GROUP READ -- KIM by Rudyard Kipling (SPOILERS)
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Apart from all that I did like the story and some of the characters, in particular Kim and the Lama.
My main query is that I did not think there was enough struggle between Kim's secret service ideas and desires and the concept of him following and learning from the lama and caring for him so greatly. The two sides are so opposed and it was not always clear to me which side he was really on. I guess that might have been the point, Kims struggle with who he is and what he believes.
I am pleased to be done the book as it did drag and I am sure I could have gotten a lot more from the book but it might take more knowledge of the time and place.
Would I recommend it to others? Perhaps with a warning or two before a gentle nudge.
I would recommend it to others. The world was totally engrossing. The journey, more than the plot, was intriguing to me. A great coming of age/finding your true path book which brought to life a unique experience, setting, and time in history.
I enjoyed most of the characters in the book and think it is still stands the test of time, mainly because it seems like such a unique book.
I quite understand that people who haven't read a lot of books on the British Raj would have trouble with the language, but that is part of the immersion for those of us who do have the background.
All of those distractions aside, I saw Kim differently this time, and had a better understanding of what the story was about (though subsequent readings no doubt will have different interpretations). My interest this time was placed on how Kim had managed to make a family of his own, after being alone, and to what lengths he went to, for his 'friends/family'. And also how awful it was for grown men to use a young boy like that (including his beloved lama). But that is just the 'grown-up' in me... I guess that a twelve-year-old boy would think it a great adventure.
Was it just the literature of the time, or was it the reality of the time, that allowed a young boy to be so free in the world and able to interact freely with adults? I think the British "used" him only after he display an aptitude for espionage. What would have happened to him if he had been less capable in that arena? I never had a clear understanding for Kim's true affections - he loved the lama, but was he truly devoted to him and willing to be taught the intricacies of Buddhism? Was he really loyal to the English, or was that just an adventure? I always had the feeling that he just enjoyed being wanted by everyone - which would be consistent with modern teens as well.