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The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Book (1894)

by Rudyard Kipling

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Jungle Books (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Of course, I’m familiar with Mowgli. Who hasn’t seen the clips from Disney’s film? I’d never read the book. I found old favourites and surprising insertions. I found rich language and old-fashioned ideas. They must be wonderful to read aloud, to read to an audience. Stories for story-tellers.

This kindle edition had the text of the stories interspersed with the songs or poems in a typewriter-style font. It made them distinctive, but it distracted me from the beauty of them because the font was so much larger, comparatively, and also letters well spaced. I’m never at my best reading poems in a narrative (I mostly skip JRR Tolkien’s although there are times when I only read them, not the story!). However they are worth attention, for they flow and ebb like the breathing of the jungle itself.

There are stories here that are old favourites without my ever having read them. Somehow I absorbed Rikki-Tikki-Tavi through the wealth of experience. The descriptions of the animals and their actions are divine. I particularly remarked the way Rikki (a mongoose) tackled his prey, large or small. The story of Toomai of the Elephants was unknown to me, but so rich in its description of the jungle, of the elephant dance, I felt I was there. Maybe I have the advantage of having been on a holiday to watch tigers in the Indian National Parks and reserves, but the descriptions were so vivid I felt I had returned to places I’d been.

The last story, Her Majesty’s Servants, has animals performing different duties in the Indian regiments describing their roles and their interaction with man and their purpose as they see it. It reminded me of Captain in Black Beauty, but more, it gave me a vivid flashback to The Maltese Cat, a Rudyard Kipling story I read in an anthology when I was in my teens. Kipling’s remarkable ability to consider how animals might see their interaction with the world they are in is neither anthropomorphic nor naturalistic. It is somewhere in between – animals making sense of the madness of the human world, but reciprocating the bonds that humans feel with their animals. What this story offers is insight into history during the time of such conflicts, much as War Horse does. It is a window into a bygone world.

Is it relevant to today’s teenage reader? I believe so. The richness of the language may also be old-fashioned, but there are plenty of wonderful literary works of that and former periods that are recommended reading. A lover of words, or animals, or travel, or bygone ages, will love this book. Even if the story of The White Seal is a rather jarring incongruency in the middle of an Indian landscape.
( )
  Jemima_Pett | Nov 11, 2014 |
I have always enjoyed the Wal-Mart Classics while I wish these would come back out but that is a wish for something else. My sister was able to send me these copies so I have been trying to read them - reading the other short stories then moving onto the Mowgli stories all at the same time.

Before I actually start my review I would like to make mention of something that may be of interest to some others who may want to shake things up for these stories. While I was trying to figure out how to pronounce one of the names from another included story I came upon a website that claims they had the pronunciation guide that the author had made for the stories. And so as a result I have been trying to read this time around with Rudyard's name pronunciations and not Disney's - interesting although I am not quite sure whether I like it or not.

The problem with this is its not just one story but several - the stories of Mowgli (never in any chronological order), White Seal, Rikki Tikki Tavi, Toomai of the Elephants and The Servants of the Queen. Unlike the Wal-Mart Jungle Book 2 I love the fact that Mowgli's story is in the front while the other stories are in the back with each other.

For Mowgli's story it is simple, not in chronological order and the cast isn't very many, especially for a large jungle. The child is definitely a Man-Cub for he is scared of nothing, is defiant and yet given enough encouragement to know where he stands in a world that is not so sure of his place in it.

White Seal is probably my next one of two favorites in the book even though it is strictly not jungle. Kotick is born a very rare white seal on the beaches who finds within his next year that his people just ignore the fact they were born to be butchered. Being one of the only dreamers in the series he sets off to see if he can safety and a place where no man can harm his people. In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful stories by Kipling.

Rikki Tikki Tavi is maybe one of the best and most often remembered stories within the Jungle Books right behind the Mowgli stories and my second out of two other favorite stories for me. A young mongoose almost loses his life but repays his rescuers by taking up with them. In their Indian garden he finds that not all is peaceful and that Death is quite close thus leading him to the battle against the vengeful snakes.

Toomai of the Elephants doesn't hold much for a storyline besides introducing us to Little Toomai how isn't content with the life of his father but with another life of chasing wild elephants. He is implied at by one of his idols and that idol's workers of a rare event known as the Dance of the Elephant if he to be one of them. With the help of an elephant that has been in the family for generation the boy gets to participate in the very rare and little known Dance thus becoming an instant hero to the tried trackers who have never seen such a sight.

