* NOTICE: Mr. Center's Wall is on indefinite hiatus. Got something to say about it? Click HERE and type.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


by Mary GrandPre
If, let's just say, I am attempting to tread the Wheel--or even escape it--and if the Wheel is indeed just, I can probably expect some comeuppance for my "passionate" thoughts regarding this book.  Should I take shelter?  Might I expect to be reborn a snake or some other unclean beast?  Of course, perhaps the gods don't like this book either, but then--o, dear! --I'm still no better off, because then haven't I been wasting not only my time but yours?  Maybe there's still time to salvage my situation.  Maybe the last chapter will be so surpassingly excellent as to redeem (for lack of a better word) the previous fourteen.  I doubt it, though.  Does that make it impossible?  At this rate, I will never attain Nirvana.
  • I like "The Woman of Shamlegh"; she's got depth, dimension, and is easily the most interesting character since, I think, the priests at the military camp or Mr. Lurgan, if not of the entire book.  Even better, there's only one chapter left of the book, so it's unlikely Kipling will have time to ruin her!  (Sorry.  That was mean.)
  • "Umm," said Kim thoughtfully, considering the past. "It may be that I have acquired merit also. . . . At least she did not treat me like a child."  Is this what this whole thing's been all about?
(I wonder if the Lama's scar is shaped like a bolt of lightning.)


  1. On the "Umm," quote: My dad and I have been reading all night in the hotel, and I had to forcibly restrain myself from laughing, so that he wouldn't think that I was nuts or something. I mean, talk about a horrible line at a really important moment. Wow, just wow. Horrible.

  2. I think Kipling was glad the book was coming to an end as well. Though the story got better as we neared the end, and though I personally didn't like how he was narrating it earlier, the quality of his writing went downhill, like the clumsy, erratic application of the present tense in chapter 15, or the "ummm" here.

    Aside: The copy of the book I got from gutenberg.org (which I am happy to announce I've placed neatly in my desktop digital trash can and emptied) had really fantastic illustrations--those metal reliefs I've attached periodically). Well, the last three chapters (or two??) didn't have them. I think the illustrator gave up too.


Be sure to subscribe to the thread to receive discussion updates.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...