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The Jungle Books

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  79,857 ratings  ·  996 reviews
The Jungle Books can be regarded as classic stories told by an adult to children. But they also constitute a complex literary work of art in which the whole of Kipling's philosophy of life is expressed in miniature. They are best known for the 'Mowgli' stories; the tale of a baby abandoned and brought up by wolves, educated in the ways and secrets of the jungle by Kaa the ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by Signet Classics (first published 1894)
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Tim O'neill This includes the first three stories from the Jungle Book, i.e. the only ones mentioning Mowgli. The movies correspond to the first and third…moreThis includes the first three stories from the Jungle Book, i.e. the only ones mentioning Mowgli. The movies correspond to the first and third stories, and the second is sort of a sequel (altho not very similar to the Disney sequel). The rest of the stories in The Jungle Book are non-Mowgli related, but do include the famous Rikki-Tikki-Tavvy.(less)
Edvin Tønder 14. Although some variations occur in different editions as they one way or another function as stand-alone stories.

Community Reviews

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4.02  · 
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 ·  79,857 ratings  ·  996 reviews


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F
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india, 2017
My new favourite.
Incredible. 10/10
Timeless.
So much thought and imagination.
Animal lover forever.
Everything made sense, the laws of the jungle.
Can't rememeber the last time i read something so amazing and unique.
I dont cry reading books but this nearly got me at the end.
Joseph
Jul 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
eBook

Once again, I'm struck by the savagery that resonates throughout Kipling's writing. It would be so easy to think of The Jungle Book in a more Disney-fied light: talking animals, singing, the rhythmic cadences of a fairy tale or lullaby. But overarching all that is the ever-present reminder that the world of the jungle is a world of nature, red in tooth and claw. Mowgli is raised by wolves and instructed by Baloo for the explicit purpose of survival in a harsh world that actively seeks his d
...more
Joe
Yeah, yeah, ignore the White Man's Burden stuff. Kipling is one of the best storytellers who ever lived, and neither the author's obnoxious politics nor a complete butchery of this wonderful wonderful story in its many terrible movie incarnations can take away the fact that the Mowgli stories of this and the Second Jungle Book are some of the greatest tales ever created. Read this, for real. It's a classic.
Jeff
This was a Jepheny/Mah Fah buddy read that we went into with great excitement and enthusiasm – “Can’t Wait!” “So looking forward to this!!” “I’ve had this on my shelves forever, let’s get started!!!” Woo Hoo!!!!!

Alas, it was on the disappointing side. The hope was to get the original take on these stories that Disney has whitewashed on a couple of occasions and to that point it does succeed. Sort of. Kipling presents the adventures of a feral jungle boy and his bloodthirsty pals as they brutally
...more
Pooja
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owns, 100-pages
My Mom bought me The Jungle Book from her school and for years I didn't read it.

Not until the summers of 2015 came and I promised myself that I'm going to complete that years' Goodreads' challenge. After reading the book, I remembered the days I used to watch the animated version on TV.

Everything was perfect. Thank you Rudyard Kipling.
James
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whilst I think it is important to note and be aware of Rudyard Kipling’s acknowledged support for imperialism and colonialism when reading any of his works – these aren’t themes which I found to be particularly evident let alone prevalent throughout this book. Whilst we may find his politics distasteful at best and abhorrent at worst, I do think it is valid to judge a book (or any other work of art) outside of and standing alone from the artists political / moral beliefs – more specifically and ...more
Kristy K
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, classics
2.5 Stars

I liked some stories more than others. The first few were my favorite and then I got bored. Half read, half listened to on audio b/c it seemed every time I picked it up, I fell asleep.
Adina
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Probably the first books that I read in English. Can't wait for the upcoming movie.
Jerri Brissette
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you, Karen, for this.
Rachel
Nov 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: kids who like adventure stories
I read this to Nick because I read it myself as a first grader. (Yes, I was a precocious reader.) Since I haven't even glanced at it in the quarter century of intervening years, it was interesting to come back to it.

