Children everywhere have read and loved Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book—and continue to do so. Here Blackstone offers this collection of moral fables in its entirety.
Tales of Mowgli, the boy raised by animals in the exotic jungles of India; Rikkitikkitavi, a courageous young mongoose who battles the sinister black cobra Nag; Toomai, the boy who works with elephants; and more will delight listeners both young and old. These classic stories brim with adventure and thrills as the lively characters fend off ferocious tigers and deadly snakes, slip through the jungle to watch elephants dance, and seek refuge from dangerous hunters.
Public Domain (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Though these marvelous tales were written in Victorian times, they are still worthy of being read and enjoyed by today’s youngsters. Fantasy is currently very popular with young readers, and here are stories in this genre that are truly excellent.” (Children’s Literature)
I had a hard time deciding which edition of The Jungle Book to purchase. The piece of information missing from most every item description was the actual contents of the recording. A survey of the unabridged versions of both Jungle Books I & II yields vastly disparate running times. To assist the discerning shopper, allow me to confirm that this edition (Blackstone Audio - running time 11h 8m) is the complete compilation of all of the stories and poems of The Jungle Books (1 & 2), from "Night Song in the Jungle", the prelude to "Mowgli's Brothers", to "The Outsong", the postlude to "The Spring Running", and everything in between.
I really enjoyed Ralph Cosham's narration. He does the voice of Bagheera so well, and it's different from Baloo or Mowgli. One note - this recording includes for the First and Second Jungle book. The Second Jungle Book, also narrated by Cosham, is available separately but I don't think you'd need it.
I buy a bunch of audiobooks for my kids, but don't usually listen to them - I prefer reading my books myself. I started listening to this version of the Jungle Book to see the difference between it and the previous version I bought, and got totally sucked in. I listened to the story for hours after the kids were in bed, and was completely captivated the whole time. I love Ralph Cosham's narration, it's not distracting to me the way that a lot of audiobook narrators are and he does a good job of differentiating the characters without getting campy.
I've always loved these stories, and I really enjoyed the audible version. Mr. Cosham gave the characters different voices workout going "over the top" as some narraters I've heard, and I enjoyed the pace.
I like book when they are read... To me with different voices for all the characters... By a talented author. ~Haiku
These are all the classic tales in the Jungle Book... some of which I don't think I remember from when I was young like "Red Dog". I especially like the character voices of this narrator.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
This was a fun listen after seeing the excellent new film version (with Christopher Walken, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, and Scarlett Johanssen). While these stories are rich and varied, including the treasured Rikki Tikki Tavi, I most enjoyed those that followed the life of Mowgli, Baloo's Little Frog and beloved protegee of Bagheera, as he grew up and left the jungle to explore new trails (because "Man goes to Man at the last," as Kaa had always warned). By the end of the final story, The Spring Running, as the wise panther and faithful bear bid a bittersweet farewell to their now seventeen-year-old Master of the Jungle ("Remember, Bagheera loved thee"), this book was almost a tear-jerker.
The only downsides: The stories are not very gripping for most adults. Even with Ralph Cosham's flawless narration, this is no page-turner for listeners over 10-12 years of age. Also, Cosham's gorgeous vocal performance (minus the suspense of a Watership Down or at least a gentle Three Pines mystery) is too soothing to listen to while driving, or at least it was for me. It took me a loooong time to get through the book, because I could only listen at bedtime for a few minutes before falling asleep.
Grade: A-plus narration; B or B-plus overall.
I am a live storyteller who devours huge amounts of audio books to study classics and new books so I can tell new stories.
Given that I have never read the print versions of Jungle Book I & II, I am unable to consider it better than then audio editions. Nevertheless, I used the audio edition to my advantage. I listened to this book wherever and whenever I could. I took it places and enjoyed it in a way I could not do with a print book, such as while driving. I also listened to chapters again to catch what I have missed. If you do not have time to read the print version, listen to the audio edition while jogging, driving, or cooking.
Of Kipling's contemporaries, I compared his Jungle Book I & II to Joel Chandler Harris' "Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings." Both focused on the folklore and songs of a region, giving their stories an air of the exotic. Kipling did not write The Jungle Book for Indian readers but English, and Harris did not write Uncle Remus for African Americans but Anglo Americans. I still enjoy their works but I keep in mind that these stories would be different if written by Indians and African Americans, respectively.
Ralph Cosham's performance has great range. He portrayed a variety of characters and accents, both animals and human. I heard The Jungle Book.
Moments in the book that particularly moved me were those where the movie and animated versions veered off from the text. I was surprised to read how Shere Khan really died. His original death showed cunning, collaboration, and coordination of Mowgli's part.
I listened to many of these stories twice to fully absorb details I missed the first time. Kipling is an exceptional storyteller worth reading and rereading his signature work.
Great classic tale that's still very enjoyable even after 120 years.
How the animals are portrayed in a way that makes us realize we have more in common with them than we think.
More of a traditional read, i.e. not a lot of emphasis on different character voices, which can be distracting sometimes.
How much Mowgli had trouble settling in with the man pack.
If you're considering reading this because you watched the movie recently, you won't be disappointed. There are also a lot of stories that have nothing to do with Mowgli that are really interesting too, like Rikki Tikki Tavi the mongoose, seals, sled dogs, etc.
I often find myself revisiting Kipling's tales - and I was thrilled to find this audio version on the sale rack, so to speak. The narrator does an excellent job conveying the nuances of these beloved old tales.
The poems chill me to the bone. The performance of Baghera's voice is the best, but it's all wonderful. The stories are a bit outdated and sometimes a bit difficult for me to care about enough, like the seats and inuits.
"The Original Jungle book"
I love the original Jungle Book and its very well read. i keep going back to this audio book and listening over and over again.
The likes of this is seldom found nowadays. A delight and a treasure and Disney version does not do it justice.
"A classic set of stories excellently narrated"
Obviously the book itself is a classic, children's stories set in the jungles of India revolving around the interactions between man and animal and the Law of The Jungle. Chances are you know at least some of the Mowgli stories anyway and they are the best of the bunch for me. Not that the others are bad but those stand out. There are some poems interspersed which vary in quality but do help flesh out the background a bit. It's obviously written for kids and at times the language is overly simple for my taste but in the main I loved it. This was my first exposure to the book, having not read it in physical format before.
Cosham's narration is pitch perfect for me, he captures the poetic nature of the writing without making it sound like a recitation. Recommended.
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