Quest for Kim: In Search of Kipling's Great Game Paperback – Oct 6 1999
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'A brilliant jigsaw'―Patrick Leigh Fermor, Spectator, Books of the Year
'This beautifully written and beguiling travel book will fascinate even those who have never read Kim'―Scotsman --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Publisher
Maps & line drawings throughout --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The essence of this volume is Hopkirk's search in the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan and northern India for Kipling's Kim. While few of the characters in Kim have direct historical parallels, there were models Kipling drew on for many of them. Kim himself was probably based an orphan of mixed parentage; his father was probably a British army soldier and his mother a Tibetan. Colonel Creighton was probably modeled off of Colonel Montgomerie of the Survey of India, while Lurgan
is believed to be modeled off of A. M. Jacob, a notorious jeweler in Simla. St. Xavier's in Lucknow was probably the source for La Martiniére.
Hopkirk does an excellent job in setting Kim into the Great
Game-the Russo-English rivalry over Afghanistan and the Anglo-French rivalry over the India trade. Throughout the book he also discusses whether Kipling was a racist or not. Unlike many critics who would judge Kipling by today's standards, Hopkirk tries to judge him the mores and values of Victorian England.
On finishing "Quest for Kim", one may be left with the feeling that the historical information contained therein could have been greater in both quantity and detail. One will certainly not feel greatly informed on the literary qualities of "Kim", beyond that Hopkirk is extremely impressed by them. "Quest for Kim" is not a great scholarly tome, but it is an enjoyable read, encompassing a light, welcoming introduction to a study of British India and "Kim" itself wrapped in a pleasant narrative of one man's brief travels through Pakistan and India.
Hopkirk is writing from an imperialist perspective; that is: the agents of the British empire are the good guys. But as long as you understand where he is coming from, there is nothing to detract the value of this book as a historical study.
It is very readable, and an interesting approach to a great book. But don't read it before reading Kim itself, because this book gives away too much of they story.
Most recent customer reviews
The title sounds strange and vague but that is what I feel about this novel. It is a slow but an interesting novel if an individual might just have the patience to let the... Read morePublished on Oct. 5 2001 by ADITI.SIRPURKAR
Peter Hopkirk is one of the many people who has read and reread Kipling's Kim throughout his life. Hopkirk's inspiration for his excellent works on Central Asia was Kim. Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2001 by z
If you've ever wished that you could actually visit Kipling's India, this book is for you. You will not be able to put it down... Read morePublished on Dec 19 2000 by Amazon Customer
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