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Preview — Kim by Rudyard Kipling
Orphan boy Kim is reared in the teeming, vibrant streets of India at the turn of the last century. An impish child with an endless interest in the extraordinary characters he meets, Kim is a 'Friend of all the World'. One day, an old Tibetan lama sets him on the path that will lead him to travel the Great...more
Oh, this is such a wonderful book. Coming-of-age tale and historical treatise; spy thriller and travel narrative; rousing adventure coupled with a sleek and subtle tale o ...more
It was all there in Kipling, barring the epilogue of the Indian inheritance. A journey to India was not really necessary. No writer was more honest or accurate; no writer was more revealing of himself and his society. He has left us Anglo-India; to people these relics of the Raj we have only to read him....more
We find a people conscious of their roles, conscious of their power and separateness, yet at the same time fearful of expressing their delight at their situation: they are a
Even though I share the name of the hero of this novel, I've chosen not to read it until now. There's more than one reason for this. The main reason is that I'm not naturally drawn to picaresque novels or to espionage novels, even though I've read my fair share of books from both genres. I've also had an instinctively negative reaction to Kipling because of my not terribly well-informed view of him as an apologist for British imperialism.
However, in the last few days I've started reading the se ...more
I’ve always loved to read. And I’ve always hated assigned reading. I’ve despised books I’d otherwise enjoy simply because I’m told to read it on a deadline and feel a particular intellectual response.
So, ever since my last diploma, I’ve been reading whatever I want. If you ...more
In fact, I made it through the entire book without every really feeling invested in any way, shape or form. I persevered only because I started it a few months ago and gave it up, then restarted it, convinced I’d get through it. It’s one of Kipling’ ...more
Indeed, many of our most cherished fantasies tend to relate to the place we were born--when we find ourselves defending it, or singing its praises. It's not that the details we give aren't true, it's that we hav ...more
Kimball O'Hara is the orphaned son of an Irish soldier who was stationed in India; when his father died, Kim was raised by a half-caste woman and learned to live on the streets of Lahore. The story begins when Kim meets a Tibetan lam ...more
I found that the case in both The Jungle Books and now Kim. And yes, you can see a, shall we say, very un-PC ...more
This is one of those books at the center of the academic street fight known as postcolonial studies. On one hand, Rudyard Kipling was a great (and Nobel Prize-winning) writer; on the other hand, he was an unabashed cheerleader of British and American imperialism. I wanted to read Kim, in fact, because Edward Said had so much to say about it (both good and bad) in Culture and Imperialism.
Politics aside, though, ...more
One weakness is Kipling's extensive use of Indian place-names, Hindu terminology and phrases that require regular recourse to a footnoted appendix. Yes, these things add color but also require breaking out of the story to discover it- too often.
Secondly, while Kim is an interesting character, he is a liar on a colossal scale. This is dressed up in deviousness and supposedl ...more
The title character, Kim, is not indeed Indian. That was the biggest preconceived notion I had. He was not Indian. He was the orphan son of an Irish soldier who had been stationed outside of India, and a poor woman. Kim lives a life similar to one as seen in the Disney version of Aladdin (now I'm really mixing things up) - begging, doing od ...more
The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label
Essay #51: Kim (1901), by Rudyard Kipling
The story in a nutshell:
Rudyard Kipling has taken a big hit in reputation since the rise of Postmodernism in the post-colonia ...more
Or maybe, just maybe it is a question of wrong time for reading. How was that Gigliola Cinquetti's song - Non ho l'età... for I honestly have to say that, in spite of the picturesque descriptions and of some interesting characters, I was often bored with the whole story. D ...more
Check your 21st century baggage at the sahib hotel, grab your amulets and a humble begging bowl and take this road trip with Kim and his wise and loving lama.
Knowing that this way lay wisdom, I ceased my struggle to understand every word, or even where or why I was on the road and simply allowed myself to delight in the teeming life, ...more
We all agreed that Kim, with its characteristic image of the roads streaming with humanity, provided a gloriously colourful picture of India. Ag ...more
Also true: Kipling was a raging racist and sexist. He is remembered for these characteristics almost as much as for the publication of The Jungle Book and Just So Stories.
Now that I have read Kim, I will try to remember him as a great novelist as well.
Kim is the story of a white orphan (Irish soldier father, British maid mother) raised by an Indian woman as, essentially, an Indian. He meets a Ti ...more
On finishing, I was left with a faint sense of bewilderment and a side of 'bleurg.' I fail to see any precise reason why Kipling bothered to write this. It was an amalgam of semi- and sometimes wholly offensive stereotypes, contrived plot points and pointless wandering. Why ...more
Kim opens with one of the most celebrated passages in all literature. A little beggar boy sits atop the fabled Zam Zammah cannon, the fire breathing dragon of Lahore. Why is that cannon important? Because it is said that whoever controls the Zam Zammah holds the Punjab. But the little boy is no native. He is Kimball 'O' Hara, the Friend of all the World, son of ...more
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