Kipling's epic rendition of the imperial experience in India is also his greatest long work. Two men - Kim, a boy growing into early manhood and the lama, an old ascetic priest - are fired by a quest. Kim is white, a sahib, although born in India. While he wants to play the Great Game of Imperialism, he is also spiritually bound to the lama and he tries to reconcile these opposing strands, while the lama searches for redemption from the Wheel of Life. A celebration of their friendship in an often hostile environment, "Kim" captures the opulence of India's exotic landscape, overlaid by the uneasy presence of the British Raj.
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One of the particular pleasures of reading Kim is the full range of emotion, knowledge, and experience that Rudyard Kipling gives his complex hero. Kim O'Hara, the orphaned son of an Irish soldier stationed in India, is neither innocent nor victimized. Raised by an opium-addicted half-caste woman since his equally dissolute father's death, the boy has grown up in the streets of Lahore:
Though he was burned black as any native; though he spoke the vernacular by preference, and his mother-tongue in a clipped uncertain sing-song; though he consorted on terms of perfect equality with the small boys of the bazar; Kim was white--a poor white of the very poorest.From his father and the woman who raised him, Kim has come to believe that a great destiny awaits him. The details, however, are a bit fuzzy, consisting as they do of the woman's addled prophecies of "'a great Red Bull on a green field, and the Colonel riding on his tall horse, yes, and'--dropping into English--'nine hundred devils.'"
In the meantime, Kim amuses himself with intrigues, executing "commissions by night on the crowded housetops for sleek and shiny young men of fashion." His peculiar heritage as a white child gone native, combined with his "love of the game for its own sake," makes him uniquely suited for a bigger game. And when, at last, the long-awaited colonel comes along, Kim is recruited as a spy in Britain's struggle to maintain its colonial grip on India. Kipling was, first and foremost, a man of his time; born and raised in India in the 19th century, he was a fervid supporter of the Raj. Nevertheless, his portrait of India and its people is remarkably sympathetic. Yes, there is the stereotypical Westernized Indian Babu Huree Chander with his atrocious English, but there is also Kim's friend and mentor, the Afghani horse trader Mahub Ali, and the gentle Tibetan lama with whom Kim travels along the Grand Trunk Road. The humanity of his characters consistently belies Kipling's private prejudices, and raises Kim above the mere ripping good yarn to the level of a timeless classic. --Alix WilberFrom the Publisher:
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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Bookseller Inventory # GOR004824224
Book Description Penguin Classics, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Kim This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780140623888
Book Description Penguin Classics 26/07/2007, 2007. Book Condition: used-good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780140623888
Book Description Penguin, 1994. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Fair. No Jacket. Spine and corners creased, corners rubbed some page edges rippled. 383 pages of story set in India at the time of the Raj. Size: 16 x 24cm. Bookseller Inventory # 8924
Book Description Book Condition: good. 200 Gramm. Bookseller Inventory # M00140623884-G
Book Description Book Condition: very good. 200 Gramm. Bookseller Inventory # M00140623884-V
Book Description Penguin Classics, 2007. Softcover. Book Condition: ottime. copia in ottime condizioni (sx). Bookseller Inventory # EO-8UF9-NNHO
Book Description Penguin Classics. Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. little to no wear, pages are clean. The cover and binding are crisp with next no creases. Bookseller Inventory # 2747572372