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Kipling's masterpiece is perhaps the most remarkable literary product of British India. The story of a half-caste boy, part Indian part Irish who journeys throughout the subcontinent with an aged lama in search of religious enlightenment, the nominal plot revolves around the Great Game: the struggle between Britian and Russia for control of Afghanistan. But the glory of the book lies less in the amusing picaresque adventures than in the unsurpassed panorama of Indian life they evoke: brilliant, moving and intensely alive.
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