Monday, 28 February 2011
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Synopsis: After escaping from the tiger Shere Khan as a toddler, Mowgli is raised by wolves and must learn all of the laws of the jungle. Kipling also includes some other stories, such as Rikki Tikki Tavi and White Seal.
Score: 3 out of 5
If I could rate just the story of Mowgli, I would have given this book a 5 out of 5 without a doubt. Mowgli's story was fast-paced, full of adventure and very well written. It packed an emotional punch at times, for example when Mowgli is disowned and betrayed by the wolf pack he feels his eyes start to water and Bangheera tells him that now he knows for sure that he is human and not wolf. Mowgli's inability to fit in fully with either wolves or humans was resonant too, and something that most people can relate to. Mowgli's tale fits easily into the category of "children's books I wish I had read as a child".
But unfortunately the book doesn't finish with Mowgli. I wasn't expecting other tales and whilst I enjoyed Rikki Tikki Tavi in particular, none of the other stories had the pace or emotional connectedness that Mowgli's story did. I find myself reading them just to get finished. In my opinion the book would have been better if Mowgli's story was expanded and the others simply left out. But that is just my opinion - I can't fault the writing at all and still appreciate why it is classified as a classic.
Up next on my classics binge - Anna Karenina. Wish me luck!