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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 Wilber --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
"I highly recommend Campfire’s comics. They do what they are intended to do and do it in a way that excites kids about classic literature."
— Chris Wilson, The Graphic Classroom (a resource for teachers and librarians) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
There were quite a few errors in formatting the text, which is why I gave it 3 stars rather than higher. Read morePublished 16 months ago by aquinas
Good quality. Great to use in scouting programs. Prompt delivery. An excellent read for bed time at any TimberWolf Scout or Cub Scout camp.Published 22 months ago by Mary R. Fisher
This is the third time I've read this in my 60 plus years. I enjoy it and get a little more out of it every time. Read morePublished on Nov. 9 2013 by F. Gorosh
Am I missing something here? Apparently. I found Kipling's writing extremely stilted and archaic, in a bad way (not in a say, Shakespeare way). Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2003 by P. Costello
Some say Kipling was an imperialist. Some say he was an Indophile. I think he was both at the same time. Read morePublished on Oct. 15 2003 by Tana Shah
The tale is a classic adventure story, of Kim, Irish orphan growing up as a street urchin in northern India. Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2003 by A Yong
The orphaned son of a British Army officer learns the way of the streets of India, where he acts as a courier, and sometimes a spy, for locals who are in the pay of the British as... Read morePublished on July 25 2003 by S Smyth