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The Man Who Would Be King Paperback – November 13, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"An excellent collection with particularly thorough notes."--Professor M. Mackey, Ph.D., California State University, Sacramento


"A lovely little book." --James Dahl, West Georgia College


About the Author

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in India. He went to school in England and then returned to India to be a writer and a journalist.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 30 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466272376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466272378
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,128,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Williamson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So begins Rudyard Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King, with an echo of the last verse of the Masonic verse "Banquet Night," and there are quite a few references to Freemasonry in this tale, which is considered by many to be Kipling's finest short story.

The author was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), in what was then British India, and he drew upon his experiences in Anglo-Indian society for much of his fiction. The winner of the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature, he was the first English language writer to receive the coveted prize, and to date he remains its youngest recipient. He is regarded as a master of the short story, and his books for children are considered as enduring classics of children's literature.

"The Man Who Would be King" is a unforgettable tale of adventure, and is told by a first-person narrator, a newspaperman in India who one can assume is Rudyard Kipling. While on a train, he meets a fascinating opportunist: "He was a wanderer and a vagabond like myself, but with an educated taste for whiskey. He told tales of things he had seen and done, of out-of-the-way corners of the Empire into which he had penetrated, and of adventures in which he risked his life for a few days' food."

The narrator soon learns that Daniel Dravot and his fellow vagabond, Peachey Carnehan, are both passing themselves off as journalists for the newspaper for which the narrator is a real correspondent. He is fascinated by them, but does stop them from blackmailing a minor Indian rajah.

Some months later, they appear at his office in Lahore, and tell him their plan.
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A beautiful classic of two Englishmen, who venture into Afghanistan from India, to become Kings of a part of that country.
The story is narrated by a journalist who happens to meet two Englishmen Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnehan, in a train in the times when India was still under the British rule. These two guys worked as sailor, photographers, petty contractors, engine drivers, boiler fitters etc and eventually come to a conclusion that India is not the place for their dream, and that is to become King of some land. Hence, they chose Kafiristan, a place in Afghanistan where they find that the place is ruled by tribes and have no proper King under one rule. They take the help of the journo to get smuggled into Afghanistan cleverly under disguise and were successful in making the people of Kafiristan believe that they are Gods in human form. The people there though innocent in the belief but were not ready to accept them as part and parcel of their tribes. All goes well until one day Daniel wants to have a female, as a wife, from among the tribes. This proposal of Daniel was opposed by Carnehan as the contract between them states that they should never touch or want any woman in foreign land, but rebuked by Daniel.. This aggravates the situation and the tribes realize the fact that these two guys were just humans cheating them as Gods. They brutally kill Daniel and crucify Carnehan. The severely injured Carnehan, somehow escapes from Kafiristan and come back to the journo to tell him what happened. Ultimately, he also dies in an asylum, repenting for what happened.

Positives: The author’s regular style of narration in poetic form is once again replicated.
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By bootface on December 22, 2015
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Having seen the film many times I was pleasantly surprised to see that the book and movie were completely in step, almost word for word. It proves the Hollywood can get things right now and then. Lovely book.
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Having seen the John Houston movie, I sought this book with great interest. With only a few minor modifications, the film followed the spirit of this book very closely. It is a riproaring story of adventurers in British occupied India and there it further adventures in the remote Himalayan Kingdom of Kafiristan. They are men who seek riches and fame and ultimately become kings and gods. Unfortunately, their new subjects discover that their gods have feet made of clay. In Rudyard Kiplings masterful hands, the story rolls off the page in visual images that lend themselves to cinema almost without editing. This masterfully crafted story made for an hour of time very well spent.
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I read this story after watching the movie based on Kipling's tale over Thanksgiving. This story is a fine piece of adventure and left me wanting more, wishing there was more actually. The piece felt as if Kipling had jotted it down to test the idea for a longer work. I wish he had made it into a more developed, deeper tale. The movie, however, did this nicely while staying true to the original material. I highly recommend both the story and the movie.
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A grand adventure with some of the best acting you will ever see. This is a story about friendship and both the strengths and frailties of us human beings. It's perhaps the best "buddy" movie I've ever seen. This story, from the pen of Rudyard Kipling and outstanding direction from John Huston, somehow manages to present how difficult it is for us to deal with the simplicity of life, and manages to cover the panorama of our lives, from the basest desires to the spiritual. You will not see better acting from Caine and Connery. It's a story that, even after several viewings, still has the effect of stirring a kindness in me toward both myself and my fellow human beings.
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