Quest for Kim: In Search of Kipling's Great Game

Overview


This book is for all those who love Kim, the masterpiece of Indian life in which Kipling immortalized the Great Game, the centuries-old power struggle between Russia and Great Britain in the depths of Central Asia. Fascinated since childhood by this strange tale of an orphan boy's recruitment into the Indian secret service, Peter Hopkirk here explores the many mysteries surrounding Kipling's great novel.

"This is a fascinating, brilliantly written book, as interesting in its description of the author's journeys ...

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Overview


This book is for all those who love Kim, the masterpiece of Indian life in which Kipling immortalized the Great Game, the centuries-old power struggle between Russia and Great Britain in the depths of Central Asia. Fascinated since childhood by this strange tale of an orphan boy's recruitment into the Indian secret service, Peter Hopkirk here explores the many mysteries surrounding Kipling's great novel.

"This is a fascinating, brilliantly written book, as interesting in its description of the author's journeys as it is in its investigation of the reality that lies behind 'the finest novel in the English language with an Indian theme,'" as Kim has been described by Nirad Chaudhuri." --T. J. Binyon, Times Literary Supplement

"In an original combination of autobiography, travel writing, and literary detective work, Hopkirk manages accessibly to tell the story of Kim and his own obsession with it. Hopkirk illustrates how creatively and thoroughly the reading of a work of fiction can shape a whole life's experience." -- John R. Bradley, Independent on Sunday

". . . a reminder of just how absorbing was the world Kipling knew, and how fabulous was his transformation of it into literature." --Richard Bernstein, New York Times

Peter Hopkirk has traveled widely over many years in the regions where his books are set--Central Asia, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and the Middle East. His nearly twenty years with The Times included work as an Asian affairs specialist. His previous books include The Great Game, Foreign Devils on the Silk Road, Trespassers on the Roof of the World, Setting the East Ablaze, and Our Secret Service East of Constantinople. His works have been translated into twelve languages.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472086344
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 10/7/1999
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,325,006
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.41 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Hopkirk has traveled widely in the regions where his six books are set—Central Asia, the Caucasus, China, India and Pakistan, Iran, and Eastern Turkey. He has worked as an ITN reporter, the New York correspondent of the old Daily Express, and—for 20 years—on the Times. No stranger to misadventure, he has twice been held in secret police cells and has also been hijacked by Arab terrorists. His works have been translated into 14 languages.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    From manuscript title KIM O' THE 'RISTHI to just plain KIM

    Peter Hopkirk's 1006 QUEST FOR KIM - IN SEARCH OF KIPLING'S GREAT GAME is a very useful book to have on hand. When? When you are either reading the Nobel Prize winner's 1901 novel KIM or watching a couple of filmed versions of that picaresque little tale of a young Irish lad torn between Buddhist sanctification and becoming a career spy for the Raj in the "Great Game" Victorian cold war with Russia. *** THE QUEST FOR KIM moves along on three levels: (1) author Peter Hopkirk tells chronologically his research and travel retracing the places and fictional persons described in Kipling's novel; (2) he also retells in the novel's order the principal scenes of KIM, in case you have not read or have forgotten the book; and (3) Hopkirk presents his evidence for the real places behind the original Wonder House in Lahore, Lurgin Sahib's jewelry shop in Simla and the models for Kim, Mahbub Ali, Hurree Chunder Mookerjee, the lama and other immortals from KIM. *** Janina Slater's black and white illustrations and map adorn Hopkirk's text. This is a book worth reading. *** Let me conclude this review with a few sentences from QUEST FOR KIM. "As for the character of Kim, however, all that Kipling is prepared to tell us is that the idea came to him in the summer of 1892, before being shelved for a while. 'I had a vague notion,' he wrote years later in SOMETHING OF MYSELF, 'of an Irish boy, born in India and mixed up with native life. I went as far as to make him the son of a private in an Irish battalion, and christened him KIM OF THE 'RISHTI -- short, that is, for Irish.' Indeed KIM O' THE 'RISHTI is the title at the top of his original manuscript. Today this is to be found in the British Library, and it was there that my journey into the world of Kim really began" (Ch. 1, "Who Was Kim?") -OOO-

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