View single post by KGB
 Posted: Mon Mar 28th, 2022 04:02 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 4th, 2012
Posts: 3491
Earlier in the month I read Kim by Rudyard Kipling.  It's the story of a young Irish boy who is orphaned in colonial India (actually in what would become Pakistan) and grows up native.  He attaches himself to a Tibetan Monk, come down from the Himalayas in search of a river that will grant enlightenment.  From there, he's "captured" by a British regiment and sent to a British school for expatriate children.  His cleverness and ability to go local brings him to the attention of secret agents, both Indian and British, who are playing the "Great Game" of spycraft against Russian agents in South Asia, and he's dispatched on missions to that end.  In some way the story can be related to Huck Finn, in that it's the traveling adventures of an adolescent boy.  In that sense it's a great adventure.  The only negative is that the dialogue takes some getting used to.  I assume it's supposed to be an English translation from Urdu (and Hindi) but it sounds so stilted to 21st century ears.  Eventually you get used to it, but for a children's book it's difficult to slog through parts of it.    

After that, I read a somewhat fictionalized biography of Thomas Paine, called Citizen Tom Paine, written in the middle of the 20th century.  Good God, was this ever a depressing story.  The 350 pages were one endless tale of misery, drunkenness, abuse, and privation.  

At the same time I bought Kim, from my local library, I also picked up a copy of The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White.  I read it in third or fourth grade and I figured I need something lighter after the last two books.