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on 20 January 2013
Of course, I'm familiar with Mowgli. Who hasn't seen the clips from Disney's film? I'd never read the book. I found old favourites and surprising insertions. I found rich language and old-fashioned ideas. They must be wonderful to read aloud, to read to an audience. Stories for story-tellers.

This kindle edition had the text of the stories interspersed with the songs or poems in a typewriter-style font. It made them distinctive, but it distracted me from the beauty of them because the font was so much larger, comparatively, and also letters rather widely spaced. I'm never at my best reading poems in a narrative. However they are worth attention, for they flow and ebb like the breathing of the jungle itself.

There are stories here that are old favourites without my ever having read them. Somehow I absorbed Rikki-Tikki-Tavi through the wealth of experience. The descriptions of the animals and their actions are divine. I particularly remarked the way Rikki (a mongoose) tackled his prey, large or small. The story of Toomai of the Elephants was unknown to me, but so rich in its description of the jungle, of the elephant dance, I felt I was there. Maybe I have the advantage of having been on a holiday to watch tigers in the Indian National Parks and reserves, but the descriptions were so vivid I felt I had returned to places I'd been.

The last story, Her Majesty's Servants, has animals performing different duties in the Indian regiments describing their roles and their interaction with man and their purpose as they see it. It reminded me of Captain in Black Beauty, but more, it gave me a vivid flashback to The Maltese Cat, a Rudyard Kipling story I read in an anthology when I was in my teens. Kipling's remarkable ability to consider how animals might see their interaction with the world they are in is neither anthropomorphic nor naturalistic. It is somewhere in between - animals making sense of the madness of the human world, but reciprocating the bonds that humans feel with their animals. What this story offers is insight into history during the time of such conflicts, much as War Horse does. It is a window into a bygone world.

Is it relevant to today's teenage reader? I believe so. The richness of the language may also be old-fashioned, but there are plenty of wonderful literary works of that and former periods that are recommended reading. A lover of words, or animals, or travel, or bygone ages, will love this book. Even if the seal story, The White Seal, is a rather jarring incongruency in the middle of an Indian landscape. I wouldn't consider it a book for 7-11 though, unlike the Product Reviewer. But then I'm also reading Professor Branestawm, labelled 9+ years, which I would put in the 7-11 bracket. Maybe my ideas are just different.
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on 13 October 2016
I had no idea till reading this that there was more than just the story of Mowgli in The Jungle Book. Reading this as an adult is interesting because you're reading stories created at a time when you don't expect the author to have as much sympathy with animals as Kipling seems to have, his views are more modern and fitting with our time but I guess have been tempered to fit in with his own. I'd like to read this to my little boy when he's older.
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on 12 April 2014
I read this as a child and came back to it many times during my life. Now I'm 70 and I'm still captivated by the storytelling skills of Rudyard Kipling. The story of how Mowgli grew up in the Seeonee hills with his bothers, the wolves is not a childish conceit. It is a tale of how a boy grows up among a divers group of animals. Bagheera, the black panther, Balo the bear the teacher of the jungle; his brothers, the wolves, the great grey leader of the pack Alayla, and cowardly tiger Sheer Kahn and the majestic king of the jungle Hathi and his 3 sons. But it is the humans and the monkeys who come off worse. When Mowgli visits the village on the edge of the Jungle he finds the ways of humans false, unhealthy and spiritually bankrupt. He makes no secret of his thoughts and is finally driven out of the village. But not until he has killed Sheer Kahn, who had earlier sworn to kill Mowgli at his adoption into the wolf pack when he was a baby. Interspersed with the captivating stories of Mowgli's life in the wild Kipling offers up evocative poems and a selection of other stories. The unforgettable mongoose Riki Tiki Tavi. The brave, charismatic Kotik, the white seal, the seedy companions of the evil Mugger of Mugger Gaunt among many others
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on 16 February 2017
This to my mind is more of a young read but it was good. I also downloaded the audio to go with the book, as I like to listen to a couple of chapters before I drop off to sleep. The narrator was not bad, but it didn't make you feel like you must keep listening shame really but you can't win them all. This was a free download plus audio, as Amazon does a free one every month, always worth a go.
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on 20 April 2016
This book, was enjoyed by me when I was a child, my mother read it to me often...and when I had my own children, I read it to them, I downloaded this book for the family kindle...so it can be enjoyed for many years to come. This book is a masterpeice a real classic, can't recommend highly enough !! A story to enthrall both the young and the old.
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on 30 September 2016
Kipling is no longer the feted author he once was. Empire and the Raj are distant, dusty memories. But, his writing is so true to the period, his stories full of detail. Maybe now not as pc as present day society demands, but I love them as old friends.
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on 4 February 2017
What a wonderful adventure, it brought back vivid memories of my childhood, and it still gave me as much pleasure now as it did then.
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on 14 May 2017
Very happy with this product, just as described and works very well, will definitely be shopping here again,
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on 28 September 2016
Really prefer this original edition. I think the old style of language used really adds to the atmosphere. Not so keen on the new editions. Can highly recommend.
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on 11 January 2015
Great fun, with more stories and depth than the Disney film. A very whimsical, Victorian piece of literature that reads quickly. I especially liked the culmination of Mowgli's story with its Victorian beliefs, and the plight of the seals (or whatever) for their paradise.
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