Synopses & Reviews
The Jungle Book can be regarded as classic stories told by an adult to children. But they also constitute a complex literary work of art in which the whole of Kipling's philosophy of life is expressed in miniature. They are best known for the 'Mowgli' stories; the tale of a baby abandoned and brought up by wolves, educated in the ways and secrets of the jungle by Kaa the python, Baloo the bear, and Bagheera the black panther. The stories, a mixture of fantasy, myth, and magic, are underpinned by Kipling's abiding preoccupation with the theme of self-discovery, and the nature of the 'Law.'
"There is a false air of heartiness; there is a knowing air; there are mannerisms, such as 'But that is another story'; there is a display of slang; there is too obtrusive knocking of the nail on the head. Everyone can mark these errors; a few cannot overcome their antipathy, and so lose a great deal of pleasure." Andrew Lang
"...the whole of India and in a way the whole world may be found in his pages." Jorge Luis Borges
Contains the famous Mowgli stories about an abandoned baby raised by wolves and educated in the ways and secrets of the jungle.
About the Author
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born on December 30, 1865, in Bombay. He was called Rudyard after Lake Rudyard in Staffordshire where his parents had met.
Kipling travelled in every continent and was clearly stimulated by the variety of foreign scenes. He wrote stories, poems and essays about most of the places he visited. His early experiences in India were formative.
In 1907 he became the first British writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize. A best-seller in his time, Kipling was widely read by ordinary people. It is said that he made a similar impact on his age as Dickens had done before him. Description was his strength and early readers felt that he had brought a new world India into prose and verse which "seemed to embrace the whole world of India, from the garrison hacks of Simla to the stinking alleys of Lahore; from the jewels and treacheries of maharajahs to the bellowing sergeants on parade grounds..." and he aroused interest in the soldier's life in India. His novel, Kim, has been praised for its understanding of different races and creeds. However, his politics have always aroused controversy and critics have often pointed out technical weaknesses in his work: undeveloped characters and overuse of dialect and cliché. His writing has left some famous lines in the English language, such as, "East is East, and West is West"; "The white man's burden"; and "The female of the species is more deadly than the male."
Ruyard Kipling passed away on January 18, 1936. He is, perhaps, best remembered for his children's tales, especially The Jungle Book and its sequel, The Second Jungle Book; Puck of Pook's Hall' Rewards and Fairies' and his Just So Stories. He is also remembered for his novel of India, Kim. His poem "If" has been voted one of Britain's best loved poems on National Poetry Day.
Table of Contents
Mowgli's brothers -- Hunting song of the Seeonee Pack -- Kaa's hunting -- Road-song of the Bandar-log -- Tiger! Tiger! -- Mowgli's song -- The white seal -- Lukannon -- Rikki-tikki-tavi -- Darzee's chaunt -- Toomai of the elephants -- Shiv and the grasshopper -- Her Majesty's servants -- Parade-song of the camp-animals.