Kim

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Kim
by Rudyard Kipling
★☆

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 quest. 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 more 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.

I read this for the Victorian Literature Challenge.

13 comments:

Jillian said...

Yikes! I was hoping to like this book...

Sandy Nawrot said...

I hate it when that happens. The book rings a bell for some reason. I'm wondering if I had to read this in high school or college? I tend to block these experiences out of my mind!

Jeanne said...

Loved your introduction to this!
I loved Kim, and I think why is that I read it when I was in fourth grade. So I would have been nine. I've never reread it, and now I'm not tempted.

Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

Great introduction, I laughed. Sorry that it wasn't a great book for you. It happens though, it's impressive that you finished.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jillian - Me too.

Sandy - I feel like it happens much less frequently, because I have a better idea of my own taste, but occasionally one sneaks in.

Jeanne - I might have liked it if I was younger. I've always loved The Jungle Book and his other short stories.

Mrs. Q - I felt like I had to finish it. Like if I gave up I'd be missing the great redeeming ending or something... nope.

Shelley said...

I haven't read this, but now I want to to see if I hate it as much as you did. Does that sound weird, or what?

Emily said...

I tried to read it after i read The Game by Laurie R King (it's in the middle of the Mary Russell series - which you should read in order) and Kim/the story feature in it. Also, there is speculation that Kim is real - either as himself or based on someone. But I couldn't get into it, either. Glad it wasn't just me! (the Mary Russell series, however, I can't get enough of.)

Allie said...

This does not make me want to pick it back up. I set it aside because I was unimpressed. I suppose I'll get to it eventually...

Bybee said...

I have a mouldery old copy that I haven't gotten around to yet.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Shelley - Ha, who knows, maybe you'd love it.

Emily - I've never heard of that series, I've got to check it out!

Allie - It will be interesting to hear what you think. Maybe I was just in the wrong mood or something.

Bybee - I actually had a hard time finding a copy of this one for awhile.

BookQuoter said...

Never heard of this, and now, never will read it, haha!!

Shelley said...

I've read this since I last commented, and although I didn't totally hate it, it simply just isn't that good of writing. I tried to watch a movie version of it to see if it was any better but I only lasted about 10 minutes because it was SO ridiculous.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Shelley - I think I just expected a lot because I enjoyed The Jungle Book so much. I have a feeling I would hate a movie version too.