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Kim cover art

Kim

By: Rudyard Kipling
Narrated by: Sam Dastor
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Summary

Exclusively from Audible 

Kipling's masterpiece Kim is his final and most famous work and one of the first and greatest espionage stories ever written. It explores the life of Kimball O'Hara, an Irish orphan who spends his childhood as a vagrant in Lahore. When he befriends an aged Tibetan lama his life is transformed as he is requested to accompany him on a mysterious quest to find the legendary River of the Arrow and achieve Enlightenment. The pilgrimage will take them across the vast continent, across rivers, and up the Himalayas. 

While Kim wishes to take part in the imperialistic Great Game, learning espionage from the British secret service, he feels spiritually bound to the lama. Kim has a difficult choice to make: his companion or his country? 

A rich and colourful depiction of India's exotic landscape and culture in the imperialistic world of the late 19th century, this audiobook celebrates their friendship and explores a young man's quest for identity. 

Rudyard Kipling was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist who was the first English language author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Some of his most memorable works include The Jungle Book and Just So Stories

In 1998 Kim was ranked at Number 78 on the Modern Library's list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 2003 it was listed on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's 'best-loved novel'. 

Narrator Biography 

A Cambridge graduate who trained at RADA under the direction of Sir Laurence Olivier, Sam Dastor has long featured on screen and stage. He is best known for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) and for twice portraying Gandhi in both Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy (1986), and Jinnah (1998).Sam Dastor has starred in many West End productions with roles such as Ariel in The Tempest, and Orlando in As You Like It. His most recent work has included starring on stage at the Wolsey Theatre in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2016). He has narrated a large catalogue of audiobooks including V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Kim

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Splendid

Such a great pleasure, a classic novel of course but what is better than a reader you feel is thoroughly enjoying himself? The reader keeps his tone fairly flat in the narration, but this is only to prepare a canvas for his cast of characters, each of whom gets a vividly individual voice. I have no idea if they are accurate accents, they're rather music-hall versions maybe but they work extremely well with Kipling. You can anticipate his delight when he gets to do a conversation between a Frenchman and a Russian. A great version.

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16 people found this helpful

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Wonderful!

A splendid book, beautifully read. Moving, amusing, informative. A book to savour - again and again.

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8 people found this helpful

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Kim

I first read this years ago, coming on it quite by accident, not knowing anything about its plot or theme. I found it an absorbing tale and a pleasure to read, though I am aware of the legitimate criticisms that have been made of his portrayal of the India of the Raj and of the relationship between the indigenous peoples and the colonial power. Nevertheless, I find the characters in the novel and Kipling's attempt to portray the meeting of these two facets of the India he knew fascinating and his style that of a consummate story-teller. Of Mr Dastor's reading, I will say this, that it is a brilliant example of the art. It enhances the text, brings colour and movement to the written word, but is never intrusive, in the same way that the accomplished piano accompanist is content to be the servant of the song and the singer, whilst enhancing both. Highly recommended.

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The Emperor's Got No Clothes

Any additional comments?

So this orphaned kid wanders round India with an old guy, begging, and indulging in the kind of pointless skulduggery so beloved of John Buchan ("By Jove, Sandy, the game's afoot!"). We are expected to believe in parlour trick memory games, highly implausible hypnosis and you're having-me-on disguises as the level of tradecraft likely to defeat Russian agents. You know how Sherlock Holmes rubs soot in his face, adopts a cockney accent and a stoop and suddenly even his best mates think he's a pregnant 17 year old parlour maid? You know how surprised babies get when their daddies pretend to steal their noses? Yes, we have to suspend disbelief to that extent. In this novel, a blind woman has face cream that she makes up herself and applies herself that will fool anyone into believing that you are the Bishop of Sodor and Man, and a teenage boy who has never tried it before can make you up to look like a sect leader having a bad trip, fooling highly skilled enemy agents who know EXACTLY what you look like. Oh yes, I buy that. After all, I bought this book, didn't I? But what absolutely puts the tin lid on it for me is the way Kipling deals with women in this novel. Look at the words he puts into women's mouths, for example. "...there are but two sorts of women in it [the world]-- those who take the strength out of a man, and those who put it back. " (I'm trying to figure out which category Marie Curie belongs to.) And as for the lamalamadingdong: I lost track of the number of contemptuous remarks he makes about women, but notice how happy he is to eat their food and accept their board, free of charge, whilst simultaneously masquerading as a kind and gentle soul: an occupation many ply even now. At the end of the day, I just didn't care. I didn't care about the "Great Powers"' schemes to make Afghanistan a buffer state in their manoeuvrings for international trade; I didn't care about the irresponsible old scrounger, so willing to exploit and mislead others; I didn't care about the various officers of the Raj and their dodgy tendency to have young live-in boys crying in the background; I didn't even care about Kim, because he came across as such a craven co-dependent, chasing around after the old loser, begging and lying, instead of making friends with boys his own age, having girlfriends (or boyfriends) and getting a proper job. God help him. If you want a proper action yarn, try Treasure Island.

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Kipling

The narrator was amazing, best range of accents I've ever heard. I'm not going to criticise the story as it was an award winning book but the story was not my cup of tea.

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Great yarn

Most excellent tale of adventure with jolly fine writing and telling also.
So very easy to listen to with much exciting things going on and around

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Beautifully read

A beautiful book, beautifully read.

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Brilliant story telling of a great story

I really look forward to listening to this one again. a true classic! Sam Dastor does justice to the work of Rudyard Kipling and that's not easy to do!

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Compelling and genuine

One of my favorite books brought to vivid life by a distinguished actor whose voice and expression exactly suits the book. What more could you ask?

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Still one of the great tales.

From childhood to dotage this story has fascinated, entertained, informed and amused. At each re-visit the pleasure is re-newed. A great tale by one of our greatest story tellers and writers.

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