Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee
Kim, is one of Rudyard Kipling’s finest books. One that has enthralled and entertained people over the decades.
Set in India, in the early nineteenth century, the story is about journeys – both physical and metaphorical. The journey of the lama as he searches for his river of enlightenment, the journey that Kim undertakes to unravel the mystery of his father’s prophecy, even as he undergoes an inward journey that transforms a precocious little boy into a responsible young adult.
Kim was orphaned at an early age and as he was growing up he was perfectly happy to roam the streets, earning a living by his wits and by tips as he helped various people.
His life however, changes dramatically when he befriends a lama who is in search of his river and he accompanies him as his disciple.
As, they set off on their journey, fate has different plans for them. Even as Kim tries to help the lama reach his destination, his own destiny is taking him down a path, one in which not only does his past unfold before him, but also, one in which he plays an important role in preventing a war, code named, The Great Game. A war that involved the Russians, British and Afghan kings.
Quick-witted Kim often finds himself at the crossroads.
Which path will he go take? With whom does his future lie?
With a backdrop of impending war and espionage, children will be fascinated by the tid-bits of information provided in the glossary, including training received to become a spy as well as spying and disguising techniques.
A crisp narrative, supported by lucid illustrations, the book, in spite of being honed down to suit the genre, succeeds in effectively conveying the rich and varied tapestry of the story.
Kids will enjoy this tastefully illustrated - none of those exaggerated macho figures.
Easy to read, this graphic novel of an endearing classic is a great way to introduce children to the classics.