43 Following

A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


19/100: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling, Rebecca Burns

So, I always thought this was a novel about Mowgli and his adventures in the jungle. So I was cruising along enjoying Mowgli's adventures in the jungle, when suddenly, I came across a seal. Huh? What? How did we get to the Arctic? What does this have to do with Mowgli?

Turns out, it had nothing to do with Mowgli.

Because I guess The Jungle Book is a collection of short stories, the first several of which are about Mowgli and thus, feel, like a novel.

I really liked the Mowgli stories -- they were well-written and the characters were vivid, and there was a lot less "filler" than I come to expect/dread when reading classics. Everything moved along at a very nice pace. But honestly, once the Mowgli stories stopped, I stopped paying attention. So, the book gets 3 stars for the Mowgli stories, and probably 2 for everything else. I'm sure the writing was still good, since Rudyard Kipling probably did not lose his talent when he lost my interest, but they were just boring to me. I almost considered just quitting -- I was only reading this book as background for Disney's movie, anyway, so I'd fulfilled my obligation. But, my "finishing" ways got the best of me as usual.

I'm annoyed that the rest of the Mowgli stories are in "The Jungle Book 2," which means I'll probably have to slog through more short stories I'm not interested in to see what happens to him.

And, btw, absolutely DO NOT listen to the audio version of this book I'm reviewing here. Usually I do not comment on audiobook-specific aspects of my "reads," but this one sounds like it's ready by one of those "text-to-speech" robots. Read it with your own eyes (makes it easier to skip the stories that bore you), or find a different narrator. Or skip it altogether -- it is only 3 stars, after all.