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The Jungle Books: Featuring the Complete and Unabridged Works the Jungle Book and the Second Jungle Book (Kennebec Large Print Perennial Favorites Collection) Paperback – Large Print, 18 Nov 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 521 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; large type edition edition (18 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1410420809
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410420800
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,917,239 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

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got it for my Dad as it's the only book he's ever read over and over and his old copies were falling to pieces. He loves them.
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Amazon.com: 1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky" 13 Jun. 2011
By T. Patrick Killough - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Rudyard Kipling's friend Sir Robert Baden-Powell drew heavily on Kipling's novel KIM and the short stories of THE JUNGLE BOOKS in creating ritual and esprit for his Scouting movement. Thus many a cub and boy scout is formed in the ethos of the Central Indian jungle beasts described by Kipling. The first lines of "The Law of the Jungle" come to mind:

"Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back --
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the pack."

Around 1880 a born-lame, vindictive tiger, Shere Khan, charges a moderately affluent Indian man and woman and their one year old son Nathoo. Shere Khan scalds his paws in the wood-gatherers' camp fire and the family runs away. Separated from his mother Messua, cheery, fearless Nathoo toddles into the cave of Father and Mother Wolf. Hungrily, Nathoo wedges his way into the cubs being suckled by their mother Raksha (the demon). Raksha is instantly taken by the plucky hairless man-cub and determines to raise him as her own wolf-child. Shere Khan demands the boy for himself but the Council of the Wolf Pack rules for Raksha. Wise old bear Baloo, teacher of the law to the wolves, supported Raksha and Father Wolf. But decisive for the decision of pack leader Akela was the intervention for Mowgli by Bagheera the panther.

Raksha names her new son Mowgli (the frog). And, as Mowgli, young Nathoo spends the next 16 years in the jungle as a wolf. Slowly, under the tutelage of Baloo, Bagheera, Kaa the great rock python and of Hathi the elephant, Mowgli grows into the status of lord of the jungle. No beast can hold his gaze. All acknowledge that Mowgli has all the gifts of man and all know that someday, according to the Law, Mowgli must leave the forest tribes and return to his widowed human mother Messua where he will find a one year old baby brother. Decisive for 17 year old Mowgli's return to his own kind is the sight of a graceful Indian girl who silently speaks to something in his body and spirit one spring time when all the jungle animals are mad with love, mating and fighting.

Boys, girls and adults will all enjoy Mowgli's many adventures: victories in combat over Shere Khan the tiger, over the bandar log (monkey people), a royal cobra protecting the treasure of the Cold Lairs (a rajah's abandoned palace), over the powerful red dogs of the Deccan sweeping north into Mowgli's jungle and more.

To Rudyard Kipling, a "jungle" is anywhere wild and underpopulated where animals, fish and men interact or at least are aware of one another's existence. Thus two tales focus on the oceans and the frozen Arctic and Antarctic wastes that shelter seals, sea lions and others and expose them to human lust for killing. In another tale a powerful Hindu Prime Minister of a princely state turns his back on pomp and becomes a holy beggar, settling into decades of contemplation in the lower Himalayas, 1500 feet above a village he later saves from destruction, after friendly wild animals have warned him of a coming earthquake.

The Law dominates the two JUNGLE BOOKS, written 1894-95 at the Kipling family's home in Vermont. Every animal, fish and human operates within a general Law that assigns to every creature its place. "Servants of the Queen" displays the thousands of working and fighting animals of the Indian Army each doing what he has been trained to do by his Indian and British masters: war elephants, artillery-toting mules, cavalry horses as well as bullocks and camels. Their Law: "Obey! It is an Order! (hukm hai!)."

Kipling's Law of the Jungle reminds of James Fenimore Cooper's Natty Bumpoo (the deerslayer, pathfinder, hawkeye, etc.) who believed that white man and red man had separate "gifts" and were required each to be true to his own very different gifts.

Boys and girls will be enchanted by Kipling's world of thinking, talking animals and by Mowgli, the man-cub, who has learned all their various tongues. Adults will relish Kipling's incomparable narrative skills and ability to sketch character and to criticize human institutions. THE JUNGLE BOOKS is a classic for all ages.

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