HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Game (King, Laurie R) by Laurie R. King
Loading...

The Game (King, Laurie R) (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Laurie R. King

Series: Mary Russell (7), Mary Russell {Chronological Order} (January-March 1924)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,943585,982 (4)62
Mary Russell and her husband and partner, Sherlock Holmes return for their most dangerous exploit yet in a rich and atmospheric tale that takes them to India to save the life of one of literature's most fabled heroes. But the fragile peace will be fleeting--for a visit with Holmes's gravely ill brother, Mycroft, brings news of an intrigue that is sure to halt their respite. Mycroft, who has ties to the highest levels of the government, has just received a strange package. The oilskin-wrapped packet contains the papers of a missing English spy named Kimball O'Hara--indeed, the same Kimball who served as the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's famed Kim. An orphaned English boy turned loose in India, Kim long used his cunning to spy for the Crown. But after inexplicably withdrawing from the "Great Game" of border espionage, he's gone missing and is feared taken hostage--or even killed. When Russell learns of Holmes's own secret friendship with Kim some thirty years before, she knows the die is cast: she will accompany her husband to India to search for the missing operative. But even before they arrive, danger will show its face in everything from a suspicious passenger on board their steamer to an "accident" that very nearly claims their lives. Once in India, Russell and Holmes must travel incognito--no small task for the English lady and her lanky companion. But after a twist of fate forces the couple to part ways, Russell learns that in this faraway place it's often impossible to tell friend from foe--and that some games must be played out until their deadly end.… (more)
Member:LaurieRKing
Title:The Game (King, Laurie R)
Authors:Laurie R. King
Info:Bantam (2004), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

The Game by Laurie R. King (2004)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 62 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
On the one hand, the plot is entertaining and the story is well-written. On the other hand, the Evil and Corrupt Colonized Indian vs. the Essentially Good and Well-Meaning British Colonizers is a tired racist trope. ( )
  elenaj | Jul 31, 2020 |
A little simple and a little flat, plot and believability-wise. The main 'character conflict' was the threat of Kim running rogue from British Intelligence, and the enemies of British Intelligence were simply not given enough air time or realism to make the threat of his defection convincing. If Kim were really going to abandon the British cause for that of India, there would have been a lot more information about Indian politics beyond a few gratuitous mentions of Gandhi. I also felt that the hair-cutting episode of Russell's was really clumsily telegraphed. I may be over-sensitive, but when Holmes the nondemonstrative and Russell the close-mouthed and private writer start conspiring to give us little episodes of Holmes stroking Russell's hair, well... they stand out in a terribly awkward way as deeply uncharacteristic inclusions into the narrative, and when we got to the haircut, all I could do was roll my eyes. It could have been so thrilling if we had gotten anything like, say, the Husband-Wife interactions of even Justice Hall, but there was such a rush Holmes had barely enough time to toss off a quip.

I'm not even going to mention Bindra. Please, O Author. Less Cute Local Color Sidekick with Mysterious Ties to the Plot and more PLOT. My own personal thought, perhaps based on a superficial reading of the book, was that had the maharaja not been dangerously violent and insane, his plan to lure the Russians into his territory and then close them off for the Brits to massacre was a GOOD plan, for the British, and it's bloody unlikely even in those days that the law would have acted so quickly. Why not sensibly wait until the plot to help Britain has been accomplished and then catch the man being nutters? While I don't deny that I'm jaded when it comes to today's politicians, the mahajara's end plot seemed a terribly flimsy premise to hang a novel on. And why does he keep Kim? Because Kim is Kim. And what does he do with Kim? Oh, nothing much, just keeps him in a cell.

The novel needed about 200 more pages of plot and plausibility. I know King loves to set up lovingly detailed, vibrantly described, thoroughly researched set pieces of the places Russell and Holmes visit, but I could have sacrificed some of that in this particular novel. I was disappointed. And Mycroft's illness? Barely mentioned. Not even necessary for the plot. I wanted more character development, as per the other Russell novels, and less gratuitous lesbian couples et. al. I may not buy this one, and I own all the others.

It felt sometimes like Russell's authorial voice was so dense it was getting in the way of my seeing what was really happening- like she was so focused on her own thoughts that I couldn't see, say, Holmes' real expression at her hair or Mycroft's actual state of health. The believability was just slipping. I hope this all means King is setting us up for a real killer of a next book, in which Mycroft's health matters and Holmes gets to do more than 'not react' to whatever wild stunt Russell has set up next.

