The Man Who Would Be King

The Man Who Would Be King

Book - 2011
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Rudyard Kipling is one of the most magical storytellers in the English language. This new selection brings together the best of his short writings, following the development of his work over fifty years. They take us from the harsh, cruel, vividly realized world of the 'Indian' stories that made his name, through the experimental modernism of his middle period to the highly-wrought subtleties of his later pieces. Including the tale of insanity and empire, 'The Man Who Would Be King', the high-spirited 'The Village that Voted the Earth Was Flat', the fable of childhood cruelty and revenge 'Baa Baa, Black Sheep', the menacing psychological study 'Mary Postgate' and the ambiguous portrayal of grief and mourning in 'The Gardener', here are stories of criminals, ghosts, femmes fatales, madness and murder.
Publisher: London : Penguin Books, 2011
ISBN: 9780141442358
Branch Call Number: FIC SS
Characteristics: xxxvi, 573 p. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Montefiore, Jan


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Jan 12, 2018

A superlative collection of 38 of Kipling's short stories , from his earliest in 1880's Victorian Britain and the Raj, to his final works in an altogether different world of the 1930's.
Kipling is much maligned these days;dismissed as a stooge for colonialism and imperial Britain, but I honestly have to wonder if these critics have ever read a word Kipling wrote.
Its the range, quality and style of these stories that so impresses.In 'The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes' you not only have a surreal masterpiece, but arguably a reflection on the impossibility of Empire or society based on a presumed superiority of one class over another; a need to work together to get out of situations that engulf.'The Man Who Would be King' again views a rule based on false presumptions and claims and how-once the myth is gone- it all comes clattering down.His obvious respect for the various eastern religions comes through(as in 'Mohammad Din') and in 'Naboth'he uses comedy to satire colonialism with his garden being slowly over taken by a local native.
Kipling is easily amongst the greats in short story writing. Admirers of Cheever will feel well at home with these.
The anti Kipling lobby do a huge disservice to literature a) by having not read Kipling yet coming out with cliches they've learned from some third rate rag somewhere and b)shamefully putting people off reading his fantastic tales.
A really great and definitive collection of the best from a truly deserving Nobel winner. Rediscover !

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