Quest for Kim

Book Notes

Okay, again, when a friend strongly suggests a book, then hands you a copy of the book, then recommends another book about said book, you need to read both the original book, and the follow up book. Really need to read them.

Which is what I did with this book, when Moazam handed me a copy. He handed me HIS copy, which is also saying something (mostly that I needed to return it, but let's go with saying something).

Where Kim was a work of fiction based upon stories, incidents, and the world Kipling knew, The Quest for Kim is the author's journey of discovering what, if any, of that world still exists.

I enjoyed reading the book, learning more of the history of the area, and learning about what still exists and what was, as far as the author or anyone else can tell, pure Kipling fiction.

If Kim fascinates you in any way, I recommend this book as follow up reading.


Book Notes

Right. Kim. Kimball O'Hara, an orphaned Irish boy who grew up in India during the English colonial days. Or rather, during the Great Game, before India was split into India and Pakistan, an important distinction. Kim's story is actually in parts of the Pakistani areas, which is how I came to read the book.

Let's ignore the fact that the book has been sitting on my mother's bookcase since forever, and that I tend to grab books from her shelves and read them (hello, Voltaire). Instead, let's note that when a good friend says, "This book totally describes my childhood!" and then repeats several times about how it is one of his favorite books EVAR, well, you read the book.

Of course, I'm not likely to describe the plot, so many other sites do that, but I will note that the book is available on Gutenberg, so little excuse not to read it.

I enjoyed the book. In this case, I made the mistake of switching from audiobook to ebook. This technique normally works quite well for me, but in this case, didn't, because I needed to look up a number of the words, see the spelling, search on wikipedia for the references, and understand better what was going on. The audiobook didn't lend itself to that style of understanding, so I gave up on it fairly quickly. That said, if audiobooks are your thing, and you want to hear the book in English, I recommend this performance of Kim. It is good.

I don't have pages for the quotes, because I read a Gutenberg version that lacks page breaks. Easy enough to find them, I suspect.