And finally Servants of the Queen brings in a cast of more animal characters with the exception of the narrator as the animals each compare and describe the way they are used for fighting. When the youngest of the screw battery mules ask why he is told to be quiet since it is just the way that orders fall.

These beautiful stories are given with each a song that is suppose to relate to the story that you have read and it can be fun to try to sing some of them if you are for the challenge. Definitely a good collection of stories to lose yourself with. ( )
  flamingrosedrakon | Sep 15, 2014 |
Very enjoyable. Kipling knows his Subcontinent thoroughly and this epic yarn of an orphan boy raised by a menagerie of animals is priceless. Even Kaa the snake is a wise teacher to the boy. Much more involved than the wonderful cartoon movie by Disney, this book should be read first. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
I had no idea this book had more than the story of Mowgli. I've never even heard of the other stories although my mother says they are classic stories that she grew up with. And the story of Mowgli is much less than what I expected. I didn’t care too much for most of the other stories, though I now know what Rikki-tikki-tavi and Tomai references mean now. It was more of a book of short stories than anything else, which I usually don’t get into very often. It’s checked off the list though. Don’t regret the read since it was so short. ( )
  Kassilem | Jun 3, 2014 |
The first three stories here are more or less in our literary DNA at this point (I mean, really, who calls up more vivid associations for you, Noah, Achilles, and King Arthur, or Baloo, Bagheera, and Shere Khan?). Mowgli is the child raised by wolves, of course, but he's also the perfect man in a way, the transcendently alive (and lithe) hunter gatherer, domiciling amongst the beasts not because he's fallen off the map of human civilization but because we left him behind, adopted agriculture and superstition. He's not an animal and he's not a man, at least given what man has become--he's the treetopper and tool-user we might have been.

And then there is "The White Seal," Kotick the seal on his requisite quest through underwater amazement-scapes, and the seals have their own language based on Aleut, which is amazing, and it's just a really well-fleshed-out and enchanting world. Also Kipling manages to pull off a (gory) seal massacre in a way that's not too awful to teach small children some thoughtful lessons about mortality. The equal of Mowgli in every way.

And Rikki-Tikki-Tavi the mongoose, lesser, and Kipling dwells fetishistically on the "Big Englishman," but still a classic David/Goliath story.

And then "Toomai of the Elephants," which to me is just mahout fanfic, and then the one about the horse and the mule and the camel, which to me is befuddled and pointless as if Kipling got too much sun.

And the poems, which range from evocative in a"Jungle-Floor Ballads" kind of way to extraneous plot sommary of the stories to which they attach. This is a comprehensive rating, but Mowgli and Kotick are five-star bros for sure. ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Jun 2, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (149 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rudyard Kiplingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Detmold, Charles MauriceIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Detmold, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frenzeny, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingpen, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kipling, John LockwoodIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Many strange legends are told of the jungles of far-off India
Now Rann the Kite brings home the night That Mang the Bat sets free--The herds are shut in byre and hut For loosed till dawn are we.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the main work for The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. Please do not combine with any adaptation, abridgement, etc.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812504690, Mass Market Paperback)

Tor Classics are affordably-priced editions designed to attract the young reader. Original dynamic cover art enthusiastically represents the excitement of each story. Appropriate "reader friendly" type sizes have been chosen for each title—offering clear, accurate, and readable text. All editions are complete and unabridged, and feature Introductions and Afterwords.

This edition of The Jungle Book includes a Biographical Note, Foreward, Preface, and Afterword by Jane Yolen.

Run with them. Or fear them--

Bagheera the Panther: A silken shadow of boldness and cunning.

Kaa the Python: A thirty foot battering ram driven by a cool, hungry mind.

Baloo the Bear: who keeps the lore and the Law, and teaches the Secret Words.

Rikki the Mongoose: The young protector who sings as he slays.

Akela and Raksha the Wolves: Demon warriors of the Free People.

Shere Khan the Tiger: The dreaded enemy of all.

And Mowgli the Man-cub: The orphan baby raised by the wolves, taught by Baloo, trained by Bagheera and Kaa. The sorcerer who knows the ways of the jungle and speaks the language of the wild...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:24 -0400)

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Presents the adventures of Mowgli, a boy reared by a pack of wolves, and the wild animals of the jungle. Also includes other short stories set in India.

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Thirteen editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141183659, 0141325291

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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