight. This was seeing the world in real truth; this was life as he would have it—bustling and shouting, the buckling of belts, and beating of bullocks and creaking of wheels, lighting of fires and cooking of food, and new sights at every turn of the approving eye. The morning mist swept off a swirl of the silver; the parrots shot away to some distant river in shrieking green hosts; all the well-wheels within earshot were at work. India was awake, and Kim was in the middle of it, more awake and excited than any one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    You know those books that you know from the very first page, you’re going to love it… this wasn’t that. You know those other books that start out slow and it takes you awhile, but soon you find yourself hooked? Nope, this was not one of those either. In fact, I made it through the entire book without every really feeling invested in any way, shape or form. I persevered only because I started it a few months ago and gave it up, then restarted it, convinced I’d get through it. It’s one of Kipling’ You know those books that you know from the very first page, you’re going to love it… this wasn’t that. You know those other books that start out slow and it takes you awhile, but soon you find yourself hooked? Nope, this was not one of those either. In fact, I made it through the entire book without every really feeling invested in any way, shape or form. I persevered only because I started it a few months ago and gave it up, then restarted it, convinced I’d get through it. It’s one of Kipling’s most lauded books and it’s on a million must read lists and there’s got to be something else there. But in the end it just didn’t work for me. A young Irish boy, Kim, is orphaned in India during the 19th century. He becomes a disciple of a Tibetan Lama, Teshoo Lama, and travels with him on his quest. Eventually a British regiment takes him under their wing and enrolls him in an English school. They decide to groom him to become a spy. I loved some of Kipling’s short stories (The Jungle Book, etc.), but this one left me feeling cold. It’s suppose to be a “spy” novel in some way, but instead of having any solid plot it meanders and muses about life. It felt both boring and tiresome and I couldn't help but wonder why we were suppose to care about what happened to Kim. I know I should have more to say about this book, but honestly, I was just glad to be done with it. If anyone loved this book I would be thrilled to hear why.

  8. 4 out of 5

    James

    While it is one of the most beautiful tales of friendship I have ever read, Kim is much more. Rudyard Kipling created in Kim a novel in the mold of the classic heroic journey that has a pedigree reaching back to Gilgamesh and the Odyssey. With Kim, a young white boy, sahib, at it's center and his friend and mentor the Lama, we see the world of India in the nineteenth century as it is ruled by Great Britain. The story unfolds against the backdrop of The Great Game, the political conflict between While it is one of the most beautiful tales of friendship I have ever read, Kim is much more. Rudyard Kipling created in Kim a novel in the mold of the classic heroic journey that has a pedigree reaching back to Gilgamesh and the Odyssey. With Kim, a young white boy, sahib, at it's center and his friend and mentor the Lama, we see the world of India in the nineteenth century as it is ruled by Great Britain. The story unfolds against the backdrop of The Great Game, the political conflict between Russia and Britain in Central Asia. It is set after the Second Afghan War which ended in 1881, but before the Third. The novel is notable for its detailed portrait of the people, culture, and varied religions of India. While Kim is often categorized as a children's novel it has much to offer adult readers not unlike other "children's" books like Huckleberry Finn. Kipling raises questions of identity (Who is Kim?), culture, spirituality and the nature of fate. Most of all he depicts the growth of a young man through his quest to find his destiny and the bond that develops between Kim as 'chela' or disciple and his Lama. The greatness of this novel lies in Kipling's ability to combine all of these themes with a natural style that conveys the richness both of the lives of Kim and his friends and the fecundity of life in India; a vivid picture of India, its teeming populations, religions, and superstitions, and the life of the bazaars and the road. One of the most enduring images for me was the close tie Kim has with the land itself. This is shown several times throughout the novel culminating in his final renewal when he is stretched out on the earth near the end of the novel. The epic quest is successful as this novel unfolds a positive and uplifting narrative.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    Single Quote Review: It was all there in Kipling, barring the epilogue of the Indian inheritance. A journey to India was not really necessary. No writer was more honest or accurate; no writer was more revealing of himself and his society. He has left us Anglo-India; to people these relics of the Raj we have only to read him. We find a people conscious of their roles, conscious of their power and separateness, yet at the same time fearful of expressing their delight at their situation: they are a Single Quote Review: It was all there in Kipling, barring the epilogue of the Indian inheritance. A journey to India was not really necessary. No writer was more honest or accurate; no writer was more revealing of himself and his society. He has left us Anglo-India; to people these relics of the Raj we have only to read him. We find a people conscious of their roles, conscious of their power and separateness, yet at the same time fearful of expressing their delight at their situation: they are all burdened by responsibilities. The responsibilities are real; but the total effect is that of a people at play. They are all actors; they know what is expected of them; no one will give the game away. ~ V.S. Naipaul, An Area of Darkness

  10. 4 out of 5

    Apatt

    “We'd go down to the river And into the river we'd dive Oh down to the river we'd ride” That’s Bruce Springsteen, not Rudyard Kipling. All the mentions of The River just reminds me of this song. So Kim is all about the adventures of a young Irish boy, Kimball O'Hara, in British colonial India. Kim starts off as a Tom Sawyer-ish, or Bart Simpson-esq, little scamp. One day he encounters an elderly Tibetan Lama and volunteers to become his disciple in order to go adventuring on the monk’s pilgrimage “We'd go down to the river And into the river we'd dive Oh down to the river we'd ride” That’s Bruce Springsteen, not Rudyard Kipling. All the mentions of The River just reminds me of this song. So Kim is all about the adventures of a young Irish boy, Kimball O'Hara, in British colonial India. Kim starts off as a Tom Sawyer-ish, or Bart Simpson-esq, little scamp. One day he encounters an elderly Tibetan Lama and volunteers to become his disciple in order to go adventuring on the monk’s pilgrimage in his quest for the mystical River of the Arrow. En route he encounters British, Russian and French spies, and decides to become one himself (for the Brits of course); to participate in “the Great Game” (of espionage). Ooh, I dunno about this. I like the colorful characters of Kim, the Lama, and the various spies. I am particularly intrigued by the Lama, is he a true mystic or just an old loony? I really like the cosmic and somewhat ambiguous ending, it’s like, totally Woodstock man! My slight problem with Kim, the book, not the character, is that—as a Boy’s Own adventure—it’s a bit boring really. Sorry. The espionage side of it really falls flat for me. I was not expecting Kim to order martinis, shaken but not stirred, race around in a Ferrari that morphs into a submarine, or have it off with tons of supermodelly girls in formal gowns. No, I did not expect all that, but what I did get was not all that (apologies to my grammar sensei, Cecily, for this appalling sentence). As a spy thriller Kim just did not thrill me, my eyebrows remain disappointingly unelevated throughout. On the other hand, the philosophical side of Kim is very interesting. His crisis of identity and his eventual coming to terms with his duality is thought provoking stuff. I also admire how Kipling portrays the Lama’s pacifist nature and his vague mystical ramblings are interesting and often humorous. His angst at almost wanting to punch someone is adorable. At the end of the day, on the whole, when push comes to shove, to cut a long story short, without beating around the bush, or barking up the wrong tree, or cutting off my nose to spite my face, I kinda like this book. I think. ______________________ Note Librivox Audiobook very nicely read by Adrian Praetzellis. Thank you!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Duffy

