The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling
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An English journalist (fashioned after Kipling himself), traveling through British India, stumbles upon a pair of adventurers with a preposterous proposition: to install themselves as kings in nearby Kafiristan. Despite the audacity of their plan, the journalist is impressed with their resourcefulness and resolve. While he does not participate in their expedition, he provides references and maps about the region and the people who live there.
Two years later, one of the adventurers again appears in front of the journalist—this time, with an incredible story to share.
The Man Who Would be King is arguably Kipling's most famous work after The Jungle Book, but distinguishes itself with its bold bravado and harsh humor. In quick fashion, Kipling pens a work that efficiently lampoons many of the core tenets of imperialism—even if by accident.