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The Light That Failed New edition Edition

46 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0755117277
ISBN-10: 0755117271
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Editorial Reviews


Novel by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1890. The book, which includes autobiographical elements, describes the youth and manhood of Dick Heldar and traces his efforts as a war correspondent and artist whose sketches of British battles in the Sudan become popular. When he returns to London, he begins painting his masterpiece, racing against time because a battle wound has caused his eyesight to progressively fail. Kipling wrote two separate endings to The Light That Failed, a happy ending for the version published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in January 1890 and an unhappy ending for the version published in book form a few months later. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Rudyard Joseph Kipling was born in the then named Bombay, India on 30th December 1865.   Aged six, he was sent to England to be educated, firstly in Southsea, where he was cared for in a foster home, and later at Westward Ho, a United Services College in Devon. A life of misery at the former was described in his story 'Baa Baa Black Sheep', whilst Westward Ho was used as a basis for his questioning the public school ethic in 'Stalky and Co'. Kipling returned to India in 1882 to work as an assistant editor for the Civil and Military Gazette of Lahore. His reputation as a writer was established with stories of English life in India, published there in 1888/9. 'The Phantom Rickshaw', 'Soldiers Three' and 'Under the Deodars' are amongst these early works. Returning to England in 1889, Kipling settled in London and continued to earn a living as a writer. In 1892 he married Caroline Balestier, an American. They travelled extensively in the following four years, including a spell living in America, and it was in this time most of his enduring work was written, not least 'The Jungle Book' and 'The Second Jungle Book'. Kipling once again returned to England in 1896 and continued his writing career, although tragedy hit the family when his eldest daughter, Josephine, died in 1899. Nonetheless, in 1901 he completed 'Kim', often considered to be his best work. The following year, having settled in Sussex, he published 'Just So Stories', a book he had planned to write for Josephine. Having refused the position of Poet Laureate, which was offered in 1895, he did accept the Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the first English author to be so honoured. By 1910, however, Kipling's appeal was waning. His poems and stories were based on values that were perceived as outdated. There was widespread reaction against Victorian imperialism, highlighted by the incompetent management of the Boer War. When World War I came, Kipling had difficulty in adapting to the mood of the public and after his only son, John, was reported missing in action believed killed in 1915, he became very active on the War Graves Commission. After the war he became an increasingly isolated figure, although some of his best writing was to come, with 'Debits and Credits' in 1926 and 'Limits and Renewals' in 1932. Kipling died in 1936 in London and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Today, however, he is once again avidly read not just for the quality of his writing and storytelling, but through a renewed

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: House Of Stratus; New edition edition (December 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755117271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755117277
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,726,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

176 of 176 people found the following review helpful By Kiwi on July 15, 2010
There's a reason for many of the negative reviews of the quality of this book. This is because the version of "The Works of Rudyard Kipling" published by General Books LLC is an el cheapo version, created using OCR scanning and an automated scanning device which can miss complete pages. Typos are frequent and there's no table of contents, also, there was absolutely no editing of the book. This is all stated on the publishers web site (google them and read - you'll be as interested as I was when you see all the disclaimers).

The owner of General Books LLC (a company called VDM Publishing), is getting more and more notorious for these ripoffs - almost every review of their books (500,000 or so now listed on Amazon) by an actual buyer is negative, many are extremely so. Also watch out for any books published by Alphascript, Betascript, Fastbooks, Books LLC and LLC Books - all imprints of VDM Publishing. Unfortunately, Amazon is currently doing nothing to protect their customers from this Publishers misleading product descriptions.

If you have bought a paper version from General Books LLC by mistake, you can return to Amazon within 30 days(but make sure you check Amazon's Return Policy for the details)
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Will in Seattle on March 26, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Okay, maybe I shouldn't complain for a dollar, but the table of contents don't work! On the first page is a table of contents that divides the work into non-fiction, novels, short stories. That one works and takes you to the table of contents for those genres. But those sub-ToCs don't work, nor do any of the others (for example, when you get to the Jungle Book, it has a ToC, but it doesn't work)

Since there is a lot of stuff here (which is great, for 0.99) it is very, very hard to navigate. I ended up walking around in the document until I found the stories I wanted and then used the 'Mark' function, which you can jump to from the 'Go to' menu.

But that's a lot of work. Guess you get what you pay for.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By NickG on July 6, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is just an unformatted text file. Save the money and go to Project Gutenberg
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Anony Bob on September 21, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The cover reads "The Works of Rudyard Kipling, Volume II, Rudyard Kipling. The table of contents lists these five sections:

Volume V: Plain Tales from the Hills
Volume VI: The Light that Failed
Volume VII: The Story of the Gadsbys
Volume VIII: From Mine Own People

The "Search inside" link appears to show the Volume I book. It is incorrectly listed as a previous version. I haven't been able to find Volume I for sale and I don't know if there is a Volume III.

This is an odd edition. There are no page numbers in the ToC, no preface, no index, no cover art. The plain tome resembles a computer printout that was typeset and well bound. I guess you could say that it was pure Kipling though.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Anne Wingate on October 28, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition

Rudyard Kipling wrote twice of his abandonment, with his sister, at a children's boarding house when they returned to India. Instead of saying goodbye and giving the children at least some sense of closure, they simply vanished, leaving the bewildered children, there for health and education, grieving and lost.

Kipling used what happened there in a long short story, "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" and as the opener of The Light that Failed. He used his protagonist's painting as a metaphor for his own writing, giving the sensitive reader a good picture of the agony of a writer who can't find a way to say what he means. The use of art was reasonable, in that he had several uncles by marriage who were painters. This brings up the question of why he and his sister were left as they were, when there were family members who would have been glad to take them. This question will be left forever unanswerable.

This novel, which along with Kim is probably the reason he got a Nobel Prize for Literature, is painful to read, but also inspiring in its picture of the young man who just wouldn't give up no matter how difficult things got. There is one change from the truth in Light that is not present in Black Sheep: In Black Sheep the girl is his sister; in The Light that Failed the girl is transformed into a potential sweetheart.

This should be read by everyone who is interested in the creative process as it is seen by the creator of the work.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of my personal favorites. I read it in high school just for personal pleasure. Kipling's knowledge of art is expressed nicely; he knows his stuff from his father. He expresses his time period honestly and touchingly. As a female of the twentieth century, I cannot understand everything that made Kipling write this novel. It is more than just the simple story of an artist going blind, of wars and art. It is, at heart, the story of two men living in their world of violence and social mores and beliefs, two men brothers in all but blood. I found moments in this novel very touching, all the more so because of the tenderness between Torp and Dickie. This is a novel about friendship mostly, and a very beautiful one at that.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey N. Massie on May 6, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The title of this Kindle item is a lie. As the first sentence of the summary reveals, it does not include any of Kipling's poetry -- so it's anything but "complete".
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