From My Father’s Bookshelf: ‘Kim’ by Rudyard Kipling

I’ve always liked to consider myself a fairly eclectic reader. But whenever I’ve heard someone call themselves eclectic, my first thought is always: Uh are you? It sounds a little judgey (because, let’s be real, it is), but it’s true. Anyway, the point is that despite running away from the label, I’ve always fancied the idea of it.

And there’s an easy way to become a little more eclectic than you once were. Getting recommendations from your pals. Having recently had a bit of a clean-out of our family home, my father decided that he’d happily give me some of the books that he’d collected (read: hoarded).

I was a bit apprehensive. We agree on a lot of things and enjoy a lot of similar things, but reading-wise, we’ve always had very different taste. But it also seemed like an interesting opportunity.



The first book I picked up was Kim by Rudyard Kipling. It follows the story of young orphan boy, Kimball O’Hara. He befriends a Tibetan monk and the two adventure together before Kim is sent to an English school. He then begins to train as a surveyor. The story eventually comes full circle, with Kim and the monk reunited.

I have been reliably informed (…by the internet) that this is an excellent book. There’s culture, spirituality and espionage. All the ingredients for an exciting story, right? I should have enjoyed it immensely.

…uh. I didn’t. I don’t even know what it was. I just didn’t connect with the characters, I wasn’t drawn in by the plot, I didn’t fall in love with the writing style… There just wasn’t anything there for me. There were nice moments, but not enough for me to actually like reading it.

Funnily enough, my father later told me that he didn’t enjoy this book either. So I guess it was a bust on all counts… I wasn’t sold on it and I didn’t even have the smarts to pick a book that my father actually liked.

So there we go. My first dip into my father’s bookshelf. Not exactly successful, but I’m hopeful that my next choice (though undecided) is going to be a hit.

Let me know if you’ve read Kim and enjoyed it! Even though it wasn’t for me, it would be great to know why other people have fallen in love with it over the years.


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