Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Game

Book Review

The Game by Laurie R. King.

This is the seventh novel in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series.

And we are off!

Off on another adventure in a far away place: India.

And not without a frame of reference. This story is framed around Kipling's Kim. The title of King's book is a direct reference to and extension of Kipling's "the Great Game."

But I only learned this long after I finished reading.

Of all the classics that are on my reading list, Kim is not, and has never been, on it.


Simply out of naiveté. I don't know anything about Kim.

I was never introduced to it by an English or literature teacher. I never had a single conversation about it with friends. Certainly, my close Indian friend never mentioned it.

I wasn't really aware of it, other than by name.

Until now.

The Game

The year is 1924 and Sherlock Holmes's brother, Mycroft, has asked Sherlock and Mary to travel to India to find a missing British spy.

Not just any spy.

The one and only Kimball O'Hara, the same character created by Rudyard Kipling.

Only now, Kim is an adult and has been missing for some time.

This story takes us with Mary and Sherlock to India and we meet various other characters along the way. And Mary and Sherlock are up to their usual hiding-in-plain-sight antics again.

We get to travel to India, but I didn't quite get the sense of what India is. Having never been there, almost anything could have been described and I probably would have eaten it up. Unfortunately, not much was given. In previous Mary and Sherlock books, I have felt like I was transported to the location in the story. Not so much here.

And that is a disappointment, especially after reading Wikipedia's description of Kim. It, apparently, gives extensive descriptions of India and its peoples.

As a result of reading that, I am now adding Kim to my list of classics to read. This is good. More exposure to more literature.

But at some level, I wonder: Will I ever be satisfied that I have read enough of the classics?

In any case, I liked The Game going in as a blank slate like I was. We get adventure and mystery and a few odd characters along the way. It is a fun ride.

The Game is a worthwhile, fun read. Enjoy!

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