    One of the best books I've ever read, and one that I'm sure will stick with me for a long, long time. Not to say it's always an easy book. For one, it's pretty colonial-feeling, what with its fondness for dropping the n-word on anyone browner than an Englishman, its blithe references to sneaky, inconstant "orientals," and so forth - so much so that it's distracting and jarring in a few places. As a 21st century reader, it took me some mental effort to get past that casual matter-of-fact racist l One of the best books I've ever read, and one that I'm sure will stick with me for a long, long time. Not to say it's always an easy book. For one, it's pretty colonial-feeling, what with its fondness for dropping the n-word on anyone browner than an Englishman, its blithe references to sneaky, inconstant "orientals," and so forth - so much so that it's distracting and jarring in a few places. As a 21st century reader, it took me some mental effort to get past that casual matter-of-fact racist language, but much the same as with The Trembling of a Leaf, another colonial-era work that niggers and chinks its way through the Eastern hemisphere, I was richly rewarded for that effort. And as has been pointed out to me in the comments section of this review (and I agree after a rereading and some thought), for as much as the characters constantly mention racial stereotypes, they don't necessarily live up to them, and Kipling leaves every man or woman to be judged on his or her actions. The greatest element of the book, the thing that propels the plot, illuminates the places, brings the other characters to life, and (most importantly) makes you care about any of it, is Kim himself. Kimball O'Hara must be one of most lovable, believable, absorbing characters in all of literature. Kipling's quintessential urchin is streetwise, smartassed, clever, courageous, with chutzpah to spare; yet unmistakably still a kid, capable of boredom, fear, and loneliness. He's also complex: for example, it's established early on in the story that Kim is not above cynically exploiting other people's religions and superstitions in order to secure himself room and board, or escape trouble, yet he frequently allows his own steps to be guided by prophecy and the supernatural. Most importantly, Kim is not static. I think one of the hardest feats for an author is to portray a child's progression to adulthood convincingly, and Kipling does an amazing job of it here. For Kim's presence alone, this book would be well worth the read, but other storytelling treats are here for the taking, as well. For one, it's a fantastic spy thriller, set in the so-called "Great Game" played for control of India in the late 19th century. Deception, disguise, theft, secret agents, overarching plots whose true aims are hidden from those who are carrying them out - it's all here, like a slightly low-tech James Bond story. Kim is also a fascinating depiction of a clash between religions and cultures. Without seeming to make a big deal out of it, Kim is a story of Hindus, Buddhists, Jainists, Sikhs, Muslims, and Christians rubbing shoulders with varying degrees of respect and tolerance. Characters frequently switch languages in mid-conversation, either to facilitate comprehension, underscore particular social or religious meanings, or exclude certain people. Credit here must be given to Kipling for doing a fantastic job at transliterating different accents and dialects. That's usually difficult for an author to pull off convincingly, but here it is flawlessly done. Particularly effective is when Kim and other characters switch from translated Hindi, fluent and full of thees and thous, to transliterated English that comes out like "Oah, I am verr-ee sorr-ee, Sahib," and can't help but be read with the author's intended diction and cadence. Finally, of all the works of fiction I've read, this may be the one that portrays Buddhist ideals with the greatest clarity and beauty, and it is earnest and sensitive in its depiction of Westerners finding enlightenment through Eastern religion. In this regard, I think it even surpasses The Razor's Edge and may be rivaled only by Richard Herley's The Drowning. I think I will feel the urge to reread this book soon, and I encourage you to read it if you haven't done so already. It's a story about friendship, loyalty, courage, and finding redemption, even when that word means different things to different people. It's smart, funny, and touching. A total classic.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    It’s been a long time since I’ve graduated law school, a longer time for college, and a million years (give or take a year) since high school. That means it’s been a long time since I’ve been forced to read a particular book. I’ve always loved to read. And I’ve always hated assigned reading. I’ve despised books I’d otherwise enjoy simply because I’m told to read it on a deadline and feel a particular intellectual response. So, ever since my last diploma, I’ve been reading whatever I want. If you It’s been a long time since I’ve graduated law school, a longer time for college, and a million years (give or take a year) since high school. That means it’s been a long time since I’ve been forced to read a particular book. I’ve always loved to read. And I’ve always hated assigned reading. I’ve despised books I’d otherwise enjoy simply because I’m told to read it on a deadline and feel a particular intellectual response. So, ever since my last diploma, I’ve been reading whatever I want. If you look at my bookshelf, you can tell. The Civil War right here. A growing shelf of World War I over there. My collection on the Plains Indian Wars taking up nearly an entire miniature bookcase from Ikea. There’s nothing wrong with reading what you want. Especially as you get older, you have less time; if you’re going to devote it to reading, you should enjoy the book. At the same time, I’ve always believed in reading as an exercise, and certain books a worthwhile challenge. If you go to the gym every day and do the same routine at the same intensity level, you eventually stop seeing results. It’s the same with reading. That’s where my book club comes in. A group of my guy friends, inspired by our wives, decided to form our own literary society, devoted to drinking beer, eating apps, and talking about the printed word. A side benefit, besides the beer and mini tacos, is that I’ve had to read books I wouldn’t otherwise choose, and thereby use my brain for something other than meditations on the Battle of Gettysburg. This is how – I came to read Rudyard Kipling’s Kim. Kim is one of those books, based almost solely on the title, that I never would have read without a little push. It’s recognized as a classic, but sometimes gets left off the list of all time greats. The titular Kim is Kimball O’Hara, an orphaned Irish boy living in India in the late 1800s. He is a beggar who has become so accustomed to life in Lahore that he is seldom taken for a white boy. He is a puckish, plucky protagonist, with a mischievous sense of adventure that makes him feel like the hero of a Boy’s Own tale. Within the novel’s first few pages, he meets a Tibetan Lama (not a llama, which would have been a marvelous twist) who is looking for the River of the Arrow to free himself from the Wheel of Things. This ridiculous notion appeals to Kim, who immediately offers his services as the Lama’s chela, a follower or disciple. Thus begins their adventure – an episodic road-trip, in which colorful characters are met, and then left behind. Since this is a plot-light novel, to reveal much more would probably give too much. Needless to say, Kim and the Lama become entwined in “the Great Game,” the typically British, typically understated title given to the competition between Britain and Tsarist Russian for control of Central Asia. (Kim came to the attention of my book club due to our discussion of colonialism. In the novel, however, that subject exists only in the background. Kipling never makes any critique, positive or otherwise, about Great Britain’s rule of India. The power structure is simply accepted for what it is, without any mention. This, I suppose, may be a statement in and of itself). Frankly, I was underwhelmed by Kim. It was okay. Part of this reaction has to do with Kim’s appellation as a classic, and all that implies. A book that’s on Modern Library’s Top 100 should do a bit more to grab you by the lapel and insist upon its own worth. The reality, though, is that Kim isn’t world-changing. It is not a terribly challenging read. It lacks the ambition or scope of Melville or Tolstoy, or the psychological excavation of Dostoyevsky, or even the seat-of-your-pants story-spinning of Dickens. It really boils down to a YA novel, where a spirited boy finds a mentor (the Lama), sets out on a journey (to the mythical, sacred river), and generally outwits all the adults he meets. Still, I generally found Kim a pleasant enough read. Kipling lived in India, and it shows in his marvelous descriptions of the bustle, the sights and smells, the colors, the mishmash of peoples and cultures and practices. He clearly has an intimacy with the place, the roads his characters walk. And he has a fondness also, that comes through his protagonist. The lama never raised his eyes. He did not note the money-lender on his goose-rumped pony, hastening along to collect the cruel interest; or the long-shouting, deep-voiced little mob – still in military formation – of native soldiers on leave, rejoicing to be rid of their breeches and puttees, and saying the most outrageous things to the most respectable women in sight. Even the seller of Ganges-water he did not see, and Kim expected that he would at least buy a bottle of that precious stuff. He looked steadily at the ground, and strode as steadily hour after hour, his soul busied elsewhere. But Kim was in the seventh heaven of joy. The Grand Trunk at this point was built on an embankment to guard against winter floods from the foothills, so that one walked, as it were a little above the country, along a stately corridor, seeing all India spread out left and right. It was beautiful to behold the many-yoked grain and cotton wagons crawling over the country roads: one could hear their axles, complaining a mile away, coming nearer, till with shouts and yells and bad words they climbed up the steep incline…It was equally beautiful to watch the people, little clumps of red and blue and pink and white and saffron, turning aside to go to their own villages, dispersing and growing small by twos and threes across the level plain. Kim felt these things, though he could not give tongue to his feelings, and so contented himself with buying peeled sugarcane and spitting the pith generously about his path. Another pleasure, related to the first, is Kipling’s exploration of the many different religions bumping against each other in India. The novel is driven by faith and spirituality, and Kipling shows a genuine interest in these, as well as a certain open-heartedness to all beliefs, as expressed in this speech from Mahbub Ali, a Pashtun horse trader and erstwhile British spy: “Thou art beyond question an unbeliever, and therefore thou wilt be damned. So says my Law – or I think it does. But thou art also my Little Friend of all the World, and I love thee. So says my heart. This matter of creeds is like horseflesh. The wise man knows horses are good – that there is profit to be made from all; and for myself – but that I am a good Sunni and hate the men of Tirah – I could believe the same of all the Faiths. Now manifestly a Kattiawar mare taken from the sands of her birthplace and removed to the west of Bengal founders – nor is even a Balkh stallion… of any account in the great Northern deserts beside the snow-camels I have seen. Therefore I say in my heart the Faiths are like horses. Each has merit in its own country. It’s fair to say that my main reaction is to have no strong reaction at all. As I noted above, Kim is not hard to read, with the exception of the dialogue. The dialogue is swollen by colloquialisms and local idioms, filled with obscure allusions and references (that can only be deciphered by the endnotes), and studded with enough “thees” and “thous” to sink the Mayflower. The one difficulty in Kim is figuring out what people are saying in this heavily stylized manner of speaking. Unfortunately, most of the exposition takes place in dialogue, so understanding is critical. The real downer of Kim is its ending. The road-trip of Kim and the Lama builds to a climax and then fizzles out like a cheap sparkler. The ending is abrupt and disappointing, which would’ve meant more to me had I had more invested in the first place.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Even though I share the name of the hero of this novel, I've chosen not to read it until now. There's more than one reason for this. The main reason is that I'm not naturally drawn to picaresque novels or to espionage novels, even though I've read my fair share of books from both genres. I've also had an instinctively negative reaction to Kipling because of my not terribly well-informed view of him as an apologist for British imperialism. However, in the last few days I've started reading the se Even though I share the name of the hero of this novel, I've chosen not to read it until now. There's more than one reason for this. The main reason is that I'm not naturally drawn to picaresque novels or to espionage novels, even though I've read my fair share of books from both genres. I've also had an instinctively negative reaction to Kipling because of my not terribly well-informed view of him as an apologist for British imperialism. However, in the last few days I've started reading the seventh book in Laurie R King's Mary Russell series, The Game, which features an older Kim, some thirty years after the events of this novel. While King's homage to Kipling's work made me download the audiobook narrated by Sam Dastor, it was Kipling's skill as a writer and storyteller which kept me totally engaged with the narrative. Kim is the story of Kimball O'Hara, the orphaned son of an Irish soldier and a poor Irish woman, who lives by his wits on the streets of Lahore, becomes the disciple of a Tibetan Lama looking for the river which will bring him enlightenment, falls into the hands of the British military, acquires an education, is trained as a spy and plays a part in the Great Game - the battle for supremacy between the British and Russian Empires in Central Asia. Kim is a book which I could easily have disliked. The boy's own adventure elements, the lack of significant female characters, the refences to "Orientals" and "Asiatics" could all have irritated me and/or upset my politically correct sensibilities. It is true that I found the espionage plot rather less interesting than the rest of the plot. However, my lasting impression of the novel will not be those things. Rather, it will be the picture which Kipling paints of India under British rule in the late 19th century. Kipling deals with India in all of its bewildering diversity: the various religious communities, the cities and the rural areas, the plains and the mountains, the influence of the British on India and of India on the British. The other aspect of Kim which will remain with me is Kipling's treatment of the theme of identity. Kim has to find where he belongs in a land where social standing is determined by family, by caste and by religion. His questioning of his identity at various points in the novel is immensely moving. What I'll also take from Kim is the love for India and its people which Kipling clearly brought to the writing of the novel. Sam Dastor's narration is amazing. He has a distinct voice for each character. Indeed, he subtly (and in relation to one character not so subtly) alters voices depending on whether the character is speaking English or Hindi or Urdu. I am persuaded that listening to the novel rather than reading it significantly increased by appreciation of the work. Listening to Kim has been a very enjoyable experience, up there in 4-1/2 star territory.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    ETA: Ooops, I misspelled lama, using instead the spelling for the fuzzy animal sort, which IS spelled llama! ;0) Thanks Kim for telling me! You CAN listen to a Librivox audiobook in the car. I have now discovered that you should click on the download buttons found next to each chapter visible in the Librivox app. You must click on all of them. If you don't click on each chapter's download button, you need wifi to listen when using the app. In the car you also must use an AUX jack. Leslie and Greg ETA: Ooops, I misspelled lama, using instead the spelling for the fuzzy animal sort, which IS spelled llama! ;0) Thanks Kim for telling me! You CAN listen to a Librivox audiobook in the car. I have now discovered that you should click on the download buttons found next to each chapter visible in the Librivox app. You must click on all of them. If you don't click on each chapter's download button, you need wifi to listen when using the app. In the car you also must use an AUX jack. Leslie and Greg explained this to me. Thank you, both of you! Now the review: ************************************** I didn't hate the book, but I definitely wanted it to end as soon as possible..... I liked one thing and that was how I felt the atmosphere of India, or how I imagine it might have been. The clatter, the exotic Eastern foods and smells, the feel of the air, the light. Musky sometimes. Clear and sharp, dazzling and sparkling at other times. Indians are composed of so many different castes and subgroups with varying beliefs, traditions, customs and religious affiliations. This book draws this well. I enjoyed the adjectives chosen, the descriptive metaphors for the mountains and hills, for all the different landscapes. The book is partially a travelogue, and this is what I enjoyed most. However, I cannot say I now have a feeling for what cultural differences and traditions dividing Pashtun from Sikh or Sufi, for example. Although it describes different culture groups it doesn’t give much depth. There is humor, it you care to see it. The Himalayas are referred to as the "hills"..... Primarily this is an adventure story and about the fond relationship between, Kim, a twelve year old orphan at the book's beginning, and a lama. Kim is a half-caste; his mother had been Indian and his father Irish. He is a scamp, managing well in both worlds, the British world of power and spies and intrigue and the subservient but not self-deprecating Indian nationals. I am not sure of the date. I am guessing the end of 1800s because Russians were active along the northern border. The plot consists of a thread of adventure escapades. Kim grows into adulthood, and the lama he seeks understanding and wisdom. We don't stop maturing at a set age! The plot is a thread of stories and the path toward wisdom, understanding and maturity. I was neither drawn into the tales of adventure nor the spiritual growth. Neither am I fan of Rudyard Kipling's writing style. It is old-fashioned, wordy and ambiguous. The native Indians spoke imperfect English, but this made them just look silly. Adjectives were used when adverbs should have been chosen. I listened to this on my Ipod from a Librivox recording narrated by Adrian Praetzellis. Getting this to function properly took umpteen hours!!! Installing a Librivox app was absolutely necessary, and even then it didn’t function well. I could NOT listen in the car and Ipod's "Voice-Over" function did not work. I was not fond of the narrator, and he is one of the best at Librivox. What I hated most was that he made the lama sound like a moron. He spoke one word pause and one word pause.... this made him sound, well, stupid. A lama is wise, but not here! He read Kim’s part well. He spoke clearly and at a good speed. Others like a narrator to dramatize the lines. I don't, and he did here. I am glad I tried Librivox, but boy do I appreciate Audible even more after this experience. Nevertheless I still want to thank the numerous GR friends who have helped me test Librivox.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jim Coughenour

