Posted at the Ministry of Culture.
I have just read Rudyard Kipling’s novel Kim and am in awe of it.
My mother had suggested a few times that I read it and so, of course, I didn’t. This was a triumph of stubbornness over experience. My mother has a few intellectual quirks (Mets fan?) but has never, ever steered me wrong in a book recommendation.*
Prior to reading Kim, all I knew of Kipling was
- he wrote the wonderful Just So Stories
- his reputation as a stuffy defender of the British Empire
- and is author of one a great poem about the plight of forgotten veterans, The Last of the Light Brigade.
There were thirty million English who talked of England’s might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
They had neither food nor money, the had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.
None of which prepared me for Kim.
If you care to read it, there is more here.