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The Portable Kipling (Portable Library) Paperback – March 25, 1982


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Product Details

  • Series: Portable Library
  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (March 25, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140150978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140150971
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 5.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Smallchief on January 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Kipling is one of the most maligned of all authors. He was too clever, too successful, and too unfashionable in his beliefs to be anything other than derided and envied by his colleagues in the artistic world. That derision carries over to the present day in which Kipling is still regarded as a racist, an imperialist, and a crypto fascist. Actually, Kipling's views seem to me to have been similar to those of Winston Churchill, although he was more sympathetic than Churchill to the people under the British yoke of empire.

Be that as it may, Kipling was a great writer of short stories and poems. "The Portable Library" offers a representative sample of his work, although any Kipling fan will take exception to excluded treasures. Did the editor inexcusably exclude Kipling's most famous poem? If "If" is in the book I haven't found it. And where is "Mowgli's Brothers" from "The Jungle Book" - perhaps Kipling's most famous and influential story, inspirer of Tarzan, the Boy Scouts, and half a dozen movies? Also missing is "Rikki-tikki-tavi" the tale of a fight between a mongoose and a cobra that has thrilled generations of children. "Fuzzy Wuzzy" isn't here either with those famous lines of admiration for a brave opponent, "So `ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your `ome in the Soudan; You're a pore benighted `eathen but a first-class fightin' man."

Most of Kipling's classic stories are here: "The Man who Would be King" which became one of the best adventure movies ever made; "Dayspring Mishandled," a complex and difficult story of literary revenge; "The Church that Was at Antioch,"a tale of early Christianity that sums up the struggle between Jew and Gentile about as well as anything I have ever read; and a tender story of bi-racial love, "Without Benefit of Clergy.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Duchesneau on September 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
The only difficulty with collections of Kipling is that he was so prolific that some pieces must be left out. Since this book's very goal was to be "portable", it suffers slightly from this. But the stories included are generally well-chosen. They span Kipling's entire literary career and range of subjects, from early stories of India to a 1930's science-fiction story. I particularly enjoyed the hilarious "Village that Voted the Earth was Flat", the interview with Mark Twain (a classic), and the devious "Dayspring Mishandled", which were new to me. I was also introduced to the author's series of stories of Privates Ortheris, Mulvaney, and Learoyd by this book. I had previously read "Stalky and Company", and this was like "Stalky and Co. Join the Army". However, several amusing favorites from other books were missing, such as "The Ship That Found Herself" and the story about the Army's animals talking to each other. If you haven't read much Kipling and would like to be introduced to this teller of tales, by all means get this book. If you have read Kipling, be sure to give the Table of Contents a scan for stories you might have missed.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jack Gardner on February 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Read anything by Kippling. He was the first to make poetry interesting for me in my early teens. The stories exposed me to a history and culture that was largely inaccessible otherwise, illustrating how to put oneself in another's shoes. There are moral lessons and insights throughout his entertaining work, from humor to drama.

I can still quote elements of his poetry after 40 years, such as his rejection of racism, nationalism, and class:

"There is neither breed, nor border, nor birth,

When two strong men stand face to face,

Though they come from the ends of the earth."

Thinking on this in the context of the poem, one understands that "strong" refers to integrity and courage, and that age and gender are irrelevant to these as well.
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