    Not for the first time – I was lucky enough to overstep (almost by accident) some stray prejudice and discover how wrong I was. For most of my life Kipling has been the onerous author of "If" – a poem I was forced to recite as a boy and which still makes me shudder. Of course I've known of his other books, including Kim, which I regarded as surviving in a dubious space somewhere between Disney and Edward Said's condemned Orientalists. It was only after making my way through Peter Hopkirk's The G Not for the first time – I was lucky enough to overstep (almost by accident) some stray prejudice and discover how wrong I was. For most of my life Kipling has been the onerous author of "If" – a poem I was forced to recite as a boy and which still makes me shudder. Of course I've known of his other books, including Kim, which I regarded as surviving in a dubious space somewhere between Disney and Edward Said's condemned Orientalists. It was only after making my way through Peter Hopkirk's The Great Game that I was tempted to find a copy of Kim and read it. Hopkirk, in fact, has written a companion to Kim, a bonus to fans of his earlier works. But as he saysthere is absolutely no substitute for reading Kim itself. For not only is it a deeply enjoyable book, but also a profoundly uplifting one, especially for anyone whose spirits are at low ebb. It emits an intense luminescence, like that spilling out of a landscape by Turner. A friend of mine suffering from a nasty bout of depression swore that reading Kim totally cured him. Indeed, some scholars believe that Kipling, who suffered badly from melancholia, wrote Kim to cure his own depression.What a friendly sentiment, I thought when I read these words, what enthusiastic exaggeration. No, it's not. Kim – for me anyway – is pure charm. I opened it thinking I'd just enjoy echoes of Hopkirk's history, but quickly found myself surrendering to the joy of the story. It's one of the best pre-auto "road trip" novels ever written. Kipling's characters are as various and winning as any in Dickens. His India is variegated enchantment, at once comic and humming with an ancient dignity that makes the Sahibs superficial. Yes, I know that Kipling is the infamous author of "The White Man's Burden." But to dismiss Kipling's obvious love for India – its landscapes, peoples and cultures – as a bunch of Imperialist hooey strikes me as a kind of willful bitterness. Few, very few, people have written a story as perfect as this – a story that allows you to feel 14 and 54 at the same time.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Kim, or Kimball O’ Hara, is a British boy who has grown up on the streets of Lahore at the height of British rule in India. He lives like a native Indian, speaks Hindi fluently and knows the city like the back of his hand. Immensely street-wise, he makes a living by carrying messages for all kinds of people including an Afghan horse-dealer called Mahbub Ali who is himself involved in espionage on behalf of the British government. Kim’s ability to be part of more than one community makes him a pe Kim, or Kimball O’ Hara, is a British boy who has grown up on the streets of Lahore at the height of British rule in India. He lives like a native Indian, speaks Hindi fluently and knows the city like the back of his hand. Immensely street-wise, he makes a living by carrying messages for all kinds of people including an Afghan horse-dealer called Mahbub Ali who is himself involved in espionage on behalf of the British government. Kim’s ability to be part of more than one community makes him a perfect choice for an agent and he is drawn into the ‘Great Game’, as it is known by its exponents, while at the same time he becomes the disciple of a Tibetan lama who is seeking enlightenment. Kipling has been accused of being racist and it is clear that he believes implicitly that British rule is a good thing for India since ‘Orientals’ are intrinsically less rational and therefore less able to govern themselves. However, the picture is not quite that simple. He is obviously besotted with India and has nothing but scorn for British and other Europeans who fail to understand the depth and beauty of the culture. In this novel he paints a picture of a continent in which British and Indian elements have mingled to create a complex web of overlapping identities. It’s a fascinating book, brimming-over with colour, permeated by a gentle humour and offering a fascinating perspective on Imperial India. Yes, Kipling is patronising; yes he is an apologist for imperialism; yes he believes in the superiority of the white man; but he is also respectful of what he recognises to be an ancient civilisation with much to teach his own; and a very real sense of delight in that civilisation runs through every word of this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    As I said of another classic adventure story of The Great Game, the East is a fantasy. This is not only true for writers like Mundy, who experienced it as an outsider, or Howard, who experienced it only through books--it's also true for those who, like Kipling, were born and raised there. Indeed, many of our most cherished fantasies tend to relate to the place we were born--when we find ourselves defending it, or singing its praises. It's not that the details we give aren't true, it's that we hav As I said of another classic adventure story of The Great Game, the East is a fantasy. This is not only true for writers like Mundy, who experienced it as an outsider, or Howard, who experienced it only through books--it's also true for those who, like Kipling, were born and raised there. Indeed, many of our most cherished fantasies tend to relate to the place we were born--when we find ourselves defending it, or singing its praises. It's not that the details we give aren't true, it's that we have a sort of rosy-quartz view about the place that made us. It also comes out in what we dislike about our home, what tired and frustrated us--there is a whole mythology within us of what exactly we believe our provenance to be like, and it is more the truth of us than the truth of that place. Kipling's Kim is often considered his greatest work, and as Said's introduction notes, it is one of his only works that profits from close reading. His others are certainly enjoyable, and have certain themes, but tend to wear these on the chest, while Kim presents a rather more complex relationship. Of course, there was an uproar when it was announced that the Penguin edition would feature an introduction from Said, but as someone who has actually read his work, I was not concerned he would do Kipling wrong. Indeed, his treatment is even-handed, noting both the strengths and flaws of the text, and bringing together many interesting observations from other sources. It is a boys' club book, about the doings of men in their 'Great Game' of death and deceit. Of women there are two: a whore and a mother figure, and neither one strays beyond the bounds of her given role. Indeed, this book was one of the inspirations for the creation of the Boy Scouts, after the romantic adventure of Kipling's young fellow. It's also certainly a tale of privilege, as of course, that is the role Kipling himself was born into: of being free from social constraints, on the top of the heap, able to go where and when he liked, and in whatever guise, for there was none to gainsay him. But beyond these bounds, it is certainly a wondrous and vivid tale, full of color and character, all those little details and curious turns of phrase that make a good adventure. Indeed, there is much more of the fantastical in this than in many adventure books--magic and mysticism have central roles, as do cultural dissonance, even if Kipling ultimately ignores the great and central conflict which first showed itself in the Sepoy Uprising, and grew to eventual fruition in Gandhi and at last, independence. Rarely have I seen the Other and the defamiliarization of ideas portrayed so wholly, particularly in a colonial work--and if Kipling had used these strengths to tackle the great central conflict that looms over all, the work would have been truly profound. The relationship between Kim and the Lama is the crux here, the deep and genuine friendship between stereotypically Eastern and Western figures, which crosses boundaries of faith, philosophy, race, and language, seeking ever for mutual ground and further understanding. Yet that the old man is a fool, and that Kim ultimately tricks him, secretly committing himself to the colonial role while paying outward respect is unfortunate. There is a conflict between the two, but it is never allowed to come to the surface, it is never confronted and dealt with. Instead, the hope seems to be that if two disparate people can agree on the surface, that the fundamental contention between them is not worth exploring--when indeed, its usually the only thing that is, especially for a novelist, whose work is to drive to the heart of the matter. But then, as Said points out, it was a conflict that Kipling did not see, or did not want to see, and in the end, it weakens the tale. Kim is not really answerable to the people he claims to serve, and as he tries to work for them in secret, he really serves himself. The condescension of 'knowing better' and with that excuse, keeping others in the dark is perhaps The Great Sin of governance. But for that, it is an exciting tale, a thorough and palpable exploration of India and its people, as Kipling saw them, and brings to mind many important questions of the colonial role, Indiamania vs. Indiaphobia, and what it means to find yourself between cultures. If only Kipling had delved a bit more.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce

