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The Jungle Books (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – May 3, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay in 1865. During his time at the United Services College, he began to write poetry, privately publishing Schoolboy Lyrics in 1881. The following year he started work as a journalist in India, and while there produced a body of work, stories, sketches, and poems —including “Mandalay,” “Gunga Din,” and “Danny Deever”—which made him an instant literary celebrity when he returned to England in 1889. While living in Vermont with his wife, an American, Kipling wrote The Jungle Books, Just So Stories, and Kim—which became widely regarded as his greatest long work, putting him high among the chronicles of British expansion. Kipling returned to England in 1902, but he continued to travel widely and write, though he never enjoyed the literary esteem of his early years. In 1907, he became the first British writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize. He died in 1936
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Series: Signet Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics; Reissue edition (May 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451529758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451529756
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,586,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 21, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Jungle Books" by Rudyard Kipling are adventures of Mowgli and friends. Mowgli is a boy who is kidnapped as a baby by a tiger. He is raised by wolves and taught the laws of the jungle by Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther. Mowgli is then kicked out of the wolf pack because of Shere Khan the tiger who swore to kill Mowgli one day. Mowgli learns all the ways of the jungle. He eventually kills Shere Khan. Baloo is a lovable bear who teaches Mowgli the ways of the jungle and how to respect it. Bagheera is a feared and wise black panther who befriends Mowgli in all situations. In "Kaa's Hunting", Mowgli is kidnapped by the Bandar-log monkeys. Monkeys are not highly respected in the jungle community because they have no leader. Baloo and Bagheera seek the help of Kaa the Python to rescue Mowgli. The stories "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" and "The White Seal" have nothing to do with Mowgli and his adventures, but they offer valuable lessons. The lesson in "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" is to trust yourself and the loyalty in friends.

The story "The White Seal" is about Aleuts coming to Novastoshnah every year and skinning hundreds of seals. The only white seal ever born on the island, Kotick, wants to find a new island to stay on, so that the people will not know where to look for the seals. This way no more seals will be killed. Kotick wanders for many years in search of a new island to live on. Once he finds one, he goes back to tell the rest of his herd, but they don't believe him. He challenges one of the other males to a fight and if he wins, they will go with Kotick to the new island. In the end, all the other seals die because none of them would go with him, so he taught them all a lesson.

In "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", a curious mongoose wanders into a garden. He meets a cobra named Nag.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fenrix on November 27, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This review covers both the first and second Jungle Books, which are included in this edition. These included a lot of material which surprised me.

I was not aware how much Disney altered the original material. Mowgli is so much more than a whiny git. Kipling's Mowgli is very much a proto-Conan. Kipling is more of a master of the action scene than Robert E. Howard, and the influence seems clear to me. Another clear influence is the discussion of civilization versus barbarism within the Jungle Book stories. Kipling presented a subtle view making it clear that neither is a clear winner. This debate of civilization versus barbarism is one that Lovecraft and Howard continued in their correspondence and stories.

I really loved most of the Mowgli stories, particularly considering they were way more violent than I expected. Kaa's Hunting presents the original kidnapping of Mowgli by the monkeys, and his rescue is tense and bloody. It also includes an amusing lesson in the importance of learning one's school lessons. The King's Ankus has a very interesting take on the "barbaric" view on treasure, and also the value of leaving entombed treasure lie.

My favorite of the non-Mowgli stories included Rikki Tikki Tavi as well as The Undertakers. Rikki Tikki Tavi is a favorite from my childhood, and I was unaware that it was a Jungle Book story until my recent excursion. This one holds up amazingly well, as the action is well paced and the tension is gripping. In addition, Rikki is not a British colonialist in a mongoose suit. Rikki is Mongoose. The people are almost peripheral to the story, and are almost, but not quite, a macguffin in order to provide Rikki with opportunities to kick some serious snake ass. The Undertakers has some seriously dark and subtle humor. The eponymous characters are all self-important carrion eaters. Their braggadocio storytelling ends in delightfully macabre justice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Harrington on February 22, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
For some reason, when I picked up this book to read it a year or two ago, and saw that it was a collection of short stories, I put it aside. It was not that appealing. But after subsequently thinking more about it, I found that I was grossly mistaken in my hasty judgment of it, and I now feel that it is one of the best books I've ever read.
I have never described a book in quite this way: 1. It has power. The narrative is powerful in and of itself. 2. It has beauty. It is beautifully written, the choice of words just right, the narrative flows smoothly in each story.
Normally, in some other book that has animals conversing with one another, we would have to consciously suspend judgment about this unheard of phenomenon and just say to ourselves, well, animals don't talk, as such, but we'll pretend they do for the sake of the story.
But The Jungle Books are so interesting and believable that not for one second did I doubt that the animals could in fact have the conversations as set forth in the book. To me, as the reader, it was perfectly natural to read "animal dialogue", and I found this striking: i.e. that I was hardly even aware that there was anything unusual about putting words in the mouth of beasts. The narratives are extremely realistic.
This is how powerful this collection of stories is. It actually transcends the issue of believability and/or likelihood of a particular thing happening or not-----it is a collection of stories quite unlike any other. I don't think there is another collection of stories like this, not with this high quality.
I highly recommend this collection of stories, First and Second Jungle Books.
Without a doubt one of the very best works I've ever read, and I read probably 40 or 50 books each year.
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