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The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling - A Fantastic Adventure Story
Inspired by travelers and adventurers the likes of Josiah Harlan and James Brooke - the first Englishman to have become an Indian Raja in Borneo - Rudyard Kipling's tale is an amazing short story that tells the tale of two men from British India setting forth on adventures that would lead them to unexpected findings and twists that will leave you quite breathless.
The short story was written in 1888, and is considered to portray a faithful picture of the state of India, Afghanistan and Kafiristan (which would later become a part of the Afghan state) at the end of the 19th century. The plot follows in the footsteps of two men - Daniel Dravot and Peachey Carnehan - who, after having tried out many different jobs in India, including attempting to blackmail a local Raja, decide to embark on a daring journey to Kafiristan in order to set themselves up as kings.
Packed with adventure, unexpected developments, humor and tragedy, the short story captures quite accurately the adventurous mentality of the 19th century, and is in some way even considered to be quite educational, developing the tale in a believable, genuine and even entertaining manner, while also presenting the factual cold, harsh reality of what can happen to those who try too hard to scheme and plot their way to fortune and power.
Captivating and engaging on many levels, Kipling's story is inspired by authors such as T.S. Elliot, and has remained a popular and well-known fictional story that fascinated readers of adventure fiction in the 20th and early 21st centuries.
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