    My thoughts are that this was not (to me), a very interesting book. It lacked, for lack of a better word an important emotional piece and that would be the absence of a female protagonist. While I did admire the friendship and love/admiration piece that Kim and the llama shared between them, I did find the actual story to be dull and uninteresting. Sorry to say after having read a number of books on India, this particular novel fell short for me on the impact it had on my reading and understandi My thoughts are that this was not (to me), a very interesting book. It lacked, for lack of a better word an important emotional piece and that would be the absence of a female protagonist. While I did admire the friendship and love/admiration piece that Kim and the llama shared between them, I did find the actual story to be dull and uninteresting. Sorry to say after having read a number of books on India, this particular novel fell short for me on the impact it had on my reading and understanding of the Indian culture of Victorian times. I can certainly understand that in Victorian England this would have been both a departure and a very mysterious type novel since things Indian were considered to be strange and oftentimes unnerving. I believe this novel has lost a lot and that time has not been kind to its telling. I will, in all honesty, give Mr Kipling another try as he is considered by many to have been a prominent writer. However, I would not recommend this novel as one where I felt his skills as a story teller were stellar at all.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Creo que no era el momento para leer este libro. Y la edición, con tantas notas, no ha ayudado. La ambientación es buena, y a veces es interesante leer sobre países que no conocemos casi, pero no puedo ponerle más nota. Intentaré leerlo más adelante para ver si cambio de opinión.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katie Hanna

