The Man Who Would Be King

Front Cover
Melville House Pub., 2005 - Fiction - 64 pages
253 Reviews
"My gord, Carnehan," says Daniel, "This is a tremenjus business, and we've got the whole country as far as it's worth having."

Literature's most famous adventure story, this stirring tale of two happy-go-lucky British ne're-do-wells trying to carve out their own kingdom in the remote mountains of Afghanistan has also proved over time to be a work of penetrating and lasting political insight--amidst its raucous humor and swashbuckling bravado is a devastatingly astute dissection of imperialism and its heroic pretensions.

Written when he was only 22 years old, the tale also features some of Rudyard Kipling's most crystalline prose, and one of the most beautifully rendered, spectacularly exotic settings he ever used. Best of all, it features two of his most unforgettable characters, the ultra-vivid Cockneys Peachy Carnahan and Daniel Dravot, who impart to the story its ultimate, astonishing twist: it is both a tragedy and a triumph.

The Art of The Novella Series

Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.

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The writing was good. - Goodreads
The reviews say beautiful prose. - Goodreads
Still, a good yarn nonetheless. - Goodreads
Kudos to Kipling for providing the plot, though. - Goodreads
I thought there was more of a plot. - Goodreads

Review: The Man Who Would Be King

User Review  - Mia - Goodreads

there is something to be said in this story about the corrupting power of wealth/power. It's almost like a parallel to Indian colonialism by the British and a foreshadow of the revolution against imperialism that was to come. Read full review

Review: The Man Who Would Be King

User Review  - Haeley - Goodreads

Somewhat erratic and difficult, but once you hurdle the dialogue issue, it was a fairly entertaining story, albeit somewhat abrupt. Read full review

About the author (2005)

Rudyard Kipling was born in India to British parents in 1865. After a Dickensian childhood in an English boarding school, he returned to India and became a journalist. In the late 1880s his short fiction began appearing in inexpensive editions for rail travelers, and he soon became famous. In 1892 he married Caroline Balestier, moved briefly to the U.S., then returned to England after their daughter, Josephine, died of pneumonia. In the aftermath, Kipling wrote some of his best-known books and poems, including The Jungle Book, Kim, and Gunga Din, and in 1907 he became the first Englishman, and the youngest person ever, to win the Nobel Prize. After his only son, John, was killed in World War I, Kipling's writing decreased, until he died in 1936.

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