My result for The Classics Club’s last, wonderful Spin feature was the children’s classic The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. I was really pleased with this choice, but sadly it took me a long time to get to. As first I needed to finish the epic The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.
I was particularly pleased with the choice of The Jungle Book as I love Disney’s animated film and in the first half of the book, lovers of the film will recognise the story of Mowgli. Although the chapters are not in chronological order. First Mowgli is found and adopted by the wolves after Shere Khan, the tiger, snatches him from his village. Later he is kidnapped by the monkeys, and rescued by his friends Baloo, the bear, and Bagheera, the panther, with the unlikely help of Kaa, the deadly python. For some time he also goes to live in a human village and it is here that Mowgli finally gets his revenge on Shere Khan.
This is the story I pretty much expected. What I didn’t realise was the other half of The Jungle Book is made up of other short stories. First we had ‘The White Seal’ Kotick who travels the oceans to find a safe home for him and the other fur seals away from humans. Then ‘Rikki-Tikki-Tavi’ a mongoose who defends his adopted, human family from a pair of deadly, king cobras. Then ‘Toomai of the Elephants’ which tells how a little boy called Toomai is able to see the mysterious elephant dance. Finally ‘Her Majesty’s Servants’ looks into a discussion between all the different animals which work for the British army. I was confused at first, as not sure what fur seals have to do with the jungle? However I enjoyed all these stories and my favourite would have to be ‘Rikki-Tikki-Tavi’.
I have fond childhood memories of the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling so it was nice to discover some more of his short stories. However when The Jungle Book was chosen as my Spin result I was really looking forward to finally reading a novel by Kipling. Sadly of course that still hasn’t happened! While Mowgli’s story was half of the book, it was really still a story not a novel. Therefore I also didn’t get some of character depth I was hoping for but enough of the negative; this was still an enjoyable read. Plus I still have Kim on my Classic Club list, please tell me that’s a novel?
The Jungle Book is an enjoyable collection of short stories, set in the beautiful and deadly Indian jungle. I recommend if you love children’s classics. This is my 32nd read off my Classics Club list. Good read.
Have you read this? Are you a fan of the Disney film?