    THAT. WAS. FLIPPING. AWESOME. Rtc. Hopefully.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Monica.A

    Andrò controcorrente ma, per quanto mi riguarda, è un romanzo altamente sopravvalutato. Sarà che non riesco mai a sentirmi a mio agio con l'India, sarà che la storia di un accattone non stimola il mio interesse, ma Kim ha rasentato l'illegibilità. Se persino la breve nota introduttiva lo definisce un "romanzo senza trama" allora ringrazio di averla letta al termine di questo estenuante e incongruo viaggio. Molto da dire non c'è, le prime cento pagine sono praticamente illeggibili, infarcite di term Andrò controcorrente ma, per quanto mi riguarda, è un romanzo altamente sopravvalutato. Sarà che non riesco mai a sentirmi a mio agio con l'India, sarà che la storia di un accattone non stimola il mio interesse, ma Kim ha rasentato l'illegibilità. Se persino la breve nota introduttiva lo definisce un "romanzo senza trama" allora ringrazio di averla letta al termine di questo estenuante e incongruo viaggio. Molto da dire non c'è, le prime cento pagine sono praticamente illeggibili, infarcite di termini indiani e discorsi senza senso, poi verso il finale sembra un po' migliorare e destare un briciolo di interesse per la storia, ma ormai si è capito benissimo che, arrivati alla fine, non se ne ricaverà nulla, o quasi. Mi chiedo come si possa definire questa una lettura per ragazzi. Lo avessi letto durante l'infanzia mi avrebbe fatto fuggire terrorizzata da ogni altro tipo di lettura.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    I read Rudyard Kipling's Kim after reading Laurie King's The Game, a Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell mystery in which an adult Kim plays a major role. In Kipling's Kim, Kim is a savvy Irish child who was born in India; raised by a half-caste, opium-smoking woman after his parents died; and ran wild and curious in the subsequent years. At 13, he met up with his father's regiment, became a disciple to a lama, and joined the spy trade. I could read this story in several ways: as a light-hearted advent I read Rudyard Kipling's Kim after reading Laurie King's The Game, a Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell mystery in which an adult Kim plays a major role. In Kipling's Kim, Kim is a savvy Irish child who was born in India; raised by a half-caste, opium-smoking woman after his parents died; and ran wild and curious in the subsequent years. At 13, he met up with his father's regiment, became a disciple to a lama, and joined the spy trade. I could read this story in several ways: as a light-hearted adventure, a coming of age story, a spiritual journey, or an analysis of colonial England's interactions with India. The most compelling tellings for me are as a coming of age story or a spiritual journey. Kim feels like a story out of The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, for example, where the bright but untutored naïf makes the most of a series of chance interactions and saves his world. In this read of Kim, the lama and Yoda are almost interchangeable, with both serving as wise spiritual mentors. ‘Chela [disciple], know this. There are many lies in the world, and not a few liars, but there are no liars like our bodies, except it be the sensations of our bodies.’ .... With a laugh across his tears, Kim kissed the lama’s feet, and went about the tea-making. “Thou leanest on me in the body, Holy One, but I lean on thee for some other things. Dost know it?” “I have guessed maybe,” and the lama’s eyes twinkled. “We must change that.”Some readers of Kim focus on the colonialism that is background to the story, but to my read many of the British are minor characters and often buffoons. Although Kim is born to Irish parents and occasionally passes as a Sahib, he is Indian at heart rather than even bicultural. Kim does not value or promote rigidly following the rules, nor does a stiff upper lip find much play here; instead, this is a book that is home to curiosity, excitement, and passion and, to some degree, controlling that passion. Kim's was a life lived in the present moment. The reader, at least this reader, had as much fun reading Kim as Kim appeared to have in the regular course of his day. His passion fed my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris and Yuri

