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The Second Jungle Book Paperback – 13 Sep 2013
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The classic sequel to the Jungle Book returns to print in a beautiful edition. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
RUDYARD KIPLING was born in Bombay on December 30th 1865, son of John Lockwood Kipling, an artist and teacher of architectural sculpture, and his wife Alice. His mother was one of the talented and beautiful Macdonald sisters, four of whom married remarkable men, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Sir Edward Poynter, Alfred Baldwin, and John Lockwood Kipling himself. Young Rudyard's earliest years in Bombay were blissfully happy, in an India full of exotic sights and sounds. But at the tender age of five he was sent back to England to stay with a foster family in Southsea, where he was desperately unhappy. The experience would colour some of his later writing. When he was twelve he went to the United Services College at Westward Ho! near Bideford, where the Headmaster, Cormell Price, a friend of his father and uncles, fostered his literary ability. Stalky & Co., based on those schooldays, has been much relished by generations of schoolboys. Despite poor eyesight which handicapped him on the games field, he began to blossom. In 1882, aged sixteen, he returned to Lahore, where his parents now lived, to work on the Civil and Military Gazette , and later on its sister paper the Pioneer in Allahabad. In his limited spare time he wrote many remarkable poems and stories which were published alongside his reporting. When these were collected and published as books, they formed the basis of his early fame. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
A book that will change you, and take you places you never knew existed, a book about the inhumanity of man towards man an animal. A Book that exposed the worst in capitalism and changed laws in the USA. A powerful indictment to greed and abuse for profit.
At the same time a demonstration that freedom of speech and expression can change things and will triumph over regimes that oppress the forces of change the fifth state.
Human nature is not what we would like it to be; so we need checks and balances like this book or 1984 by Orwell; we need to expose our baser instincts confront them not as if they were the shortcomings of others but our own. This book is a must read, a warning from the past to the present and the future.
Much of this novel makes grim, and at time distasteful reading. Misfortune is piled on misfortune; things always go wrong when life seems to be at last improving for Jurgis and his family. This reflects the basic weakness of 'The Jungle' as a novel: Sinclair too often treats his main characters as symbols in a morality tale. There is rather too much of the polemic, an impression reinforced by the disquisition on socialism (in its various forms) that is set out in the final section of the book. Events turned out differently in the US, of course, and the main impact of 'The Jungle' in practical terms came from its authentic and quite graphic details of the adulteration of meat by packers - including the use of diseased meat - revelations that inspired the first food and drug act of 1906.
High praise for this (very inexpensive) kindle version.
There are a handful of characters whose names will be familiar, but the stories are somewhat different to what I thought they were going to be and in a nice way. I thought I would have to trudge through the book, but it wasn't like that. There are a few different thoughts as to hidden meanings in the stories, but I just took it for what it was and didn't try interpreting it. A book worth reading for enjoyment
Disney did a wonderful job of turning Kipling's dark and violent story into a jolly children's cartoon with lots of singing and fun. In the book things are far from gentle - there's a lot of fighting, animals wanting to kill their own kind and other animals, Akala the wolf-pack leader being threatened with death and the pack turning against each other. Mowgli and Shere Khan are destined to move towards a final countdown in which only one can survive. We want Mowgli to survive and thrive but this is the story of an outsider, someone who doesn't fit with his adopted species or his biological species. I certainly didn't expect to feel so moved by this small boy raised amongst wolves.
The language will be a barrier to many as it doesn't sit easily on the 21st century tongue or in the modern ear - we're just not used to phrases like "thou goest to thy mother...lamer than ever thou camest into the world". It's all 'thou' and 'thy' and complicated old-fashioned sentence construction. I don't doubt that Kipling was making a point by giving these voices to the animals but they sound very clunky to the modern reader.
There's another half of the book still to go when Mowgli's story reaches its end and the shorter stories in the collection take over. The problem is that the e-book is very poorly laid out and you'll need to really be paying attention to realise that you've just finished one story and started another because there are no chapters or breaks between tales. One moment I was merrily egging Mowgli on in his show-down battle and skipping over the annoying `songs' which were almost unreadable due to the dodgy layout then the next I was wondering where the story of a seal on the ice-flow fitted into the Indian jungle. Similarly the transition into the story of Rikki Tikki Tavi the mongoose popped up without any warning and then along came a story of a boy who wanted to be a mahout (elephant handler). It was extraordinarily confusing.
The stories that follow Mowgli's main event are cute, endearing and rather charming - if you can work out where they start and finish. The info that I found on my kindle about the book informed me that it had been converted from book to kindle format by a group of volunteers. At times it reads like those volunteers might have been the infinite number of monkeys locked in a room trying none too successfully to recreate the works of Shakespeare. I'm guessing it may have been one of the earlier books to be converted because there's a big problem with a lack of chapters, a lack of spacing and layout and a general sense that the whole lot has just been shoved into one big block of text. I mentioned the songs and poems that intersperse the Jungle Book - these would probably be really fun if they'd been laid out on the page better. Instead you find yourself wondering if they are prose or poetry.
I can't grumble too much after paying the grand sum of not one single penny for my copy but I am now inspired to go out and buy it in book form, just to read again and get the more authentic experience of the stories as they were written and originally presented.