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Book Ramblings

Long winded reviews

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Kiln People
Beth Meacham, David Brin

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling “Welcome to the jungle
We've got fun 'n' games
We got everything you want
Honey, we know the names”


The opening poem of The Jungle Book: “Now Rann the Kite brings home the night” etc. is much more elegant than Axl Rose’s effort, but I feel it would be much nicer for you to read it in the context of the book.

Now if you are looking for a review from someone with an in-depth knowledge of Rudyard Kipling’s works you had better look elsewhere. My Kipling-fu is so feeble I did not even know The Jungle Book was an anthology, not a novel about a badass little boy who blazed a trail for Tarzan. It didn’t even occur to me to read this book until I saw the trailer for the new 2015 movie a few days ago.

I’m just going to run through the list of the stories then:

1. Mowgli's Brothers
This surprised me, it’s basically the entire story of Mowgli as I know it from the movies (animated and live action). I wonder if Shere Khan is the inspiration for Chaka Khan? (cue eye rolls). If you only read one story from this book (what a silly notion) read this one.

2. Hunting-Song of the Seeonee Pack
Nice poem, all the poems in this book are nice.

3. Kaa's Hunting
This goes back up the timeline from the conclusion of “Mowgli's Brothers”, it features Mowgli being kidnaped by monkeys. At no point does Mowgli say “Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!”, Kipling was not into pop culture references (I am). Any way, Mowgli is chiefly aided by Kaa the python and his very particular set of skills.
“Trust in me”.
"but I didn't expect a Spanish Inquisition!"


4. Road-Song of the Bandar-Log
Nice poem

5. “Tiger! Tiger!”
Mowgli has a rematch with Shere Khan and finds human society not to his liking, the beds especially (I don’t blame him).

6. Mowgli's Song
Great song, especially the guitar solo.

7. The White Seal
Kotick the white seal is like the Columbus among seals. Very good story. Especially when Kotick decides he has had enough of the ignorant seals and their jibes then proceeds to hand their asses to them. They did not know he has been working out with some marathon swimming.

8. Lukannon
“A sort of very sad seal National Anthem”. Thank you Literaturepage.com

9. “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”
Laugh at his silly name at your own peril Rikki-tikki-tavi is one badass mofo of a mongoose. I guess he could be the prototype for Ninja Turtles, K9*, Hong Kong Phooey and other superhero animals.

10. Darzee's Chant
Darzee is a tailorbird from Rikki-tikki-tavi’s story with a penchant of breaking into songs at the most inappropriate moment. After Rikki-tikki-tavi is allowed to knock himself out with full blown hero worship through this song.

11. Toomai of the Elephants
An Indian boy takes a clandestine ride on an elephant’s back and witnesses a huge herd of elephants performing “We Will Rock You”.
“You got blood on yo' face
You big disgrace
Wavin' your trunk all over the place”


12. Shiv and the Grasshopper
“The song that Toomai's mother sang to the baby”

13. Her Majesty's Servants
Ah! Oh dear! For me this story is like throwing an eel at a marble wall, it just won’t stick. I listened** to it twice and I still can’t remember what it’s about. Somethihg to do with a bunch of animals nattering about something completely devoid of interest.

14. Parade Song of the Camp Animals
Related to the previous story. No thanks.

That’s it then, I enjoyed most of the stories, poems and song, except number 13 and 14 as mentioned above.

Definitely recommended, especially the first story, which is a bear necessity.

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* Hey Cecily, I managed to sneak one in!

** Librivox Audiobook, very nicely read/performed by Phil Chenevert. Thank you!