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Kim is set in an imperialistic world; a world strikingly masculine dominated by travel trade and adventure a world in which there is no uestion of the division between white and non whiteTwo men a boy who grows into early manhood and an old ascetic priest the lama are at the center of the novel A uest faces them both Born in India Kim is nevertheless white a sahib While he wants to play the Great Game of Imperialism he is also spiritually bound to the lama His aim as he moves chameleon like through the two cultures is to reconcile these opposing strands while the lama searches for redemption from the Wheel of Life A celebration of their friendship in a beautiful but often hostile environment 'Kim' captures the opulence of India's exotic landscape overlaid by the uneasy presence of the British Raj

10 thoughts on “Kim

  1. says:

    Kim 13 a lonely British orphan boy born in India his widowed father was in ueen Victoria's army but he died a hopeless pathetic drunk Kim's full name is Kimball O'Hara the poorest of the poor who lives mostly in the slum streets of Lahore the Punjab now part of Pakistan Sometimes the child stays with an old Indian woman addicted to opium naturally he prefers the outside begging for money trying to stay alive and surviving day to day Later meeting a strange Lama from faraway Tibet while playing with his friends in front of a museum the monk is seeking information about The River of The Arrow legend has it that Buddha himself shot an arrow in the sky and when it landed a river appeared miraculously Anyone who bathes in the water will have all his sins removed and become pure again the problem nobody knows where this stream is located Kim decides impulsively to follow Teshoo Lama the monk in the Search becomes his disciple in reality Wanting to have fun and exciting adventures also Kim is tired of the city But first his friend the mysterious Afghan horse trader Mahbub Ali who works for the British as a secret agent Has a message for Kim to deliverer a dangerous mission to Colonel Creighton head of the British spy agency and get well paid too War will occur in the north as it always does here instigated by the Russians Travelling by train they encounter a colorful group of people inside all India goes in them Kim begins to love the mad monk and the old man likewise the father he needs the son he lacks Still the road is endless the odd pair are not successful in finding the river tired and discouraged Then the two encounter Kim's father's old regiment by accident the boy against his will is detained and made to attend a British school After three long years the kid learns to read and write in English grows to enjoy learning but never forgetting the monk Given six months to go with his friend and resume their impossible strange uest The lama had visited numerous Buddhist shrines waiting for Kim many unlikely incidents happen on the road even arriving near the mighty Himalayas Greatly helped by a rich cantankerous kindly woman the Sahiba as they go and see this uniue land spies are everywhere here unknown dangers but the real story of this book is India As Kim asks who is Kim? Buddhist Catholic Protestant Jains Sikh Muslim Hindu British or Indian That uestion can be answered very easily Kim is now a man who loves IndiaYou will too if you read this novel

  2. says:

    Although somewhat drowned in Orientalist ideals and British colonialism Kim is an exciting tale of espionage and adventure for kids of all ages 9 to 99 It is an exciting read I just with that Kipling had been a little less bigoted towards the Empire Nonetheless probably the peak of his writing for children at least in terms of character and plot development and complexity

  3. says:

    “There is no sin so great as ignorance Remember this” ― Rudyard Kipling Kim This is one of those novels that I read and instantly regreted not reading earlier when I was a boy I was able however to experience reading this with my two kids one boy 12; one girl 11 It was perfect I wandered into it expecting a well written or less Empire centric Colonial novel It was way than that I get the whole Postcolonial Lit thing but I'm not ready to abandon Kim to this debate or even the Colonial designation It is so much It is a bildungsroman an adventure story a wild vibration of the whole of India North and South mountains and plains rich and poor rivers and roads believer and unbeliever I was a tad worried at first that the specificity of the place and time would throw off my kids but it was like driving through a country bazaar in a foreign country They didn't understand every sign or shout but were transported by the smells the vistas and the atmposphere of Kipling's last great masterpiece

  4. says:

    The best work of Rudyard Kipling In it he explored many of his childhood memories of India and it is generally considered to be his most successful full length novel

  5. says:

