29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2010
I'm not going to be over-critical of this edition. It cost me a song, and no doubt some good people put in a lot of their own time and were well-pleased with the result, but it obviously dates from the early days of Kindle formatting, and it appears on my device as basically just a typescript version of the original works. As some other reviewers have pointed out, it is particularly difficult to read the poetry in such a format (or lack of it).
I recommend that you pay the extra few pennies - and that is literally what it costs: about the price of half a pint of beer - and seek out the Coyote Canyon 'Rudyard Kipling Collection' in the Kindle Store. Rudyard Kipling Collection (500+ Works) The Jungle Book, Kim, Just So Stories, Gunga Din, Mandalay, Indian Tales & more That edition is nicely formatted in the now-familiar Kindle style, and is infinitely more pleasurable to read than this prototype version.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2010
While one can't argue with the sheer volume of work presented here there are some serious issues with the poetry.
My version seems to have no formatting - all the poetry runs together with no line breaks. I am familiar with most of the Kipling's poetry anyway so it retains some use and the prose remains readable. However, it is simply miserable reading poetry without the appropriate formatting. Anyone unfamiliar with the poetry would have no chance of working out the structure.
So despite being a fan I have to give just a single star. I'm very happy to amend that if it turns out there is some problem with my download. It will still have some use to scholars as a reference but if you want a readable version this ain't it.
88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2004
The late 20th century's trite and unjust dismissal of much of Kipling's work on the absurd charge of being a facist, a racist and an admirer of imperialism, have kept many of the marvellous works on this collection out of the public domain. He certainly was neither of the first 2 and it is doubtful if he really was the third given the degree of criticism he rails at those who governed, especially in India.
This subsequently damaged Kipling's reputation, his popularity and his acceptability in the modern PC world. OK "IF" was rather ludicrously voted as "The Nation's Favourite Poem", but that was largely because most people simply don't know of many if any other poems in general.
The introduction to the book goes some way to providing a more balanced view of Kipling and shows these absurd charges to be nothing more than slurs.
Many, I believe, make the mistake of interpreting the venacular language used by characters in the poems as representative of Kipling's own views and turn away from the brilliance of the verse. There is also an arrogant snobbery in some attitudes to the work.
As with anyone with such a prodigious output (and there are not many), not all of the poems are of great stature, but most are highly readable, enjoyable, varied and there are some clearly great ones among them.
SO much for so very little makes this a great buy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
One tends to think of Kipling as a writer of Empire, someone who was always more at home in India than in England, so this novel, which is largely set in London, comes as something of a surprise. The story tells the tale of Dick Heldar who, after military service in the Sudan, settles in London and pursues his career as an artist. What makes the book particularly interesting is that it was first published within six months of a very different novel about art, namely Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. For Wilde art should be about beauty and elegance, for Kipling art should reflect reality and have a grounding in ethics and morality. Wilde and Kipling did not see eye-to-eye, and indeed the pair had the occasional spat in the press, but while it is much the less well-known of the two books Kipling's novel is utterly fascinating when regarded in the context of the age in which it was written.
The Light that Failed deals with several typical Victorian fin de siecle concerns: fears of moral degeneration; ideas regarding individual freedom; discussions of women asserting their right to live their lives as something other than an attractive arm-adornment for a man and, perhaps most controversially, the novel hints at the hidden (at the time) world of same-sex relationships. Dick Heldar is passionate about his art but he remains throughout a man of action, someone who is happiest when part of the barrack room brotherhood of army life, but the woman he loves, Maisie, rather daringly appears to prefer the company of another woman - the fascinating, and very enigmatic, 'red-haired girl' - to that of the love-struck Dick. For its time, and for an author who became known for his heroic tales of the British in India, it's all rather daring and unexpected. Those looking for a link to real life can have hours of fun pondering on just how Kipling's unrequited love for the artist Florence Garrard, who also set up house with a woman, mirrors Dick's romantic stumblings with Maisie. A case of Art mirroring Life, perhaps. No wonder, then, that Oscar Wilde wasn't a fan.
