"Plain Tales from the Hills", Rudyard Kipling's first collection of short stories, established his reputation and brought India to the British imagination. Including the stories "Lispeth", "Beyond the Pale" and "In the Pride of His Youth", they tell of soldiers, wise children, exiles, forbidden romances and divided identities, creating a rich ...
"Plain Tales from the Hills", Rudyard Kipling's first collection of short stories, established his reputation and brought India to the British imagination. Including the stories "Lispeth", "Beyond the Pale" and "In the Pride of His Youth", they tell of soldiers, wise children, exiles, forbidden romances and divided identities, creating a rich portrait of Anglo-Indian society. Originally published for a newspaper in Lahore when Kipling was a journalist, the tales were later revised by him to re-create as vividly as possible the sights and smells of India for readers at home. Far from being a celebration of empire, these stories explore the barriers between races, classes and sexes, and convey all the tensions and contradictions of colonial life.
This collection of short stories was written at the end of the 19th century - I loved it as a teenager just after WWII abd it is just as entertaining now. Kipling's style is clear, sparkling and simple, not at all long winded. The pictures he paints of social life in India in the hey day of the British raj also show the very human dilemmas that are with us always. Each story is separate but there is a sequence, with the same characters appearing in different snapshots, so that the book makes sense as a whole, without the fragmentation of other volumes of short stories
Publishers Weekly, 2010-03-29 Set principally in Shimla, the mountain town and summer capital of the Raj, Kipling's 40 short stories on the manners and mores of British settlers in India are well observed and masterful character studies. Martin Jarvis begins beautifully; his warm voice is a rich and textured instrument, and he becomes Kipling's narrator effortlessly; rather like Fitzgerald's Nick Carraway, Kipling's stand-in casts a camera-like view on the intrigue, pettiness, and genuine tragedies in his little world. There is wit that borders on the Wildean ("She was wicked, in a businesslike way. There was never any scandal; she had not generous impulses enough for that"). It would be a nearly flawless listen-but for Jarvis's inaccurate and rather cringe-inducing accents for the Indian characters. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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