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I just finished Kim. Did you know it's a love story as well as a story about the Great Game as well as something of a documentary? Every time I read it I'm struck by the various forms of love and the way people in the book show it for each other. I'm amazed and enlightened by the gentle persistence of the lama's faith and his unswerving adherence to the Path. And I rejoice in the renewed message by Kipling that it doesn't matter what gods you follow or how you describe the path -- all roads lead to enlightenment, to the truth.

Sure, he uses words like "native" to describe the people born in India versus the people who derive from another culture. So what? If you read the meaning of the book instead of boggling at a word or two, you see the broad sweep of tolerance and faith.

There is neither East nor West
Nor border nor breed nor birth,
When two strong men stand face to face
Though they come from the Ends of the Earth.

And he has a wonderful female character, too -- an old lady from the Hill country who provides comfort, food, shelter and aid in many ways psychological and social as well. How many authors do you know who have made an old woman a central key character of a major novel?

If you haven't read it, you're missing a great book.

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