    Kim served as inspiration for my novel The Game the seventh entry in the Mary Russell series Feel free to come and join in the discussion even if you come across this after December has passed the discussion will remain open indefinitely for new thoughts and comments Click for information about the Virtual Book ClubOh this is such a wonderful book Coming of age tale and historical treatise; spy thriller and travel narrative; rousing adventure coupled with a sleek and subtle tale of the meeting of ancient traditions—and all of it told in a rotund and glorious English that would make Shakespeare feel right at home Read it aloud He sat in defiance of municipal orders astride the gun Zam Zammah The short patter of a two word phrase when used to open a book it is a vigorous and active statement not some paired monosyllable made feeble by surrounding text The phrase tucked apart by the comma is followed by the perfect juxtaposition of defiance and municipal orders the mind's eye is immediately shown a small brown urchin facing down the cumbersome pale foreign tools of white authority Then comes the drawn out adverb astride a mere eight words into the story and we receive our first intimation that this creature who sits will turn out to straddle much than the barrel of a big gun And then the personification of that gun Zam Zammah a name that fills the mouth from teeth to soft palateProse that swells the chest and engages the mind And I'll bet the bastard didn't even fiddle endlessly with that line in order to get it rightRudyard Kipling breathed the air of India for his formative years He was an Englishman who never doubted the superiority of the British way of life or of the British person And yet Kim is infused with the opposite the native's good hud willingness to go along with the Sahib because after all the poor white man needs to think himself superior and it doesn't hurt to permit him does it?Thus Kipling's characters are both caricature and fully realized individuals his Babu is every upstart Bengali who came up against the Raj and failed although not uite utterly—and his Babu is a man with enough stout self regard to play the role of an upstart Bengali who came up against the Raj and failed because that role is a most useful disguise when dealing with men of the West who see the world in two dimensionsKim is both easy to read and hard to digest Kipling's world view was that of the English Imperialist with Victoria on the throne and God in His place I don't know that I would call Kim a profoundly embarrassing novel but it does without a doubt open a rich vein of discussion on colonial responsibilities just as Mark Twain's novels open up discussions on American racismAnyone interested in the background of the story particularly the real life paradigms for Lurgan Sahib and Colonel Creighton would do well to look at Peter Hopkirk's excellent uest for Kim It will have you eyeing the cost of travel to Simla

  6. says:

    This coming of age tale had a lot of charm in many spots but too often was a bit slow for my tastes Kim O’Hara is a 12 year old orphan in Lahore in the 1850’s child of an Irish soldier and Indian mother Despite the loss of both parents he thrives well as a street urchin always finding a way to make himself useful to community members or to engage sympathy from strangers and thus able to earn or beg his daily keep His life opens up when he assists a Tibetan lama on a pilgrimage and joins him on the road pretending to be a disciple He carries a coded message for an itinerant Afghan Pashtun horse trader which turns out to serve the British secret service in their campaign against insurgents against their colonial rule He already knows several languages and is a master of disguise and escape skills which the British develop through mentoring by others in the secret network along his travels At one point he is sent to a Catholic school for British kids but he gets away for long holidays and further adventures in the freedom of the road Kipling was a jingoistic true believer in the rightness of British imperialism Yet he clearly loved India and its diversity of peoples and respects their cultural differences But he sees through a romantic lens Still that lens is a wonderful way to view the world especially given Kipling’s poetic skills in writing The alluring fantasy he constructs is that being open with the senses to the world and its people unbound by creed or family responsibilities is an ideal state of being in true harmony with the world The morality of pretense and lies that allows Kim to thrive is no dark cloud because of his playful attitude it seems All the spy work is not driven by ideology but by the thrill of being “in the game” Having a few friends he can be truthful with grounds him and the spirituality of the lama and his uest for the origins of a sacred river rubs off on him Yet there is little development in Kim’s character over the several years covered in the book His perpetual journey is its own endThe sense of the book as a travel tale exploring the geography and urban settings of India was part of the book’s charm It would be great to travel with such a boy who sees the world as his oyster and each day a promise of exciting new adventures Here is a sample passage that conveys tis flavor The diamond bright dawn woke men and cows and bullocks together Kim sat up and yawned shook himself and thrilled with delight This was seeing the world in real truth; this was life as he would have it—bustling and shouting the buckling of belts and beating of bullocks and creaking of wheels lighting of fires and cooking of food and new sights at every turn of the approving eye The morning mist swept off a swirl of the silver; the parrots shot away to some distant river in shrieking green hosts; all the well wheels within earshot were at work India was awake and Kim was in the middle of it awake and excited than any one

  7. says:

