Sunday, July 30, 2006

Kim

by Rudyard Kipling



Kipling's novel about a English boy orphaned in India on a pilgrimage with a holy man is written in Kipling's established colonial style that is as beautiful as the country he describes. Just So Stories, specifically "The Elephant's Child" was my earliest introduction to the beauty of the English language and I still love to read it "o best beloved."

Kim is the story of the relationship between the title character and a wandering holy man whom he befriends. Kim's lama has wandered from Nepal on a pilgrimage to find a sacred river that may or may not exist but Kim's own journey of discovery is to find his true identity and the story of his parentage and history. As such the plot and the pilgrimage twist between the English colonists and the native Indians with subplots, intrigue and conspiracy that drive Kim forward with little thought as to the possible consequences.

Though some parts of the narrative dragged and were weighed down by excess description, the characters were interesting and the story was enjoyable. Though not as good as The Jungle Books, it is a story not meant for children but written for a different purpose and for an older audience.


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