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The Jungle Books (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Rudyard Kipling , W. W. Robson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

12 Jun 2008 Oxford World's Classics
The Jungle Books can be regarded as classic stories told by an adult to children. But they also constitute a complex literary work of art in which the whole of Kipling's philosophy of life is expressed in miniature. They are best known for the `Mowgli' stories; the tale of a baby abandoned and brought up by wolves, educated in the ways and secrets of the jungle by Kaa the python, Baloo the bear, and Bagheera the black panther.

The stories, a mixture of fantasy, myth, and magic, are underpinned by Kipling's abiding preoccupation with the theme of self-discovery, and the nature of the `Law'.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (12 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199536457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199536450
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 2 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay in December 1865. He returned to India from England shortly before his seventeenth birthday, to work as a journalist first on the Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore, then on the Pioneer at Allahabad. The poems and stories he wrote over the next seven years laid the foundation of his literary reputation, and soon after his return to London in 1889 he found himself world-famous. Throughout his life his works enjoyed great acclaim and popularity, but he came to seem increasingly controversial because of his political opinions, and it has been difficult to reach literary judgements unclouded by partisan feeling.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! 9 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The classic jungle book, a great read and a fantastic edition! Loved the presentation and feel of this book, worth the read!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A great selection! 1 May 2013
By Blossom
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thought it would have accompanying pictures as I want to read aloud to young children BUT a great selection of Rudyard Kipling stories. Will certainly keep!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE JUNGLE BOOKS by Rudyard Kipling 12 Sep 2008
By MOTU Review - Published on
The Jungle Book (1894) and The Second Jungle Book (1895) are collections of children's stories and related poems by Rudyard Kipling, the Briton who was born in and loved India, and who wrote these stories while living in Vermont. The stories are written as fables, and teach some moral lessons. They are probably Kipling's best-known works.

Many of the stories in both volumes feature Mowgli, the child raised by wolves who becomes master of the jungle (the first three stories in The Jungle Book are very obviously the inspiration for the 1967 animated Disney film). Most of the other stories are also set in India, although "The White Seal" in The Jungle Book and "Quiquern" (which is about Inuits) in The Second Jungle Book are exceptions. In nearly all instances, Kipling anthropomorphizes the animals; they speak, and are always prominent characters.

Kipling does a good job of writing in the fable style, although he doesn't always keep things moving at a good pace, and so some stories are more engaging than others.

There is a subtle racism throughout both volumes. Kipling was a staunch imperialist (he wrote the poem "The White Man's Burden" - this phrase has been used by imperialists since to justify imperialism as noble), and when humans feature in these stories, English whites are often presented as culturally and intellectually superior to the native Indians. This racism is still relevant, as it indicates a popular attitude of the day.

Ultimately, the Jungle Books are well worth reading. They have, perhaps deservedly so, achieved a prominent place in the pantheon of children's literature.
5.0 out of 5 stars A much-overlooked classic 22 April 2013
By R. Fitzsimmons - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent edition of the Jungle Book stories, which are so much more than just the Disney version of the Mowgli stories. A really excellent edition for anyone studying Kipling or children's literature classics.
4.0 out of 5 stars The classic still holds water. 10 April 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Jungle Book is a commendable work of fiction. The characters, while somewhat static, are endearing. I recommend those that enjoy The Jungle Book to read Gaiman's The Graveyard Book as well, in order to explore the intricacies of how Gaiman's novel is based off of Kipling's.
12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Original 1 Aug 2001
By Kellyannl - Published on
The Jungle Books are usually marketed as juvenile fiction. True, this is essential reading for children, but it's even deeper when you read it as an adult.
Although "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" and "The White Seal" are just as good as the least of the Mowgli stories, it is the various tales of the boy raised in the jungles of India that are - and justifiably - the heart of the collection.
As a baby, Mowgli is found and raised by a clan of wolves and three godfatherly mentors who each teach him about life in different ways - Baloo the Bear, who teaches him the technical laws he'll need to survive; Kaa the Python, the nearly archtypal figure who teaches him even deeper lessons; and Bagheera the Panther, who perhaps loves Mowgli most of all but understands all too well the implications of the ambiguous humanity of the boy he's come to care for.
The stories have it all, from the alternately humorous and frightening "Kaa's Hunting", where Mowgli learns an important lesson about friendship and it's responsibility, to the epic "Red Dog" that reads like something out of Homer, to "Letting in the Jungle" which, without giving anything away contains a disturbing paragraph that's both glaring and a long time in coming if you've read between the lines in the previous Mowgli stories and yet at the same time so subtle you can almost miss it's importance.
If you didn't read it as a child, read it now. If you did, read it again as an adult.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great 1 Oct 2008
By S.O. - Published on
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I purchased The Jungle Books. I am familiar with Disney's story of Mowgli, but was very unfamiliar to all the volumes and the other stories. These stories were very interesting and moving -- the stories of Mowgli were exciting, and I loved The White Seal, Rikki-Tikki, and all of the others as well. What a great collection.
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