Rudyard Kipling Kim (Penguin Classics)

ISBN 13: 9780141442372

Kim (Penguin Classics)

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9780141442372: Kim (Penguin Classics)
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An epic rendition of the imperial experience in India, one of Kipling's greatest works

Kim, orphaned son of an Irish soldier and a poor white mother, and the lama, an old ascetic priest, are on a quest. Kim was born and raised in India and plays with the slum children as he lives on the streets, but he is white, a sahib, and wants to play the Great Game of Imperialism; while the priest must find redemption from the Wheel of Things. Kim celebrates their friendship and their journeys in a beautiful but hostile environment, capturing the opulence of the exotic landscape and the uneasy presence of the British Raj. Filled with rich description and vivid characters, this beguiling coming of age story is considered Kipling's masterpiece.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Review:

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 Wilber

From the Publisher:

Kim is an orphan, living from hand to mouth in the teeming streets of Lahore. One day he meets a man quite unlike anything in his wide experience, a Tibetan lama on a quest. Kim's life suddenly acquires meaning and purpose as he becomes the lama's guide and protector--his chela. Other forces are at work as Kim is sucked into the intrigue of the Great Game and travels the Grand Trunk Road with his lama.

How Kim and the lama meet their respective destinies on the road and in the mountains of India forms one of the most compelling adventure tales of all time.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781853260995: Kim (Wordsworth Classics)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1853260991 ISBN 13:  9781853260995
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd, 1999
Softcover

9781909621824: Kim (Macmillan Collector's Library)

Macmil..., 2016
Hardcover

9780486445083: Kim (Dover Thrift Editions)

Dover ..., 2005
Softcover

9780140183528: Kim (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)

Pengui..., 1987
Softcover

9780393966503: Kim (Norton Critical Editions)

W. W. ..., 2002
Softcover

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