‘Kim’ by Rudyard Kipling [Book Review]

It was a struggle, but today I finally finished listening to the audiobook of Kim by Rudyard Kipling for 2016 Reading Challenge, but more importantly, my end of module assessment (which, insanely, counts for a third of my masters!)

Title: Kim
Author: Rudyard Kipling
Released: 1901
Pages: 263
Category: #55 A book set in Asia
Rating: 3/10

“There is no sin so great as ignorance. Remember this.”

Kim follows the story of a young boy, named Kimball O’hara, the orphaned son of an Irish soldier, living on the streets in India. Earning his food by begging or running errands, when an aged Lama befriends Kim, the young boy decides to follow him on his spiritual quest.

The novel comprises the adventure Kim and the Lama undertake across India, and latterly Kim’s experience at being sent to a top English school, despite the boy’s protests. The book sees large periods of time pass in an instant, allowing the progression of Kim’s growing up to be witnessed.


I listened to the audiobook, and I didn’t enjoy the narration: perhaps this influenced my opinion of the novel, but I didn’t connect with the characters or the plot. The novel felt jumpy and disjointed, and the characters didn’t feel like well defined individuals. Unfortunately, Kim was simply not my cup of tea (and it looks as though I’m going to have to re-read it, at least in part, before I even consider how to attack this mammoth essay!)

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