In some ways I was disappointed as an adult reader. The formal, quasi-Elizabethan language the animals use to talk to each other struck me as pretentious, which I don't believe was at all my original reaction. There was that almost total lack of female characters that is almost inev
...more
Shaun
Mar 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jungle Books… I was really iffy coming in whether I’d like this; never read Kipling before. At my favorite bookstore, I saw that they had one of the Reader’s Digest books that I love so much, but my dad said he had an old copy of this book, so I went ahead and went with the old copy (chiefly because it was free to me). Contrary to what I thought, it was more a collection of short stories than one contiguous tale, though Mowgli featured in several of them, and it chronically various episodes in h ...more
N.KH #
I’ve already completed reading the first book( or let me say the first part) , and I am not quite sure whether I continue reading or not . even though several and various moral lessons are embodied within the animals tales , I have not found any interest nor excitement so far . Consequently, I doubt whether I read all of it , and begin to think about another book .

The tale of the Seal sea that defies all the odious challenges and the atrocious underestimating of his kind to discover a safe plac
...more
Ensiform
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, india, animals
A series of stories, mostly but not always set in India. I did not know when I first picked this up that not all of these tales feature the most famous character: Mowgli, the baby carried off by a lame tiger and rescued by wolves, who grows to be master of the jungle. (In this, he predates Tarzan by a couple of decades.) I remember reading some, but not all, of this book many years ago, but I remembered little of it, especially from the second book.

Some of the tales are well-known ("Rikki-Tikki-
...more
Lesle
The Jungle Books: I should have realized when it states "Books" there are other tales other than just the Jungle Book. I guess I was just a little dense from reading the Little Golden Book version for so long to my Son and Grandsons. So once I got passed the point of 340 pages not dedicated strictly to Mowgli I began to read and enjoy the many tales enclosed.

Everyone (Im sure) knows the story of Mowgli and have seen the versions of films. It was the first film my Son saw as a toddler and the mov
...more
Berit Lundqvist
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Three and a half stars.

Well, this was kind of a pleasant surprise. I expected absolutely nothing from this book. Instead I found a couple of stories exploring the eternal question of what is good and what is evil.

The Jungle Books have been on my shelf for decades. I haven’t the foggiest idea where I got it from. Probably, I’ve inherited it from my mom or my parents-in-law, as this is not a book I’ve would have wanted to buy myself.

The books consists of fifteen different tales. Some take part in
...more
Amy
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The first time I met Mowgli was when I was very small. I must have been only around two years old and I had watched the Disney film. I HATED it. But when I realized that it was based off of a book (when I was around five or six) I immediately went to the library and checked out both Jungle Books. It was then that I fell in love.
Kipling is very problematic racially and politically. Throughout these books it is easy to pick up on Kipling's inherent prejudice. Through Mowgli the reader is introduce
...more
Janice
Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as a "I need to be culturally literate" read. I enjoyed about 2/3rds of this. And to be honest, had to force myself through the other 1/3. Glad I read it but glad it is done.
Jason McIntosh
Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
really a beautiful collection of stories. Though the book somehow leaves out the inclusion of Baloo singing "the Bear Necessities" ... a gross oversight in my opinion.
Aaron
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: form-i
When I was little, I was read this book by my mother. It was a red book with gold lettering, and it still sits on my bookshelf. Still intact, still with its bright red color and its shining gold lettering. Yet I can't remember the book itself... I remember the feel of the cover; the almost rough surface felt pleasant between my two hands... Yet still, I can't remember reading it. I hope to read it again someday, but for now I will just imagine the golden lettering and the bright gold letters. Th ...more
Alex
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review covers both the first and second Jungle Books, which are included in this edition. These included a lot of material which surprised me.

I was not aware how much Disney altered the original material. Mowgli is so much more than a whiny git. Kipling's Mowgli is very much a proto-Conan. Kipling is more of a master of the action scene than Robert E. Howard, and the influence seems clear to me. Another clear influence is the discussion of civilization versus barbarism within the Jungle Bo
...more
Breakaway Reviewers
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An absolute classic!

Like most people, I have seen the Disney classic film, Jungle Book, and it is actually one of my favourite Disney films.