I would now like to note a few common features to ALL the Russell books:

A) Russell will, at some point, be required to Prove She is Not Just a Gurl by performing some astonishing and unexpected violent action against the Male Who Questions Her Fitness, usually involving throwing a knife which strategically grazes the man's hair/beard/moustache/whatever. Russell is now 24, and while I found this behavior acceptable in, say, O Jerusalem, when she is young and in an unfamiliar, highly tense situation where a lot is hanging on her abilty to successfully impersonate a man and protect her companions, now it just seems immature. I know a long discussion of feminism would be a bit dull in the middle of the action, but there must be a better way. "Smart enough to know when only violence is the answer" charms the first few times (okay, so it always charms when Holmes does it, but Holmes just charms) but it begins, now, to pall.

B) No matter where she is, Russell will acquire Perfectly Tailored clothing perfectly suited to her needs, always including at least one evening dress which is unsual/striking enough to arouse comment in other female onlookers. I wish I had Russell's ability to conjure couture from thin air. I admit I enjoy this feature, as I love clothing and can deal with it being lovingly described for pages, but it does begin to strike me as silly when she ends up with a perfect set of outfits AND fitting shoes in the middle of India, secret intelligence agency connections or no.

C) There was a C. At one point, there was a C. I no longer remember it.

I do have a question RE: Sexuality in King's Russell novels. It seems to me that Mary Russell is with increasing frequency being drawn into situations where she is in close contact with a powerful man of remarkable physical features to whom she is attracted, or at least whose attractiveness she mentions frequently enough that one could easily assume she is attracted to him. In The Game, especially, Russell at one point towards the end specifically mentions that she looked into (Intelligence Head Guy- I forget his name's) "beautiful" face and thought only of her husband. This seems, after many mentions of the man's intelligence, to be almost a victory for Russell over a sort of temptation, or at least a subconscious attempt to reassure herself that she is, in fact, able to overcome the charms of men. Could she be tempted towards dalliance despite her almost aggressively stated "sex and sexual attraction are minor points" stance of Monstrous Regiment (which is quite similar to Holmes' own)?

She is married to a much older man. Holmes' own reactions to other men who show their interest in Russell, even when she is in the guise of a single woman, therefore removing any moral or ethical mark from the mens' characters, are strongly negative and almost violent- uncharacteristically so, I should say, if the man is confident of his wife. Russell also often comments on Holmes' reticence and undemonstrativeness, generally when he is in fact being demonstrative- perhaps there is some kind of tension there, she feels neglected at times, or he fears she does? Their blissful home-scenes belie this sort of reading- the marriage seems stablest when she and Holmes are home together being domestic, or both working on separate projects in the same house- but perhaps that's the point- investigations put quite a strain on the marriage relationship. However, if they are both under so great an amount of strain, it isn't being conveyed well in the latest novel, to the point that Russell's incredible anxiety about leaving Holmes in the hands of his captors, a throwback to events in O Jerusalem, seems inappropriately emotional for the moment. I just wonder about Russell's instances of attraction to other men and her frequent mentions of this attraction. What is the author trying to convey here, if anything? ( )
  being_b | Jan 8, 2020 |
A birthday dinner with Mycroft on Mary's twenty-fourth birthday in January, 1924, sends Holmes and Russell to India to search for Kimball O'Hara who hasn't been seen for three years. Tensions are rising in India. The nationalist uprising under Ghandi is gaining momentum and the rivalry between Russia and the British is also fierce. The change from a Tsar to the Bolsheviks didn't really change the desire to gain control of India. Neither did the newly elected Socialist Party change Britain's.

The story begins with the ocean voyage to India where Mary undergoes a crash course in Hindustani and immersion in the Mahabharata to gain an understanding of the culture. She also meets Sunny Goodheart, her mother who is inspired by an Indian Teacher, and her brother who is a budding Communist. Repeated run-ins with the Goodhearts raise suspicions in both Mary and Sherlock. The suspicions reach their peak when the Goodhearts are found to be visitors to the Maharajah of Khanpur. The Maharajah is supposed to be a staunch ally of Britain but there are some questions since his country is near where O'Hara was last seen.