    "This is a great and terrible world. I never knew there were so many men alive in it." This is one of those books at the center of the academic street fight known as postcolonial studies. On one hand, Rudyard Kipling was a great (and Nobel Prize-winning) writer; on the other hand, he was an unabashed cheerleader of British and American imperialism. I wanted to read Kim, in fact, because Edward Said had so much to say about it (both good and bad) in Culture and Imperialism. Politics aside, though, "This is a great and terrible world. I never knew there were so many men alive in it." This is one of those books at the center of the academic street fight known as postcolonial studies. On one hand, Rudyard Kipling was a great (and Nobel Prize-winning) writer; on the other hand, he was an unabashed cheerleader of British and American imperialism. I wanted to read Kim, in fact, because Edward Said had so much to say about it (both good and bad) in Culture and Imperialism. Politics aside, though, Kim is a picaresque travelogue, a spy thriller, a spiritual quest, a search for father figures, and a coming of age story wrapped into one. That Kipling achieves such a multi-layered, multi-faceted and entertaining story in a little more than 200 pages is a testament to his skills as a writer. But there were more than a few times that I had to hold my nose while reading the book, because of Kipling's detestable opinions towards the "natives" and his high and mighty view of the white men who sought to rule and even define them.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fred Shaw

    Most people the age of 20 or better have read Kim by Rudyard Kipling. I just finished the novel and already regret not having read it before. The story is a magnificent adventure of epic proportions crossing the continent of India into Tibet. Kim, 11, and an orphan, has the run of the streets in Lahore and has garnered respect of the good and bad. Early in the story Kim befriends a Holy One, Teshoo Lama, and becomes the Lama’s chela or servant. In search of Kim’s destiny and the Lamas Holy River Most people the age of 20 or better have read Kim by Rudyard Kipling. I just finished the novel and already regret not having read it before. The story is a magnificent adventure of epic proportions crossing the continent of India into Tibet. Kim, 11, and an orphan, has the run of the streets in Lahore and has garnered respect of the good and bad. Early in the story Kim befriends a Holy One, Teshoo Lama, and becomes the Lama’s chela or servant. In search of Kim’s destiny and the Lamas Holy River of the Arrow they take the te-rain and trek with friends and acquaintances to places as far away as the Himalayas. Mischief, surprises, various customs and religions, wars and beautiful scenery describe the writer’s creative hand and times of their journey. Kim is Rudyard Kipling’s masterpiece and rightfully so. I plan on reading more of his work and The Jungle Book will be next. I am an adult child and proud of it. If you have not read this grand novel, treat yourself.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jason Pettus

