Kim is a novel about a young beggar boy in Lahore [in what used to be India]. He meets a Lama who takes him on a spiritual journey to find Buddha’s river from the story of the arrow, in order to be wiped clear of his sins.
And that’s all I’m telling you about the plot. I don’t want to give anything away.
This novel really grabbed me right from the get-go. I can’t fully explain what was so endearing about Kim, or why I cared so much about his journey, thoughts, and experiences… all I can say is that I was completely enamored with Kipling’s writing style and his character development. It definitely caught me by surprise.
Kim also portrays the country of India [when it included Pakistan and Bangladesh] and it’s diverse cultural and religious entities during this time period. Kipling’s novel continues to be in the forefront of my mind; needless to say, I am completely smitten with this work and would definitely recommend it to any and all readers out there.
Honestly, I was a bit reserved at the beginning of this novel, unsure as to whether I would like it. Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles was a similar novel about a foreign countries culture and I simply did not enjoy Bowles’ work, thus my reserve with Kim. That reserve was completely unfounded and I can’t wait to finish the Modern Library’s top 100 novels list so that I can read more of Rudyard Kipling, including The Jungle Book!