Kim

Front Cover
Wordsworth Editions, 1994 - Fiction - 247 pages
17 Reviews
Kim is Rudyard Kipling’s finest work. Now controversial, this novel is a memorably vivid evocation of the life and landscapes of India in the late nineteenth century. Kim himself is a resourceful lad who befriends a lama, an ageing priest; and both embark on a combined quest. Whereas Kim has an insatiable interest in the varied activities around him, the lama seeks redemption from the ‘Wheel of Life’. Kim becomes involved in the ‘Great Game’, undertaking espionage for the British rulers.This engrossing and moving novel, with its diversity of memorable characters, offers many insights into political, religious and social tensions.
  

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Review: Kim

User Review  - Rachel - Goodreads

I read my textbooks by counting the number of pages in a given section - say cardiac pathology - and dividing them up by the number of days I have to read them. I did the same with Kim, which says it ... Read full review

Review: Kim

User Review  - Monthly Book Group - Goodreads

Kim (Kipling's masterpiece) came as a very pleasant surprise to those who came new to Kipling. It was a subtle, engaging, comic and moving tale of a young man's development, set against a gorgeous ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
23
Section 3
37
Section 4
52
Section 5
68
Section 6
84
Section 7
99
Section 8
113
Section 9
128
Section 10
145
Section 11
160
Section 12
178
Section 13
216
Section 14
229
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Kipling, who as a novelist dramatized the ambivalence of the British colonial experience, was born of English parents in Bombay and as a child knew Hindustani better than English. He spent an unhappy period of exile from his parents (and the Indian heat) with a harsh aunt in England, followed by the public schooling that inspired his "Stalky" stories. He returned to India at 18 to work on the staff of the Lahore Civil and Military Gazette and rapidly became a prolific writer. His mildly satirical work won him a reputation in England, and he returned there in 1889. Shortly after, his first novel, The Light That Failed (1890) was published, but it was not altogether successful. In the early 1890s, Kipling met and married Caroline Balestier and moved with her to her family's estate in Brattleboro, Vermont. While there he wrote Many Inventions (1893), The Jungle Book (1894-95), and Captains Courageous (1897). He became dissatisfied with life in America, however, and moved back to England, returning to America only when his daughter died of pneumonia. Kipling never again returned to the United States, despite his great popularity there. Short stories form the greater portion of Kipling's work and are of several distinct types. Some of his best are stories of the supernatural, the eerie and unearthly, such as "The Phantom Rickshaw," "The Brushwood Boy," and "They." His tales of gruesome horror include "The Mark of the Beast" and "The Return of Imray." "William the Conqueror" and "The Head of the District" are among his political tales of English rule in India. The "Soldiers Three" group deals with Kipling's three musketeers: an Irishman, a Cockney, and a Yorkshireman. The Anglo-Indian Tales, of social life in Simla, make up the larger part of his first four books. Kipling wrote equally well for children and adults. His best-known children's books are Just So Stories (1902), The Jungle Books (1894-95), and Kim (1901). His short stories, although their understanding of the Indian is often moving, became minor hymns to the glory of Queen Victoria's empire and the civil servants and soldiers who staffed her outposts. Kim, an Irish boy in India who becomes the companion of a Tibetan lama, at length joins the British Secret Service, without, says Wilson, any sense of the betrayal of his friend this actually meant. Nevertheless, Kipling has left a vivid panorama of the India of his day. In 1907, Kipling became England's first Nobel Prize winner in literature and the only nineteenth-century English poet to win the Prize. He won not only on the basis of his short stories, which more closely mirror the ambiguities of the declining Edwardian world than has commonly been recognized, but also on the basis of his tremendous ability as a popular poet. His reputation was first made with Barrack Room Ballads (1892), and in "Recessional" he captured a side of Queen Victoria's final jubilee that no one else dared to address.

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