John's Reviews > The Man Who Would Be King

The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling
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's review
Mar 24, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: ownebook
Read in April, 2009

It somehow feels a bit dodgy giving just three or four stars to something that has been considered a classic by so many, but here I go doing it anyhow.

The good parts of the book were the setting and something of the insight into the thought processes of the imperial powers of the day. The vivid descriptions of the heat of India, the businesses of the day, were fun to read -- even though I resorted to Wikipedia afterwards to learn more about the exceedingly complex way that India was governed back in the day.

The bad part of it was that once you're about half way through, you know how it will end; the only question is exactly how you get there. Some people like this book because it is some sort of moral lesson; I think it is exceedingly lengthy for a moral lesson that could be communicated in a sentence or two.

I had given this book three stars, but decided to bump it to four upon reflection. It did keep my attention, wanting to find out how it ended up. But it was really quite a jarring read for a modern reader, and somewhat difficult to pick up as a result. I had thought that was a downside, but as I look back on it, I think it's a good thing.
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Reading Progress

04/14/2009 "44% through it. A strange work so far, but interesting."
04/15/2009 "Finished"

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