Best Rudyard Kipling Books | Novels & Short Stories

Rudyard Kipling

Kim (1901)

Kim was first published ‘serially’ between 1900 and 1901 before appearing in book form. It tells the story of Kimball ‘Kim’ O'Hara, and orphaned boy who earns his living begging on the streets of Lahore. One day he befriends an old Tibetan Lama who lives a simple and content life in India, despite being a rich and powerful abbot in his own country. The Lama recruits young Kim as a disciple and pays for his education at an English public school. There starts an adventure hat will take the unlikely pair to the Himalayas on a journey of espionage and enlightenment. Kim regularly appears on both critic and reader compiled lists of the best books of all time.

“This is a brief life, but in its brevity it offers us some splendid moments, some meaningful adventures.”
 

Just So Stories (1902)

Why do elephants have such long noses? Why are cats so contrary? What about the wrinkles of a rhinocerous, or the leopard's spots? In these twelve delightful, essential stories, Rudyard Kipling imagines how the animals became 'just so'. It’s easy to understand why this is one of Philip Pullman’s favourite books. Originally written as stories for his daughter, it has been a firm favourite amongst children all over the world since it was first published in 1902. A true classic.

“This, O my Best Beloved is a story – a new and wonderful story – a story quite different from the other stories.”
 

The Jungle Books (1895)

Yes, that’s right – books – there are two of them. Disney’s iconic adaptation gave a new life to these wonderful stories, but the books themselves are a true joy and introduced the world to characters that are now deeply seated in our imaginations. Mowgli, who is rescued as a baby from the jaws of the evil tiger, Shere Khan; Baloo the bear and his teacher; Rikki-Tikki-Tavi the valiant young mongoose. There is an underlying sadness to these stories as they reflected Kipling’s own feelings of abandonment as a child. But that doesn’t detract from the wonderful adventures that take the reader through the jungles of India.

“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”
 

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