Review: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

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The Jungle Book introduces Mowgli, the human foundling adopted by a family of wolves. It tells of the enmity between him and the tiger Shere Khan, who killed Mowgli’s parents, and of the friendship between the man-cub and Bagheera, the black panther, and Baloo, the sleepy brown bear, who instructs Mowgli in the Laws of the Jungle.

I listened to the audiobook of this one and I absolutely loved it. The one I listened to was narrated by Gildart Jackson, who was brilliant. I’m so glad I listened to the audiobook rather than reading this one as honestly, I feel like it really elevated the story. Jackson breathed so much life into this and really made this such a vibrant story.

This book felt very nostalgic for me, not because of this being a reread (it wasn’t), but I did watch the Disney adaptation as a child and again more recently. The first half of this book specifically felt very nostalgic, especially because of the story following Mowgli and the surrounding characters. The most surprising thing I found in this story was how it only seemed to follow Mowgli for around half of the book. The remainder follows other characters and animals throughout the story, which felt a little strange and jarring for me.

My heart is heavy

Having read other reviews of this book, I have since discovered that this is actually a collection of 7 stories and 7 songs. The only problem with listening to the audiobook is that I didn’t necessarily have a visual distinction between these sections, which meant I felt so thrown by whenever the story changed and began to follow other characters. The other annoying thing about this is how the audiobook chapters stopped randomly in the physical book chapters which meant I found it hard to follow where I was in the print version! Thanks to the Disney adaptation, I think of this story as following mostly or only Mowgli, and I found I didn’t enjoy the other stories as much as I wanted to.

I loved the jungle setting of this and as I mentioned, I loved how much the narration brought this to life and I could really clearly picture the surroundings of the jungle. I found this entire story entertaining and very lyrical, especially as it is interspersed with poem/song. Some of these stories were touching, some were fun, some I just didn’t connect to at all. It was such a mixture!

with the things I do not understand.

Overall, I did enjoy this but not quite as much as I expected and I did find it very up and down. However, I really enjoyed the experience of the audiobook and I would recommend it if you’re going to read this one!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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