Quest for Kim: In Search of Kipling's Great Game

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9780472108541: Quest for Kim: In Search of Kipling's Great Game
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This book is for all those who love Kim, that masterpiece of Indian life in which Kipling immortalized the Great Game. Fascinated since childhood by this strange tale of an orphan boy's recruitment into the Indian secret service, Peter Hopkirk here retraces Kim's footsteps across Kipling's India to see how much of it remains. To attempt this with a fictional hero would normally be pointless; but Kim is different. For much of this Great Game classic was inspired by actual people and places, thus blurring the line between the real and the imaginary. Less a travel book than a literary detective story, this is the intriguing story of Peter Hopkirk's quest for Kim.

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About the Author:

Peter Hopkirk has traveled widely in the regions where his six books are set—Central Asia, the Caucasus, China, India and Pakistan, Iran, and Eastern Turkey. He has worked as an ITN reporter, the New York correspondent of the old Daily Express, and—for 20 years—on the Times. No stranger to misadventure, he has twice been held in secret police cells and has also been hijacked by Arab terrorists. His works have been translated into 14 languages.

Review:

Few would challenge the unrivaled standing of Rudyard Kipling's Kim in the exotic adventure category. Vibrant, colorful and engaging, Kim seizes upon its readers taking them into teeming Lahore, along the Grand Trunk Road-that "great highway of all humanity" where Hindu, Moslem, Buddhist, great merchant. soldier, petty trader, pilgrim, spy, and counterspy surge along on their various journeys north toward Peshawar or south toward Benares. And always in evidence is the Great Game-the quest for military and political intelligence that would enable Britain to anticipate and counter any Russian plans to advance into Tibet or India. No "game" in fact; in 1889, Colonels Gromchevski and Younghusband actually met at 18,000 feet in the Pamirs and shared a civilized lunch, each with a bellicose empire in rear. Peter Hopkirk's concern is to identify the real-life characters Kipling drew upon singly or collectively in creating Kim, the military orphan wise beyond his years; Colonel Creighton, a British military man wise enough to recognize Kim's intelligence; Mahbub Ali, the larger-than-life Afghani horse trader: Hurree Chunder Mukherjee, man of letters turned spy, Lurgan Sahib, the mysterious dealer in jewels and exotica, and the gentle, mysterious Tibetan lama seeking the river in which Buddha's arrow fell. As a long-time and respected writer-researcher on Central Asia and the Great Game, Peter Hopkirk is very well qualified to solve these and related mysteries of identification. In most cases does do convincingly, with a fine retelling of the trial, tribulations and unexpected breaks in so doing. But he gives us much more, including a concise history of the Great Game and its players, both British and Indian; insights into life in Simla, British India's summer capital, cool, forested and delightful on its mountain ridge; the educational system for British and Anglo-Indian children, and starting points for those interested in early and recent critical evaluations ("politically correct" or not?) that Kim has received as a novel of India and the Great Game at the turn of the century. Previous readers (ought one say "aficionados?) and new ones can now enjoy the great rewards of Kim with knowledgeable and engaging guide at their side. -- From Independent Publisher

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780719564529: Quest for Kim: In Search of Kipling's Great Game

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Univer..., 1999
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9780719555602: Quest for Kim: in search of Kipling's Great Game

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Oxford..., 2001
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9780192833082: Quest for Kim: In Search of Kipling's Great Game

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