This was my first book completed on the Serial Reader app, an awesome way to read classic works of literature in less than fifteen minutes a day. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading some classics, but who doesn’t want to get bogged down in them. And no, I haven’t been asked to advertise the app; I just really think it was a fantastic idea, and the execution of that idea was incredibly well done.
End advertisement. 😉 Onto the story at hand.
Most everyone probably knows at least a little about this book, due in large part to Disney’s animated movie and their more recent live-action film. I enjoyed reading about Mowgli and his adventures growing up as the lone man-cub in the jungle. Bagheera the Panther, Baloo the Bear, and Kaa the Python all had different personalities than their film counterparts, but were just as much fun to read as they are to watch. Mowgli was headstrong and clever and never backed down from a challenge. Raised by a Wolfpack against the wishes of Shere Khan, the man-eating Tiger, Mowgli lived an interesting life to say the least. He learned every language present in the jungle, and then spent some time in a human village and learned to speak as they speak. But the village could not hold him. He conquered his foes and returned to the jungle, triumphant.
Besides the main story of Mowgli, Kipling also included the stories of Kotick, the White Seal; Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the Mongoose; Toomai, the Elephant boy; and different animals in the military, who argue about whose method of fighting is right. Of these, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi’s story was by far the best. I completely understand why his is the segment included in so many literature books, because it was the most engaging story in the entirety of the Jungle Book, in my opinion. I enjoyed the adventures of the little mongoose even more than I did the tales of Mowgli the man-cub. Second-best out of these secondary tales was the story of Kotick, the White Seal. I was thrown by his story at first, because it was the first after Mowlgi’s story, but once I adjusted to the change I enjoyed the little white seal, out to save his people from being butchered. He swam to the beat of his own drum, and I can always respect that.
The last two stories weren’t enjoyable to me. They’re where I bogged down and just had to make myself power through to the end. I found Toomai annoying, and I could care less about which animal thought they were the most important in a battle. If the book had ended after the tale of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, I would’ve easily given it 4 stars. But, because of the drudgery of the last two stories, I’m settling at a 3 here. It was a short, mostly fun classic to mark off of my “to-read” list, and I enjoyed marking it off in the 24 episodes that Serial Reader provided. It novelty of the app added to my enjoyment, and I will most definitely be reading more classics this way!