I always thought that I had read this book as a child and the first story is basically the story that we all know and love with Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan and Kaa the snake. However, there are so many different stories in this book, some I had heard of like Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the mongoose who can kill even the biggest snake, but we are introduced to
...more
El
Before Tarzan there was Mowgli, lost in a jungle in India as a child and taken in by a family of wolves. He is raised by the animals of the jungle, and has adventures with them. He learns loyalty and devotion and the Jungle Law. Every small boy eventually grows up but, to pararphrase Kipling, his adult adventures are a different story. Written in 1894 and 1895 the two collections of adventure/jungle/wilderness stories are included in one volume. Mowgli and his stories are the vast majority, but ...more
Dee Renee  Chesnut
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dee Renee by: free from Barnes and Noble
Shelves: ebooks, 2018
This ebook has been in my Nook library since I downloaded it for free from Barnes in Noble, about October 2010. It is part of the Barnes and Noble Classics. Kipling originally published two Jungle Books in 1894 and 1895. I enjoyed reading the extra materials too.
These stories are not the Disney version. The stories remain entertaining and thought-provoking.
I encourage all readers to enjoy this classic.

Gina Johnson
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this to the kids and we all really enjoyed it. I think I liked the stories that weren't actually jungle stories (one about a white seal and a few others) more than the kids did but they all really enjoyed the stories about Mowgli. AO year 3 scheduled read.
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
A classic children's story that everyone should read at some point in their lives.
Ninja
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Something like 7 and 8 stories in the two Jungle Books. Most surprising thing reading the first jungle book was that most of the stories didn't have Mowgli in them. Overall, though, he just won out with a total of 8 stories in the 15 total featuring him. The second Jungle Book might have been a little stronger than the first. The non-mowgli stories were a little varied in quality, and like a number of other such collections a bit of a reading break between the stories here and there helps. But o ...more
Iris (BlueIris)
I know I shouldn't compare the book to the Disney movie, but still I expected more from it. Half of the stories aren't even about Mowgli, but were some old Indian sagas or something that didn't really interest me. The Mowgli stories were fun reads, but the other stories I didn't really like. So therefore only two stars...
Chris Eirschele
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, this one produced by Race Point Publishing in 2016. Illustrations by Maurice & Edward Detmold. The collection of his stories were originally published in magazines in the late 1800s.

I highly recommend this book for children and adults.

I reread it for Kipling's writing style, but still enjoyed his story telling.
Nicholas Karpuk
In a really roundabout way, Kipling is responsible for you crying at Bambi (I didn't cry, I was just confused. The subtlety of the gunshot of camera didn't register. I spent the rest of the movie thinking Bambi's dad had gained sole custody. I was kind of stupid kid sometimes.) The Jungle Book is one of the early popular cases where an author so thoroughly anthropomorphosized animals.

It's really a smug assumption that fits well with the British imperial mindset of the book. In a position of safe
...more
Peter
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grown up children and childlike adults
Superb!
This is the first Kipling that I have read and I see why he stands so well and highly acclaimed.
These are truly classic stories with longevity and, although they may at first seem ostensibly to be children's stories, they carry many adult themes and subtexts to keep readers of most ages engaged. The irony and/or subtlety of some would be lost on kids whilst others contain darker not so childlike ideas, yet, the man child's adventures amongst the many voiced animals and their lore is the s
...more
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Joseph Rudyard Kipling was a journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist.

Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King (1888). His poems include Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), The Gods of the Copybook Headings (1919), The White Man's Burden (1899), and If— (1910). He is regarded as a major innovator in
...more
“I will remember what I was, I am sick of rope and chains -
I will remember my old strength and all my forest affairs.
I will not sell my back to man for a bundle of sugar cane;
I will go out to my own kind, and the wood-folk in their lairs.
I will go out until the day, until the morning break -
Out to the wind's untainted kiss, the water's clean caress;
I will forget my ankle-ring and snap my picket stake.
I will revisit my lost love and playmates masterless!”
55 likes
“A black shadow dropped down into the circle. It was Bagheera the Black Panther, inky black all over, but with the panther markings showing up in certain lights like the pattern of watered silk. Everybody knew Bagheera, and nobody cared to cross his path, for he was as cunning as Tabaqui, as bold as the wild buffalo, and as reckless as the wounded elephant. But he had a voice as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree, and a skin softer than down.” 45 likes
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