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Light That Failed - Rudyard Kipling

Light That Failed

Author: Rudyard Kipling
Book title: Light That Failed
ISBN: 0884118215
ISBN13: 978-0884118213
Publisher: Amereon Ltd (June 1, 1982)
Language: English
Category: Humanities
Rating: 4.7/5
Votes: 425
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Light That Failed - Rudyard Kipling
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Reviews: (7)
This is a nicely done volume, and the price is right. Thanks to Amazon for making such world literature available at the click of a mouse.

I am impressed by the sheer volume of work that Kipling put out. It is very much tied to its time and place - Colonial England in the Victorian era. It emphasizes virtues that seem quaint by today's standards. It would be a wonderful source for assignments to high school or college students. It would assault their every notion about race, culture and gender - and might even educate a few in the process.
I had no idea of the breadth and depth of Kipling's work. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of India, and of the British army in India as well as being expertly conversant with naval warfare, and when he wrote about those themes, and others, he had the faculty to explain it all in terms and ways that make even a modern-day reader understand and appreciate them. His characters have the sound of being based on real people; real soldiers, and real sailors. As well as writing an excellent and refined prose, he had a flair for portraying some themes in verse. This is not a book you'll get through in one sitting, but it will provide many, many evenings of quiet enjoyment. Perhaps the short story of his that I remember most fondly is "The Man Who Would Be King." I remember seeing the movie, which starred Sean Connery, Michael Caine, and Christopher Plummer, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the movie hewed very close to the story line laid down by Kipling. If you have an interest in Kipling, or in the British Army, the Royal Navy, India, or that period in history, you'll be pleased with the perspective on those places, those institutions, and those times that this volume affords.
This was a book club choice from a member who always selects books from the classics. I think to appreciate this story, one needs to have knowledge of the British history of wars and battles. I found it difficult to understand what was going on. I wondered why Dick Helder was in the war at all if he didn't do anything but sketch and paint the subjects fighting. Did Torpenhow do the same? The descriptions of the characters left much to be desired. Who was Nilghai and Keneu? Why was Maisie so disinterested and selfish?

I don't recommend this book.
I can't speak for all devices, but this book is perfectly easy to navigate on Kindle Touch with updated software. I think this feature was previously unavailable, which is probably why many of the reviews complain, but hit "Go To," and the entire table of contents pops up. You can hit any title and jump to that particular work.
This gets two stars simply because it exists, but loses three on the basis of its disastrous formatting and typography, which make the stories -- and especially the poems!!! -- almost unreadable.

The compilers have made no effort whatsoever to turn the text into something attractive to the eye, or even readable. Paragraphs are separated by spaces, poetry is printed like prose and whatever font you choose, the pages are hard to decipher and interfere with the pleasure of reading.

Forgiving readers have said this was due to the collection being published in the early days of Kindle formatting, which I don't believe, as the information on how to format for Kindle was out there from the start. Be that as it may, there are far better complete editions of this great author available. Seek them out.
This may be ignorance on my part, but I was expecting 8 separate volumes as the same printed edition. Not one book with just a few of his select works. And some of you many be wonder what I expected for $34.59? All his works are in the public domain.

I returned it.
The [Very Incomplete] Works of Rudyard Kipling {that can be offered in] One Volume [free] Edition is missing many of Kipling's most popular works, but since it's free, if there's anything you do want, it's worth getting. Some have complained about the lack of an active table of contents, but if you know how to use your Kindle, it's not impossible to find what you want, if slightly tedious. Here are two ways of how to find, for example, "The Man Who Would Be King", which is the only piece in this incomplete collection that interests me (I THOUGHT I'd be getting JUST SO STORIES free, since that's what I'd put in the search bar, silly me…). Press Go To on the bar at the top of my Touch Kindle, 2nd Generation. Press Contents. Ascertain that it's in Volume III. Go back to Go To, which now displays the individual contents of Volume I, and also lists the other volumes. Scroll down to Volume III, press it. That takes you to the beginning of the volume. Go back to Go To once more, which now lists the contents of Volume III, and select "The Man Who Would Be King". This convoluted way requires no "typing" into the search bar, which is perhaps a simpler way. But by reading the Contents you can see what's in it, and realize what's not. BTW: You can get the JUST SO STORIES and THE JUNGLE BOOK free from Gutenberg.org. by entering the author's name. For some reason, JUST SO STORIES didn't come up under its title, though since I've reported it to them, it may be fixed by now. If this review has been helpful (as I hope it has), please click the "Yes" button!
Okay, maybe I shouldn't complain for a dollar, but the table of contents don't work! On the first page is a table of contents that divides the work into non-fiction, novels, short stories. That one works and takes you to the table of contents for those genres. But those sub-ToCs don't work, nor do any of the others (for example, when you get to the Jungle Book, it has a ToC, but it doesn't work)

Since there is a lot of stuff here (which is great, for 0.99) it is very, very hard to navigate. I ended up walking around in the document until I found the stories I wanted and then used the 'Mark' function, which you can jump to from the 'Go to' menu.

But that's a lot of work. Guess you get what you pay for.
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