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Kim (Penguin Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Rudyard Kipling
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Kipling's epic rendition of the imperial experience in India is also his greatest long work. Two men - Kim, a boy growing into early manhood, and the lama, an old ascetic priest - are fired by a quest. Kim is white, although born in India. While he wants to play the Great Game of imperialism, he is also spiritually bound to the lama and he tries to reconcile these opposing strands. A celebration of their friendship in an often hostile environment, Kim captures the opulence of India's exotic landscape, overlaid by the uneasy presence of the British Raj.

Contains an introduction by Harish Trivedi placing the novel in its literary and social context. Also includes notes, chronology, further reading, a General Preface by the series editor Jan Montefiore and Edward Said's famous introduction from the previous Penguin Classics edition as an appendix.

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Product Description


Rudyard Kipling's masterly Kim comes as quite a relief in this abridged version read by Madhav Sharma. It always comes up gold, packed with ravishing scenic descriptions, characters and a sense of culture and period as the orphan Irish lad, brought up in Lahore street life, who embarks on a fascinating journey, joining the Indian Civil Service and developing into a master spy. --Robert Giddings, Tribune Magazine


Kim, an Irish orphan, accompanies a holy man on his journey throughout India and his quest for a mystical river.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2385 KB
  • Print Length: 429 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reprint edition (5 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050N7G8Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #292,693 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review is for Kim by Rudyard Kipling - Full Version (Annotated) (Literary Classics Collection)
Publisher: G Books

This is a review of the quality of this edition in particular, not of Kim as a work of literature.

Introductory notes and a general timeline of Kipling's era, and a few other extras, but no illustrations. Proper quotes, italics, dashes, but often open quotes are used for closed quotes or apostrophes, and closed quotes for open quotes. The unusual character ' is included as an image rather than as a character, and so does not scale with the other letters. Occasional OCR errors (e.g. zero for capital O) and incorrect extra paragraph breaks. The footnotes in the introduction are not hyperlinked. The footnotes/glossary entries in the main text of the book (of which there are a large number) are hyperlinked, with link numbers rather than linking directly from the word. A nicely linked table of contents. I would prefer it if the book opened at the start of the story, but that's a minor quibble. The text gives a blank line between each paragraph, as well as indenting the first line, and some of the extras could be formatted a little better.

Overall, a reasonable edition, let down by poor proofing of the text. It does have copious hyperlinked glossary entries, which is a plus.

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. Search for "Kim Kipling" (without the quotes) to find the many editions available. And also look for my review "Kindle Edition Choice is critical" for a review of all the available UK editions as of January 2012. I can't give a live link to the mass review here, but its web address is:
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never was there such a book... brilliant! 21 Sept. 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The great game is afoot 12 May 2009
Although Rudyard Kipling has attracted his fair share of critics in recent years; namely for his strong views on Empiricism (he was very much for it and most of his works reflect this), he remains one of England's finest writers and poets. 'Kim' is a peek into the social and spiritual mores at the turn of the century before last, and despite being a little dated in tone and style it remains an accomplished work of literary fiction.

Kim O'Hara is the orphaned son of an Irish soldier, in this acclaimed novel set in India in the early Twentieth Century. Kim is a beggar, who just about scrapes a living on the streets of Lahore, until one day he comes into contact with a Tibetan holy man and agrees to become the man's disciple, accompanying the Lama on his journey to find a mystical river that will complete his quest for enlightenment.
A series of events lead to Kim becoming separated from his guru and sent to an exclusive English boarding school, where the Lama funds his education but where Kim eventually becomes indoctrinated into the world of espionage.
From hereon in, the novel becomes a study of the inherently unlimited capacity for deception in man, and how spiritual purity can be undermined by the world. The Lama becomes compromised and leads Kim back onto the path of Buddhism where he himself finally achieves enlightenment. The story ends with Kim standing at a metaphorical crossroads; the reader has to decide what his eventual decision and fate will be.
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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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 15 days ago by Acorn
3.0 out of 5 stars Kim
Strange book, not at all what I was expecting. Very descriptive of India during the Raj, but found the plot rather elusive.
Published 1 month ago by A reader
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic tale of India. Intrigue and a well understood life of the...
Old fashioned but worth reading for its charm. The Game goes on over the centuries. And Kipling loves India and its labyrinth of beliefs, conspiracies and survival stories.
Published 2 months ago by Doretta Meshiea
5.0 out of 5 stars Kim
Really enjoyed reading the book would recomend it as a good read
Published 3 months ago by jane sweeting
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Mr J M Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Stunning read.
Published 4 months ago by LittleScratch
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best book I have read for many years - amazing
Probably the best book I have read for many years - amazing! Specially if you love India.
Fascinating, layers of stories inter-twining, terrific observation of characters and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Susie Beaverbrook
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent India - go for it!
This is a really excellent book, I was completely infatuated with it the whole time I was reading. I am sometimes wary of the 'classic' nineteenth-century novels (although this was... Read more
Published 4 months ago by average joe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent purchase
Published 4 months ago by Brian Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Game
A great book: leads one to further investigations into The Great Game and the amazing culture and ethos of India.
Published 5 months ago by MAR
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