    (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.) The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label Essay #51: Kim (1901), by Rudyard Kipling The story in a nutshell: Rudyard Kipling has taken a big hit in reputation since the rise of Postmodernism in the post-colonia (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.) The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label Essay #51: Kim (1901), by Rudyard Kipling The story in a nutshell: Rudyard Kipling has taken a big hit in reputation since the rise of Postmodernism in the post-colonial period, becoming in many people's eyes the veritable poster-child for the gleeful embrace of the British Empire seen in the last half of the Victorian Age; so it might come as a surprise to learn that his 1901 Kim, which many people consider his undisputed masterpiece, is not a paean to imperialism at all, but rather a deeply complex and surprisingly judgement-free look at Kipling's birthplace of India, set firmly during the "Raj" years of British rule there but with the imperialists often coming off as corrupt buffoons, a deeply spiritual tale that concentrates mostly on the ways that locals tried to live their daily lives back then even with the interference of all the various interloping white people there. It's told mostly through the eyes of our titular hero (full name Kimball O'Hara), who despite being the child of a dead Irish couple has grown up like any other tough Hindu beggar child on the streets of Lahore, albeit an unusually smart and cunning one who at the beginning of the book decides to become the personal assistant of a visiting Tibetan lama, because of his deep superstitious beliefs combining with his fascination over the exotic-looking and -sounding Himalayan monk. While traveling with the lama across the country in his spiritual quest, then, we also have a chance to see Kim act as a low-level informant for various parties involved with the "Great Game," a term for the cold war of sorts that Britain and Russia quietly and unofficially waged against each other during the 1800s in the rural wilds of eastern Europe and western Asia. (So in other words, if you think of this as the 19th-century version of the fight between the US and the Soviet Union, then the Crimean War would've been their Vietnam. And yes, by the way, it was Kipling who invented the actual term, to describe a group of people and activities that both governments denied for decades even existed.) But after spying a specific British regiment flag (from the battalion of his dead father) that he had been told as a child would be a portentous sign of his destiny if he was to ever see it, Kim does what he was instructed to do as a child and shows its commander his father's old papers, kept in a locket that Kim has worn around his neck his entire life; and that sends Kim on a new journey through the formal educational system of Raj Britain, against his will at first but then with a growing enthusiasm, when discovering that his past and his demeanor makes him a perfect "secret agent" for these Great Game activities, even while being trained on the sly in the eastern versions of treachery within the back rooms of shady local shops during his school holidays. This then gets him sent out on his first official assignment at the end of school, right at the same time that his old Buddhist master has decided to finally revisit the mountainous villages of the Himalayans from where he came; but after a series of violent adventures during the journey there, plus a belated achievement of enlightenment by the Tibetan lama, Kim is left at the end of our book a confused soul, not sure whether to follow the call of Duty and Queen or to strike out and pursue his own Great Wheel of Time. The argument for it being a classic: Well, for starters, Kipling was the very first English-language writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature; and many consider Kim to be the best of all his long-form work, a fine example to pick if you're planning on reading only one of his books. (Of course, others argue that it's actually his short stories and poems that are better than any of his long-form books, while yet others argue that it's better to primarily think of Kipling as a children's author, although we'll shelve these debates for a later day.) And like I said, that's because this is a surprisingly complex story, a truly sweeping tale that uses the entire vast width and breadth of the Indian subcontinent as its canvas, looking at the complicated mix of cultures, classes and religions that made up this area at the time, which let's not forget had been a whole series of autonomous warring kingdoms (or rajas) before the British came in and arbitrarily made the entire place one big geopolitical state. The self-professed favorite novel of independent India's very first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, this subtle and moving late-career tale is the product of an older and more mature Kipling, able to get across his points in a more nuanced way than the "Rah Rah God And Country" stuff he's best known for, a hyper-realistic look at a specific time and place in history that still easily deserves to be included in the list of the world's classics. The argument against: Oh, and did I mention "The White Man's Burden?" DID I, YOU HORRIBLE IMPERIALIST MONSTER?! That seems to far and away be the biggest online criticism of Kipling you find, frankly, much more than any complaints about the quality of Kim itself; that the man was the undeniable champion and apologist for the idea of subjugation of native populations by a benevolent yet all-powerful British Empire, with for example the "burden" of his infamous poem mentioned above being that white people have a literal spiritual duty to go to places like Africa and India and keep the bloodthirsty native heathens from all chopping each other up into little pieces, an attitude that still silently influences a surprisingly large amount of US foreign policy to this day. This pall hangs over Kipling so much, in fact, that many are unable to look past it and judge the man's individual works on their own merits, a case of simply too much baggage which critics say ethically recuse him from being included in any classics lists at all, a writer not to be studied and admired but rather held up in shame as an example of our dark past. My verdict: Today's book brings up a topic we're often having to discuss here at the CCLaP 100, of how much a writer's personal life or political views should be tied to his worthiness as a literary figure; because to be frank, everything Kipling's critics say about him is true, and it's in fact hard to find anyone else of his stature and fame who was as such a dyed-in-the-wool fanatic of the idea of Empire and imperial inclinations. And so like I said, that's what makes Kim's complexly balanced look at global culture such a shocker, and I think says quite a bit about what exactly audiences most respond to over the long haul; it's gratifying, truthfully, to see that as the decades progress, the public is largely letting Kipling's most pro-imperial work fade into the obscurity it deserves, while it is the fairest and most complex book of his career that a century later is being considered more and more his best. Because I gotta say, for a book that's about to celebrate its 110th anniversary, this still has a tremendous amount of power to suck you right in, and to quickly make you feel like you're right there on an overcrowded train car rumbling its way across the desert along with our traveling heroes, debating the issues of the day with a whole rainbow of other passengers, a book better thought of not as a champion of Empire but simply a great record of what it was like to actually live during this imperial age, even as the writing on the wall was first starting to appear regarding this empire's eventual downfall. And in fact, I think it's no coincidence that this came out right at the beginning of what I call the "Interregnum" of contemporary literary history, the twenty-year period between the end of Victorianism in 1900 and the mainstreaming of Modernism in 1920, a period of stagnation in Western Europe in which every project in the arts seemed to be either a fluffy piece of Genteel Edwardianism now largely forgotten, or a daring underground experiment not yet recognized for the brilliance that we now see it contains; and much like the US in the 1990s and 2000s, this also was the period when the first truly serious grumblings about the limits of the British Empire started appearing, not nearly as pronounced here specifically in Kim but certainly with that kind of darker tone flavoring the book's entire mood. It was only a hop, skip and jump from a novel like this to Joseph Conrad's much more damning Heart of Darkness, which was in bookstores at the exact same time; and of course just a few years away from World War One and the Suez Crisis and all the other disasters that led to the actual demise of the British Empire, all of it just starting to come to a head when a revered, elderly Kipling died in the 1930s, and was promptly interred in Westminster Abbey, one of the highest and rarest honors an artist can receive in Western civilization. While I certainly understand why the post-colonialists of the 1960s through '90s tended to have such a tough stance towards Kipling as they did, in order to break some of that automatic fawning he received from general society in the first half of the 20th century, I also think it's high time that we in our 21st-century "post-racial" society do a close re-examination of Kipling yet again, and to understand when exactly he was an obvious supporter of imperial stereotypes and when he was a sly breaker of them; because when all is said and done, Kipling has a lot to teach us about the history of that age, especially now that his attitudes can be placed better in a historical context instead of being automatically seen as an extension of the current status-quo. I encourage you to read through this rousing adventure tale, proto-spy-thriller and deeply informative history book whenever you have a chance, and without hesitation I call it as a classic that deserves its second moment in the sun. Is it a classic? Yes (And don't forget that the first 33 essays in this series are now available in book form!)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Harmonybites)

    Kipling is a controversial author these days, seen as an unapologetic imperialist booster of the British Empire and even racist. Yet Indian authors such as Arundhati Roy, V.S. Naipaul and Salman Rushdie have found Kipling impressive and even influential. Kipling can be a wonderful storyteller. Rushdie has said Kipling's writing has "the power simultaneously to infuriate and to entrance." I found that the case in both The Jungle Books and now Kim. And yes, you can see a, shall we say, very un-PC Kipling is a controversial author these days, seen as an unapologetic imperialist booster of the British Empire and even racist. Yet Indian authors such as Arundhati Roy, V.S. Naipaul and Salman Rushdie have found Kipling impressive and even influential. Kipling can be a wonderful storyteller. Rushdie has said Kipling's writing has "the power simultaneously to infuriate and to entrance." I found that the case in both The Jungle Books and now Kim. And yes, you can see a, shall we say, very un-PC sensibility there, but my overall impression was Kipling's great love for India, which he knew intimately: The diamond-bright dawn woke men and crows and bullocks together. Kim sat up and yawned, shook himself, and thrilled with delight. This was seeing the world in real truth; this was life as he would have it - bustling and shouting, the buckling of belts, and beating of bullocks and creaking of wheels, lighting of fires and cooking of food, and new sights at every turn of the approving eye. The morning mist swept off in a whorl of silver, the parrots shot away to some distant river in shrieking green hosts: all the well-wheels within ear-shot went to work. India was awake, and Kim was in the middle of it. Kim is an orphan who was born Kimball O'Hara, the son of an Irishman who served as a sergeant in the British Army in India. He grows up in the streets of Lahore in the Punjab, where he is known as "the Little Friend of the World" and more fluent in the languages of India than English. If there's one indelible impression the book makes, it's in how it depicts the richness and diversity of India, with so many different languages, ethnicities and faiths. And in this book at least, the Indians and Asians certainly do not come across as stereotypes and those Europeans who refuse to learn from them are scorned. Kim also is about the "Great Game" of espionage and a coming of age adventure story about an unforgettable character not yet seventeen at the end of the book. I certainly can see traces of Kim in books as diverse as Robert Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy and Kaye's The Far Pavilions. This was a completely absorbing read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    El

