This book is controversial, it records Kipling's cutting observations of American life in the 1990s, and it reports with apparent relish the most racist of opinions as if they were facts.
Yet Kipling's essays about American life in the 1890s are written with an interesting British/Indian distance from his subject. Though the tone is often sarcastic, his affection for the country and its people is a steady undercurrent. These essays provide an interesting glimpse of the
As well as the rude things he says about the
Indeed Kipling's writing, often, and above all here, raises questions of interpretation. One American reader (G. A. England from
He comments scathingly on Kipling's passage (in ch.1) describing the benefits of the San Fransisco cable-car system: "With the same scorn he wastes nearly a page in fantastic description of a cable-car as an amazing phenomenon. It is as though Alaric at
Indeed, can the critic be as naive as I have assumed above? Mr England of Harvard began his piece demolishing Kipling claiming: To the American temperament, the gentleman who throws stones while himself living in a glass house cannot fail to be amusing; the more so if, as in Mr Kipling's case, he appears to be in a state of maiden innocence regarding the structure of his own domicile. Was England perhaps playing Kipling at his own game and pretending to take seriously, what really he was smiling fondly at?
In the end, this is not Kipling's best work, yet these articles, first published in an Indian Newspaper, still carry vivid impressions both of the
Subject: A really excellent series of stories!Stalky has now had 5,673 downloads since 30 April 2007, so I'm delighted, and hope other listeners are too!
This was my first LibriVox download and what a wonderful introduction it was! Tim Bulkeley did an excellent job reading the entire book. His reading was as good as many professional audiobooks I've bought and the sound quality was also well done. I grew up loving Stalky & Co (they were the original "Marauders" before JK Rowling invented James Potter & Co for her series and Stalky still wins hands down, without any magic at all!). If you haven't read the stories then this download is a great introduction. And if you have read the stories this is an excellent way to enjoy them again.
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