As ever with Kipling it's the scenes of action that really stand out. He is superb when describing the dust and heat of battle and the details he provides of Dick's experiences in the Sudan are extremely powerful. He is also surprisingly good on the subject of art. The tussle between Aestheticism and Realism rumbled on throughout the 1890s and, ultimately, which side of the fence you happened to sit was largely just a matter of personal preference, but Kipling puts the case for Realism - for experience and the importance of a moral, truthful basis to art - extremely well. The novel is also very moving in places. One suffers with Dick as he pursues the always distant Maisie, and the way illness begins to overtake him towards the end of the novel is beautifully handled.
All in all The Light that Failed is a fascinating novel by an important novelist and it's lovely to see an excellent scholarly edition on the market. For anyone interested in the glamorous, wild, dangerous and racy final decade of the Victorian era this is a must.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2011
Well the collected works: great!
Only there is poor type face and lots of weird underscoring of spaces, still can't find (or if found, can't read in correct sequence) many classics. The table of contents isn't complete or easy to use.
Otherwise if you don't know the author (start with 'Kim') and have any interest in history.... what a wonderfull way to discover all of a great writer's works: Something for everyone: Children will love the 'Jungle book' and 'Just so stories', young adults may (or may not) get 'Stalky and co', and adventurers may find 'The man who would be king' impressive by any standards. And others, never mind the poetry ('If' of course but manuy other widely known classics- refresh your memory of 'Gunga-Din' for example)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The book: Kipling's first novel, written in 1891. An artist agonizing over love lost in a garrett, disaster overtaking him, staunch friends with fox-teriers and tobacco in slippers, fighting the fuzzy-wuzzies in the Sudan...
My opinion: amazing how something so Victorian (written in 1891, with my copy saying "Elfrida, Christmas 1917" on the front endpapers!) still speaks so vividly to me. Yes, it is thoroughly old-fashioned. And I still read it with pleasure, not feeling old-fashioned at all but getting caught up in the story, feeling the emotions Mr Kipling intended me to feel, hearing the call of the far off and the rough companionship of travelling in the rougher areas. Excellent, solid stuff, Kipling's only (?) full-length 'adult' novel (and I don't mean raunchy), very different from Kim or the Jungle Book; old-fashioned and very well written ( though the long dialogues sometimes put me in mind of good French movies, say Rivette). Four stars at least!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2013
A massive collection of all of his work, including *that* essay. People get hissy about the paper and print quality, but i don't think it is any problem at all. In fact it's really rather good for something that costs less that £3.50. Besides, if you're reading the poetry and all you're noticing is the quality of dead tree pulp that it is scrawled into then maybe poems aren't your schtick. I am incredibly thankful for Wordsworth editions, and I would recommend also looking at their selection of novels. My bookshelf is stacked with many of their productions. Anyway, if you realise you like a few of his works and would like having a look at some more, this is a cheap solution to study them in an intimate manner and well worth it in my opinion.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2007
It is unfortunate that Kipling is erroneously derided as a Fascist, racist and imperialist. His verse is often viewed in the context of our own time, rather than the period in which it was written, and his language is measured against modern standards of political correctness. As a result Kipling is seen to be jingoistic, a relic of the Empire, and of no relevance.
This is obfuscatory. An intelligent reading of Kipling's work will reveal that he was a prodigious writer of great scope, a critic of the Empire, and a great documenter of his time. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the late-Victorian and early 20th century periods.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2013
Print is now much smaller than before.
Not only has it the traditional foreword by George Orwell...the worst possible choice, but AN ADDITIONAL one by some inane arty twit.
Unneccessary footnotes and comments
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2007
I am a professional artist and my greatest fear is loosing my eyesight, and then here is a book about my worst nightmare, written in the most beautiful way.
This story makes `The Girl with the Pearl Earring' incredibly dull in comparison. It's about a young painter still making a name for himself as a portrait artist, after gaining experience as a war artist in the Sudan. He is thrown into London's high society upon his return, with his growing reputation. One day he is told that it's only a matter of time before he will lose his eyesight.
I can't tell you much more, but to read about the change in his character and sense his desperation - all to prove to the girl that he loves his own worth as an artist and man - is terribly engrossing.
Kipling, however unpopular, is still a genius and I find that it's the books he's less well known for that harbour some real treats of short stories or dark themes. I have yet to read `Limits and Renewals' but it's on my to-do list.