    So let's just put on the back burner the fact that Kipling was a real a-hole in real life. He was, but I'm here to discuss his writing so that's what I'll do. The title character, Kim, is not indeed Indian. That was the biggest preconceived notion I had. He was not Indian. He was the orphan son of an Irish soldier who had been stationed outside of India, and a poor woman. Kim lives a life similar to one as seen in the Disney version of Aladdin (now I'm really mixing things up) - begging, doing od So let's just put on the back burner the fact that Kipling was a real a-hole in real life. He was, but I'm here to discuss his writing so that's what I'll do. The title character, Kim, is not indeed Indian. That was the biggest preconceived notion I had. He was not Indian. He was the orphan son of an Irish soldier who had been stationed outside of India, and a poor woman. Kim lives a life similar to one as seen in the Disney version of Aladdin (now I'm really mixing things up) - begging, doing odd jobs, etc. Ultimately he befriends a Tibetan Lama (a monk to you and me, not one of these things) who is on a life journey to discover the legendary River of the Arrow. He invites Kim to come along with him, and before we know it he is on the journey of his life. This story covers a lot of ground, from the plains to a school to the government to the mountains. I was tired after reading this just because I felt I had trudged along with Kim and the Lama the entire time. Historically I was probably a bit lost. I don't know much about The Great Game which serves as the backdrop for the story. In fact, the realization I didn't know as much about the history as I would have liked to fully enjoy the novel makes me wonder how Kim is often considered a children's novel. But then, I suppose, like Huck Finn, it's a story that can be appreciated by young and older readers for the adventures and the excitement; but only by reading it perhaps again after more education does one truly capture the entire story.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marco Tamborrino

    "Chela, hast thou never a wish to leave me?" "No," he said almost sternly. "I am not a dog or a snake to bite when I have learned to love". Kim non è un romanzo semplice da definire. È prima di tutto una grandissima testimonianza dell'imperialismo britannico in India, e in secondo luogo una delle più belle storie di amicizia che abbia mai letto. Il senso del romanzo sta probabilmente nell'essere ibrido di Kim: il giovane protagonista non è né bianco né nero, né inglese né indiano. Kim racchiude "Chela, hast thou never a wish to leave me?" "No," he said almost sternly. "I am not a dog or a snake to bite when I have learned to love". Kim non è un romanzo semplice da definire. È prima di tutto una grandissima testimonianza dell'imperialismo britannico in India, e in secondo luogo una delle più belle storie di amicizia che abbia mai letto. Il senso del romanzo sta probabilmente nell'essere ibrido di Kim: il giovane protagonista non è né bianco né nero, né inglese né indiano. Kim racchiude in sé l'incontro di due culture. È il figlio di un Sahib (di un inglese, di un colonizzatore), ma è anche un bambino povero cresciuto per le strade delle cittadine indiane. Viene chiamato "Friend of all the World" e anche "Friend of all the Stars". Nel momento in cui Kim incontra il lama, non sa fin dove lo porterà il suo rapporto con il vecchio uomo. L'amicizia che i due coltiveranno sarà un'amicizia tenera, spirituale, disinteressata. Nonostante Kim riceva, a metà romanzo, un'educazione in una scuola per Sahib e per figli di Sahib, la preoccupazione per la salute e la Ricerca del suo lama non lo abbandonerà mai. Diventerà il suo discepolo, il suo "chela". Le logiche imperialiste sono rappresentate dal "Grande Gioco", ovvero lo spietato e costante spionaggio messo in atto dalle forze inglesi sul territorio indiano. Kim ha in sé la saggezza del colonizzato e l'intelligenza del colonizzatore. Quando rincontrerà il lama le loro strade si riuniranno, ma in maniera diversa rispetto a quando si erano lasciati.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    I decided that before reading Laurie R. King's The Game again, I should read Rudyard Kipling's Kim, as King calls The Game "a humble and profoundly felt homage" to Kim. Besides, I'd never read it, and it's one of those classics I felt I should get around to someday. Kimball O'Hara is the orphaned son of an Irish soldier who was stationed in India; when his father died, Kim was raised by a half-caste woman and learned to live on the streets of Lahore. The story begins when Kim meets a Tibetan lam I decided that before reading Laurie R. King's The Game again, I should read Rudyard Kipling's Kim, as King calls The Game "a humble and profoundly felt homage" to Kim. Besides, I'd never read it, and it's one of those classics I felt I should get around to someday. Kimball O'Hara is the orphaned son of an Irish soldier who was stationed in India; when his father died, Kim was raised by a half-caste woman and learned to live on the streets of Lahore. The story begins when Kim meets a Tibetan lama who is in search of the mystical Buddhist River of the Arrow; Kim becomes the lama's chela, or disciple, and travels with him through India. The other side of Kim's heritage tugs at him too, though, when he is discovered by some English soldiers and eventually pulled into Britain's espionage network in India. The story is more a series of episodes than a tightly plotted narrative, set against the colorful background of Kipling's India. The characters are as memorable as the setting: the gentle lama, the horse trader Mahbub Ali, the British-educated Hurree Chunder Mookerjee, the mysterious Lurgan Sahib, and most of all, Kim himself, in all the complexity of his nature and upbringing. It's not a novel to be read at breakneck speed, but one to be savored, as Kim and Kipling savor the diversity and colour of 19th-century India.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mitticus

    +Reto Popsugar 2016 - #33: Clásico del siglo XX+ Coming-of-age story about an irish orphan raised in Imperial India, a picaresque kind of novel of this 13 year old boy curious as a cat, full of wit, and adverse to school and work. Helping a lama because is something new, and playing a dangerous game is like Kipling paint this exotic land through his eyes. —Los sahibs no disfrutan de los viajes —reflexionó—. ¡Hai mai!, voy de un sitio a otro como si fuera una pelota. Es mi kismet. Nadie puede escap +Reto Popsugar 2016 - #33: Clásico del siglo XX+ Coming-of-age story about an irish orphan raised in Imperial India, a picaresque kind of novel of this 13 year old boy curious as a cat, full of wit, and adverse to school and work. Helping a lama because is something new, and playing a dangerous game is like Kipling paint this exotic land through his eyes. —Los sahibs no disfrutan de los viajes —reflexionó—. ¡Hai mai!, voy de un sitio a otro como si fuera una pelota. Es mi kismet. Nadie puede escapar a su kismet. Pero tengo que rezar a Bibi Miriam y soy un sahib. —miró sus botas con tristeza—. No, soy Kim. Este es el gran mundo y yo soy simplemente Kim. ¿Quién es Kim? —se puso a considerar su propia identidad, cosa que nunca antes había hecho, hasta que la cabeza le dio vueltas. En ese ruidoso torbellino de la India, él era una persona insignificante que iba al sur hacia un destino desconocido. -RTC-

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