Around 300 pages
I have read "The White Man's Burden" in class and really had no desire to revisit this author again. Of course, the List had other ideas and I have pledged my devotion to it, for better or for worse. This is leaning in the "for better" category, so maybe we can upgrade Kipling from horrible bigot to well-meaning moron.
Kim is the orphaned son of Irish parents living a vagabond existence in India. He befriends a Tibetan lama who is on a quest to achieve nirvana. Kim is sent to an English school, but he doesn't forget his friendship with the lama. And then he becomes a spy. It makes sense when you read it anyway.
So this is a decent story, but it is certainly not the best depiction of childhood I have read. Now, I know childhood is a privilege that Kim arguably did not possess, but I still feel like authors such as Dickens and Martel do a better job of capturing the unique voice of a child. Kipling always sounds like Kipling.
But the setting of the story is so interesting that the novel works regardless.
Referenced in The English Patient.
Listed as UK's best loved novel in BBC's The Big Read poll.
UP NEXT: Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann. I am going to wait and see how this apocalypse thing shakes out first. Hopefully, it will get me out of reading this.