Sunday, March 25, 2007

16 down, 34 to go

I read Kim, by Rudyard Kipling. It tells of a boy, Kim O'Hara (known as Little Friend of All The World for his wandering ways) whose father was in a British army regiment until he died. Kim hangs about in 19th-century Lahore (then in India, now in Pakistan) until he meets a lama, in search of a river into which the Buddha reputedly shot an arrow once. He accompanies the lama on this search, but is sidetracked when he collides into his father's former regiment. By an interesting chain of events, Kim ends up recruited into the "Ethnological Survey," the British spy service, which is busy trying to handle rebellious local rulers and the Russians, who then were competing in a "great game" for much of Asia.

It meanders all through India, and the trip scared me. I feared that my bones would be found on the side of a New Delhi road, or somewhere in the foothills of the Himalayas (although the prospect of being shot by Russian "surveyors" didn't faze me). However, I survived, and shall give it 3 stars. Then again, I may be being unfair to the book. Oh well. I'll read it again, and maybe review it.