Holmes and Russell begin their investigation by taking on the personas of traveling magicians. They gather a young donkey boy named Bindra along with his donkey and cart and begin to make their way across India. I loved the descriptions of the land and people as seen through Mary's eyes.

Mary becomes herself again when she meets the Goodhearts and has a chance to enter Khanpur as their guest. However, Holmes and Bindra are keeping their personas and will meet her later in Khanpur. Mary gets a chance to get to know the Maharajah and finds him to be a volatile personality with a secret political agenda. He seems fascinated by Mary especially after she joined him on a hunt for feral hogs and did well. When she wants to leave, he tries to keep her there. Fortunately, she managed to resume her identity as a traveling magician and slip away from him for a while leaving him in a rage.

She and Sherlock are traveling to get out of Khanpur when the Maharajah catches up to them. He captures Sherlock but Mary is able to make her escape out of Khanpur and to a trusted British agent. Then the two of them need to find a way back in to confirm suspicions about the Maharajah's goals and, more importantly to Mary, to rescue Holmes.

This story was filled with adventure and danger and political intrigue. I loved the mystery and Mary's world. I enjoyed the ties to Rudyard Kipling's KIM and the look at India through Mary's eyes. ( )
  kmartin802 | Aug 11, 2019 |
$1.99 on Amazon today!

1924. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes gets a New Year’s visit from Mycroft Holmes with a strange package from an English spy called Kimball O’Hara, more known as the Kim Kipling wrote about. He has withdrawn from the “Great Game” of espionage and disappeared. So Russell and Homes travels to India to search for the missing Kim.

I like this book very much, a missing spy, India and Mary Russell that has to disguise herself to save Sherlock Holmes. It's a wonderful entertaining and engrossing book.
( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
In the last installment of the Mary Russell series, King included real life character, Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould (who dies early in The Game). This time King takes a well-known character from a fictional story and gives him a larger than life persona. From Rudyard Kipling's Kim Kimball O'Hara comes alive as a player in the Great Game of espionage in India as a spy for the Crown. After three years of being missing Holmes's brother Mycroft announces it is up to Holmes and Russell to find him. What follows is a wild adventure through India. Holmes goes undercover as a magician while Mary bends the roles of gender...all for the sake of the Game.
One of the best elements of The Game is Mary's connection to Holmes. Her keen sense of observation coupled with her intimate familiarity with his personality extends to his habits so that she is able to discern mood and energy levels. Never is this more apparent than in The Game.
Another added bonus of The Game is the education on India's extensive caste system and colorful history. ( )
  SeriousGrace | May 6, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurie R. Kingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sterlin, JennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For the librarians everywhere, who spend their lives in battle against the forces of darkness.
First words
It was a dramatic setting for a human sacrifice, give my murderer credit.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Mary Russell and her husband and partner, Sherlock Holmes return for their most dangerous exploit yet in a rich and atmospheric tale that takes them to India to save the life of one of literature's most fabled heroes. But the fragile peace will be fleeting--for a visit with Holmes's gravely ill brother, Mycroft, brings news of an intrigue that is sure to halt their respite. Mycroft, who has ties to the highest levels of the government, has just received a strange package. The oilskin-wrapped packet contains the papers of a missing English spy named Kimball O'Hara--indeed, the same Kimball who served as the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's famed Kim. An orphaned English boy turned loose in India, Kim long used his cunning to spy for the Crown. But after inexplicably withdrawing from the "Great Game" of border espionage, he's gone missing and is feared taken hostage--or even killed. When Russell learns of Holmes's own secret friendship with Kim some thirty years before, she knows the die is cast: she will accompany her husband to India to search for the missing operative. But even before they arrive, danger will show its face in everything from a suspicious passenger on board their steamer to an "accident" that very nearly claims their lives. Once in India, Russell and Holmes must travel incognito--no small task for the English lady and her lanky companion. But after a twist of fate forces the couple to part ways, Russell learns that in this faraway place it's often impossible to tell friend from foe--and that some games must be played out until their deadly end.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4)
0.5
1 2
1.5
2 13
2.5 4
3 93
3.5 28
4 245
4.5 24
5 132

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 150,695,684 books! | Top bar: Always visible