Robert's Reviews > The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
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's review
May 02, 2009

liked it

I wanted to love this book, I really did. I remember being not a huge fan as a kid (back then, Rikki Tikki Tavi was my favourite story, and all the others did not really resonate with me). I hoped to enjoy it more this time around.

Unfortunately, I found myself less than floored by it. I knew that Mowgli only featured intermittently, but I had forgotten that he is only the hero of three stories. The rest are mowgli-less. The Mowgli stories are good. The story about the seals is excellent and haunting. Rikki Tikki Tavi was OK, but not the masterpiece I remember from childhood. Unfortunately, the final story, about animals in the military, was badly disappointing. (I actually really disliked that one) The story about the elephant dance has an incredible imagination behind it, but I never quite connected with the humans in it. And the songs - I mostly skipped them, because they got on my nerves.

As a collection of animal themed fairy tales / new myths, this is a good book. It is just not quite as good as I'd like it to be. Kipling has a magnificent imagination, and most of his stories succeed brilliantly at giving the animals real character, and at the same time, a strange authenticity that one would not expect in humanised animal characters. But in the end, the book simply did not win me over - it felt disconnected, and a collection where not all stories are great.

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