    You know those books that you know from the very first page you’re going to love it this wasn’t that You know those other books that start out slow and it takes you awhile but soon you find yourself hooked? Nope this was not one of those either In fact I made it through the entire book without every really feeling invested in any way shape or form I persevered only because I started it a few months ago and gave it up then restarted it convinced I’d get through it It’s one of Kipling’s most lauded books and it’s on a million must read lists and there’s got to be something else there But in the end it just didn’t work for me A young Irish boy Kim is orphaned in India during the 19th century He becomes a disciple of a Tibetan Lama Teshoo Lama and travels with him on his uest Eventually a British regiment takes him under their wing and enrolls him in an English school They decide to groom him to become a spy I loved some of Kipling’s short stories The Jungle Book etc but this one left me feeling cold It’s suppose to be a “spy” novel in some way but instead of having any solid plot it meanders and muses about life It felt both boring and tiresome and I couldn't help but wonder why we were suppose to care about what happened to Kim I know I should have to say about this book but honestly I was just glad to be done with it If anyone loved this book I would be thrilled to hear why

  8. says:

    While it is one of the most beautiful tales of friendship I have ever read Kim is much Rudyard Kipling created in Kim a novel in the mold of the classic heroic journey that has a pedigree reaching back to Gilgamesh and the Odyssey With Kim a young white boy sahib at it's center and his friend and mentor the Lama we see the world of India in the nineteenth century as it is ruled by Great Britain The story unfolds against the backdrop of The Great Game the political conflict between Russia and Britain in Central Asia It is set after the Second Afghan War which ended in 1881 but before the Third The novel is notable for its detailed portrait of the people culture and varied religions of India While Kim is often categorized as a children's novel it has much to offer adult readers not unlike other children's books like Huckleberry Finn Kipling raises uestions of identity Who is Kim? culture spirituality and the nature of fate Most of all he depicts the growth of a young man through his uest to find his destiny and the bond that develops between Kim as 'chela' or disciple and his Lama The greatness of this novel lies in Kipling's ability to combine all of these themes with a natural style that conveys the richness both of the lives of Kim and his friends and the fecundity of life in India; a vivid picture of India its teeming populations religions and superstitions and the life of the bazaars and the road One of the most enduring images for me was the close tie Kim has with the land itself This is shown several times throughout the novel culminating in his final renewal when he is stretched out on the earth near the end of the novel The epic uest is successful as this novel unfolds a positive and uplifting narrative

  9. says:

    Single uote Review It was all there in Kipling barring the epilogue of the Indian inheritance A journey to India was not really necessary No writer was honest or accurate; no writer was revealing of himself and his society He has left us Anglo India; to people these relics of the Raj we have only to read him We find a people conscious of their roles conscious of their power and separateness yet at the same time fearful of expressing their delight at their situation they are all burdened by responsibilities The responsibilities are real; but the total effect is that of a people at play They are all actors; they know what is expected of them; no one will give the game away VS Naipaul An Area of Darkness

  10. says:

    Kim is my first adult reading of a Rudyard Kipling book And I don't know how exactly I feel about this book; I feel a little muddle I don't attempt to write an analytical review here for I uite don't know what the story is all about I'm sure there was a story but whatever it was it didn't grab my attention But somehow I kept going and that is what is incredible The book is a mixed bag In a short space the book talks of the diverse cultures religions politics social attitudes under the imperialism espionage in the light of the Great Game These topics were interesting and informative Amid these multiple themes Kipling tells the story of Kim or Kimball O'Hara a white orphaned boy who was raised in the native Indian culture What his exact story is I uite couldn't fathom but parts of his story as separate episodes held my interest To begin with I liked the character of Kim I enjoyed his relationship with the Lama Kim's love devotion and loyalty to the old Lama were admirable Kim is a clever child though he led a vagabond life And I enjoyed his progress and development from a careless child to a responsible youth That much is uite sure But my overall feelings about this book are muddled The story neither bore me nor engaged me so the dilemma at forming my overall opinion about the book and deciding on a proper rating Parts of it I did enjoy but the rest of it was just meh However to do justice to the depth of the thoughts of the author his true portrayal of diverse themes here mentioned and to my part enjoyment I've set upon a middle rating Having said that I would like to remember Rudyard Kipling as a poet I did enjoy his Jungle Book as a child But that was so long ago; I don't know how I will feel about it now All I can say is that Kipling is a poet to the core and not a novelist His thoughts are deep and I appreciate them But he is a poor storyteller That much I can vouch