Kim is a splendid novel by Rudyard Kipling. It's well worth a read.
The problem is that there are a lot of Kindle versions of `Kim' available at the Kindle store. Lots of them are terrible. A very few are good. Unfortunately, the reviews for Kim are amalgamated into one big group of reviews, and so finding the best one to buy is difficult - near impossible. And so I make this review. Well -- and I do have an edition available for the Kindle myself.
Since I first made my review of kindle editions of Kim back in 2010, many new editions of Kim for the Kindle have appeared, and many of the old (terrible) ones have vanished from the Amazon catalogue.
So I'm updating this review, with information on all the editions of Kim that have appeared since I last updated the review, and I've removed the notes on all those that are no longer available. This review was last updated in April 2013
This review comments on each edition I've found, with a live...
This was at first glance a book about a boy. A very resourceful boy, at that. Who as the story opens shows us that he has conquered the childhood games with his cleverness and recognition of the importance of symbolic acts. He meets the spirit guide of the next stages of his life in the lama. Together they take the "long walk" of the Grand Trunk, an ancient road from Calcutta to Kabul. This river of people becomes a character in the narrative by itself. It sweeps them to their separate visions, the old man lama's of a river where he will be renewed and the boy's search for the red bull in the green field.
Kim is taken into the custody of his father's old regiment, forcing him to realize his status as a sahib. He takes this arrangement in stride partly because he is curious and willing to learn what the whites have to offer but also he knows and proves that he can leave when he wills to. What he learns is the elements and tricks of The Game, a term even in the 19th...
My first Kipling since "The Jungle Book" so many years ago, and not at all what I was expected. As a child, I adored "The Jungle Book", but as an adult I put Kipling firmly into the imperialist/racist category, and expected his work to be mostly imperialist blather. It's not that at all; what really stands out in "Kim" is Kipling's passion for India with all its kaleidoscope of peoples, religions, languages, and everything else.
A lot of it, of course, does sound imperialist to a 21rst century ear. "Kim" appeared in 1901, and he doesn't question the right of the "sahibs" to rule India. But in the context of the time, some of his attitudes seem remarkably non-imperialist. Some of the least sympathetic characters in the book are British, including a Church of England minister, who, upon meeting Tibetan holy man "looked at him with the triple-ringed uninterest of the creed that lumps nine-tenths of the world under the title...
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