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Kim (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)

Kim (Modern Library 100 Best Novels) [Kindle Edition]

Rudyard Kipling , Pankaj Mishra
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Ranked #33 in Newsweek's "Top 50 Books You Should Read to Understand the Way We Live Now"

Product Description

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

Rudyard Kipling’s Kim is the tale of an Irish orphan raised as an Indian vagabond on the rough streets of colonial Lahore. Young Kimball O’Hara’s coming of age takes place in a world of high adventure, mystic quests, and secret games of espionage played out between the Russians and the British in the mountain passages of Asia. Kim is torn between his allegiance to the ascetic lama who becomes his beloved mentor and the temptations of those who want to recruit him as a spy in the “great game” of imperial conflict. In a series of thrilling escapades, he crisscrosses India on missions both spiritual and military before the two forces in his life converge in a dramatic climax in the high Himalayas.

Published in 1901, after its author had permanently moved away from India, Kipling’s masterpiece is marked by a maturity of perspective on the land of his birth, combined with breathtakingly brilliant descriptions of the fascinating lost world of the British Raj. Kim has enthralled generations of readers both by the exuberance of its storytelling and its vital and unforgettable portrait of the India of bazaars and sacred rivers, holy men and rogues, ancient customs and colonial society.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 627 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1440438307
  • Publisher: Modern Library (10 Feb 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1AGQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #435,834 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never was there such a book... brilliant! 21 Sep 2011
The book: an orphan in Lahore in around 1890 meets a wandering Tibetan priest and decides to join him in a quest to find a certain philosophical River; on the way they meet all India, adventures, and even his inheritance. But it is not (only) his inheritance that makes him grow up to what he is - it is his friendships, his nosiness, his persistence and his sense of mischief. And while Kim becomes part of the Great Game, his Lama meditates upon life and earthly desires, and how to reach spiritual freedom. Wandering over the plains and in the hills, these two unlikely companions meet, it seems, all India, and some more besides.

My opinion: I am not sure whether Kipling is a great writer; some of his books don't move me, much. But this is certainly a great book. It has everything: growing up, espionage, adventure, travel, mysticism, fun. Set in colonial India ("the only democratic land in the world") and written by a typical empire aficionado, it shows respect for all classes of people (well, except maybe Russian and French spies) in a way I like, and that includes many religions. A wonderful book, re-readable at regular intervals, too; I think I am on my sixth reading, but it could as well be the tenth. Very Victorian, but also very timeless - brilliant.
And which edition to read? Well, I would say an old one like the thin-paper Macmillan ones, illustrated by J. Lockwood Kipling and smelling of long ago...
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passage To India 12 Mar 2007
Kipling is an effective and powerful writer, here writing about a young European boy growing up on the streets of one of India's teeming cities, experiencing the dazzling sights, sounds and smells of the diverse cultures he encounters very much from the inside. Kim is certainly not an outsider, he joins the beggars, thieves, horse traders and mystics he lives alongside with enthusiasm. When he is sent to be educated as a European, it is clear where his sympathies lie, more, where his heart belongs. Consider the scenes where he sees the unpleasant youth from the military college racially abusing (to put it in modern terms) an Indian man.

It is impossible not to see Kim as, partly an autobiographical figure. Kipling himself spent his early years in India, and genuine love and respect for the country is shown here.

Certainly, the portrait is not sanitised, let alone idealised, and it is of course possible to argue the merits of the British being in India in the first place, but Kipling is an author, not a politician, and can only be expected to describe, not apologise for the world he sees.

Kim himself is an engaging mixture of two of Kipling's other creations : Mowgli, untamed wild savage, and Stalky, cunning Machiavellian schoolboy.

The adventures, in the "Great Game" that Kim stumbles on, perhaps, are dealt with somewhat sketchily, and do not amount to that much more than delivering important documents around the countryside. The main part of the novel, however, Kim's relationship with the Red Lama, unlikely and bizarre though it is, is dealt with in detail.

If this book was a Hollywood blockbuster, Kim and the Lama would have started out hating each other's guts and only come to mutual respect at the end of their long travels.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Game 23 Sep 2007
In this book Rudyard Kipling gave us a better understanding of nineteenth century India, as well as the first modern spy story. Kim, a young European lad becomes embroiled in the 'Great Game', where Britain and Russia were carrying out espionage against each other in India. With the luscious backdrop of India we are immersed in the lives of Kim and his allies and foes leading very beleivable lives as they carry out their missions. Forget James Bond, this isn't escapism, but real life. I have read this story many times and it has never bored me yet, there is just so much in it. Also it has helped me in reading history and in the activities of the 'Great Game'. Reading this book is a real treasure and something that you will want to come back to time and again.
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70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A simple conversion of a public domain text 21 Sep 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review is for Kim
Published by Start Publishing LLC

This is a review of this particular edition, not of Kim as a book. Kim is a splendid novel by Rudyard Kipling. It's well worth a read.

This edition has text taken from Project Gutenberg, and is missing all italics and accents. It also has the errors in the text that are present in the Project Gutenberg text. It does have curly quotes and em-dashes, but that's the extent of the formatting. The verses at the start of chapters is very poorly formatted, and the in-line verses are even worse.

The are no illustration or annotations for the public domain text. This edition really has nothing to recommend it over the much better free version available at mobileread.

If you're looking for a Kindle edition of Kim, don't just search for "Kim". That only finds a few of the many editions. You'll need to used the advanced book search and search for title kim and author kipling and format Kindle Books. And also look for my review "Kindle Edition Choice is critical" for a review of all the available UK editions as of April 2013. I can't give a live link to the mass review here, but its web address is:
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love the book and the film
Published 5 days ago by Stewart Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars ... from first school story time I think this a good story book
Always remember this book from first school story time I think this a good story book.
Published 12 days ago by Adrian
5.0 out of 5 stars but still the greatest book of love for India
Old,but still the greatest book of love for India.
Published 14 days ago by David S.
2.0 out of 5 stars Obfusticatingly overblown
I have always avoided Kipling since picking him up as a child and quickly putting him down again feeling like it was 'too much effort for not much reward. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Dan Crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars Not at all what I expected. Gives a flavour ...
Not at all what I expected. Gives a flavour of India still relevant today. A numerous touching tale about relationships and all sorts of human weaknesses strengths & values. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Isabel seddon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic, what can you say.
Published 1 month ago by PHaire
4.0 out of 5 stars Subversive and fun, but slightly hollow
Rudyard Kipling’s Kim is a classic which I had been meaning to read for some time, and so took the opportunity while travelling in India. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sam Wilkin
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book.
Published 1 month ago by g singh bains
4.0 out of 5 stars Revisiting a text
Originally read and enjoyed many years ago - in the 60's - as a school text. Too late to thank the teacher now. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Anna Jones
1.0 out of 5 stars Kim by Rudyard Kipling
I am writing this because I don't appear to have received this on my Kindle, and can't find out what to do.
Published 3 months ago by poppy
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Popular Highlights

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All India is full of holy men stammering gospels in strange tongues; shaken and consumed in the fires of their own zeal; dreamers, babblers, and visionaries: as it has been from the beginning and will continue to the end. &quote;
Highlighted by 5 Kindle users
“No; I am Kim. This is the great world, and I am only Kim. Who is Kim?” He considered his own identity, a thing he had never done before, till his head swam. He was one insignificant person in all this roaring whirl of India, going southward to he knew not what fate. &quote;
Highlighted by 5 Kindle users
“When every one is dead the Great Game is finished. Not before. &quote;
Highlighted by 5 Kindle users

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