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Kim

Rudyard Kipling

Book Overview: 

Kim is a fabulous adventure story set in India during the former British Empire. It tells the story of a street-wise but (in typical Kipling fashion) highly moral Anglo-Indian boy who becomes enmeshed in “the Great Game” -– the competition between Britain and Russia for control over Asia. Taking time off from his role as the traveling companion of an aged Tibetan lama, the boy is trained as a spy, and matches wits with various evildoers. So much more than just a spy story, Kim is one of the most enjoyable books that you will ever read — or have read to you.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .He was tall and grey-bearded, sitting the almost mad beast as a piece of her, and scientifically lashing his victim between plunges.

The old man's face lit with pride. 'My child!' said he briefly, and strove to rein the pony's neck to a fitting arch.

'Am I to be beaten before the police?' cried the carter. 'Justice! I will have Justice—'

'Am I to be blocked by a shouting ape who upsets ten thousand sacks under a young horse's nose? That is the way to ruin a mare.'

'He speaks truth. He speaks truth. But she follows her man close,' said the old man. The carter ran under the wheels of his cart and thence threatened all sorts of vengeance.

'They are strong men, thy sons,' said the policeman serenely, picking his teeth.

The horseman delivered one last vicious cut with his whip and came on at a canter.

'My father!' He reigned back ten yards and dismounted.

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Community Reviews

This coming of age tale had a lot of charm in many spots, but too often was a bit slow for my tastes. Kim O’Hara is a 12-year old orphan in Lahore in the 1850’s, child of an Irish soldier and Indian mother. Despite the loss of both parents he thrives well as a street urchin, always finding a way...more

While it is one of the most beautiful tales of friendship I have ever read, Kim is much more. Rudyard Kipling created in Kim a novel in the mold of the classic heroic journey that has a pedigree reaching back to Gilgamesh and the Odyssey. With Kim, a young white boy, sahib, at it's center and his...more

Kim , 13, a lonely, British orphan boy, born in India, his widowed father, was in Queen Victoria's army, but he died, a hopeless, pathetic, drunk. Kim's full name is Kimball O'Hara, the poorest of the poor, who lives mostly, in the slum streets of Lahore, the Punjab (now part of Pakistan). Someti...more

“There is no sin so great as ignorance. Remember this.”
― Rudyard Kipling, Kim

This is one of those novels that I read and instantly regreted not reading earlier when I was a boy. I was able, however, to experience reading this with my two kids (one boy 12; one girl 11). It was perfect. I wandered...more

IL RAGAZZO CHE NON VOLLE FARSI RE
Romanzo per ragazzi, e per adulti. Lettura per tutti.
Romanzo picaresco, quindi d’avventura, di viaggio.
Ma anche romanzo di spionaggio, racconto mistico, d’iniziazione…
Romanzo intriso di speranza, di fiducia nella possibilità, un inno alla gioia: è gioia leggerlo...more

One of the best books I've ever read, and one that I'm sure will stick with me for a long, long time. Not to say it's always an easy book. For one, it's pretty colonial-feeling, what with its fondness for dropping the n-word on anyone browner than an Englishman, its blithe references to sneaky, i...more

Although somewhat drowned in Orientalist ideals and British colonialism, Kim is an exciting tale of espionage and adventure for kids of all ages 9 to 99. It is an exciting read. I just with that Kipling had been a little less bigoted towards the Empire. Nonetheless, probably the peak of his writi...more

“We'd go down to the river
And into the river we'd dive
Oh down to the river we'd ride”

That’s Bruce Springsteen, not Rudyard Kipling. All the mentions of The River just reminds me of this song.

So Kim is all about the adventures of a young Irish boy, Kimball O'Hara, in British colonial India. Kim...more

Single Quote Review:

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...more

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