Customer Reviews


17 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable
I was surprised to see some of the other reviewers' comments. To be honest I hadn't realised that it was an abridged version, but as I bought it simply to enjoy rather than for any teaching or other purpose, this didn't detract from the enjoyment.

I have been living in the Indian sub-continent for a while now and I found that these super tales transported me...
Published on 8 Jan 2010 by Marku

versus
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Of Subalterns, Stations & Sun
A fascinating collection of short stories from Rudyard Kipling, set and published during the time of the British Raj in India; a time of subalterns and tea planters, tiffin, picnics, riding and shooting, of bands playing, "The Roast Beef of England" and a government which never forgets and NEVER forgives, all played out under an unforgiving sun.
Every emotion is...
Published on 15 Feb 2001


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable, 8 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was surprised to see some of the other reviewers' comments. To be honest I hadn't realised that it was an abridged version, but as I bought it simply to enjoy rather than for any teaching or other purpose, this didn't detract from the enjoyment.

I have been living in the Indian sub-continent for a while now and I found that these super tales transported me back to a bygone era. Familiar with some of the places mentioned perhaps helped in allowing my imagination to run along freely.

Kipling has a certain old-fashioned style of writing which some will find charming but that perhaps some might find slightly difficult - personally I enjoyed it and felt that it added to the atmosphere of the tales.

Look at the advice of some of the other reviewers, but from my perspective if you simply want a very pleasant book for your own enjoyment, to stir your imagination and to amuse you, I very definitely do recommend this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Capuchin Classics Edition, 26 Aug 2011
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
I know that this review will more than likely get to appear on more than one other edition so I should point out that this is for the Capuchin Classics edition. It is some time since I last read an edition of this book, but it does look complete to me. There is a foreword by Griff Rhys Jones, and a short introduction by Anthony Lejeune.

If you have never read this before, or indeed if you are coming back to it years later, there is one thing to remember. Kipling was a journalist in India, and I know that some if not all of these pieces appeared in the paper he worked for. Due to that a lot of people don't seem to realise that these weren't really written for the public in this country, they were written for the entertainment of the British in the Raj. That is why this book was initially published in India, not here. That they did become so popular in this country shows the quality of Kipling's writing.

Bearing that in mind then, this is a truly great collection of tales about what it must have been like to live and work in India in the latter half of the 19th Century. A few of these tales are of a supernatural nature, and some are more native based, but the vast majority of them are about the British working in a foreign land. A lot of these tales are written as anecdotes, or pieces of gossip, and are vastly entertaining. Kipling doesn't hold back, with biting satire and some great humour. Taking in such things as the loves and working conditions abroad, incompetence, and people just not able to cope with the strange life, this is well worth reading if you want to get a grip on what the Empire was like, as well as great for those who just love a good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Of Subalterns, Stations & Sun, 15 Feb 2001
By A Customer
A fascinating collection of short stories from Rudyard Kipling, set and published during the time of the British Raj in India; a time of subalterns and tea planters, tiffin, picnics, riding and shooting, of bands playing, "The Roast Beef of England" and a government which never forgets and NEVER forgives, all played out under an unforgiving sun.
Every emotion is covered in this series of forty tales which reveal the deceit, faithlessness, shallowness, despair, mistrust, hate and petty jealousies rife among the British inhabitants of 'stations', 'Town' and 'Club' across India. Never mind the damn natives it's the damn rulers who need watching.
In 'The Rescue of Pluffles' we learn of an engaged subaltern called Pluffles who 'trusting to his own judgement' embarked on a foolish relationship with a Mrs Reivers, until the formidable Mrs Hauksbee (Mrs Reivers sworn enemy) embarked on, and won, the 'Seven Weeks War' to win him over 'for his fiancee'. The theme in this story is similar to the one in "Three and - an extra" where this time it is Mrs Hauksbee who attempts to "annex" a wayward husband, but fails, as his wife wins him back by....well....just by, "carrying herself superbly" at a dance and making the husband realise what a fool he was being.
In 'Thrown Away' we learn of the tragic tale of a young subaltern who had been brought up under the 'sheltered life system' and as such in an India where 'one must not take things too seriously' according to Kipling, he did just that, being a sensitive boy. The result was that the young man shot himself. The tragedy turns to comedy as Kipling and a Major discover the body and set about covering the suicide up.
'Lispeth' is a tale of the unrequited love between a lovely Hill-girl who had been brought up by an English Chaplain and his wife, called Elizabeth, and a young English traveller she found unconscious in the hills. The man promised to marry Lispeth when he returned so as not to hurt her feelings, but when Lispeth found out months later that it was a deception, returned angrily to her people and became a Hill-girl again, ending up a 'bleared, wrinkled creature'
'The Other Man' is a rather unpleasant tale about a Miss Gaurey who is made to marry a man thirty-five years her senior, the rather austere Colonel Schreidierling, even though she loved another. In marriage the girl deteriorated in health and looks and became a social outcast, 'her box very seldom had any cards in it'. However things look up for her when she learns that 'The Other Man', her lost love, who is in poor health, is visiting her town, Simla. Unfortunately when she goes to his tonga carriage he is sitting up inside, dead. Kipling helps cover up the incident to save the girl from scandal, however she later dies of a broken heart.
"Kidnapped" is a strange tell of a young Department man called Peythroppe who is prevented from entering on an unwise marriage through being kidnapped by "The Three Men" who take him, involuntarily at first it appears, on a shooting trip. The whole ruse is arranged by the formidable Mrs Hauksbee who must have been modelled on someone Kipling knew, so frequent are her appearances.
The comical side of life in the sub-continent is revealed in "The Taking of Lungtungpen" when a lovable Irish rogue called Private Mulvaney, who appears to be a friend of the author, relates the tale of how his patrol took the dacoits of Lungtungpen by surprise through launching an attack in the nude or in Mulvaney's own words, "as naked as Vanus".
The other thirty-three tales are just as fascinating, some of them funny, some of them tragic, all of them immensely readable and packed with many witty and memorable Kipling quotes, they provide a valuable insight into life in India when it was coloured red on the map.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Collection, 30 July 2011
This review is from: Plain Tales from the Hills (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
In India there are the Plains and there are the Hills (the Himalayas, I believe). So there is something of a pun carried in the title "Plain Tales from the Hills".

You could not wish to find forty more varied and penetrating stories about Anglo/Indian society under the Raj, than these. Kipling was an "insider" and the stories provide a brilliant series of windows into the social life of Simla, the summer capital of the Indian Empire. Besides this, they touch upon a very wide range of subjects, including suicide, (implied) transvestism, opium addiction and infant mortality; love variously lost, found and misplaced; charlatanry, sportsmanship and the supernatural.

Kipling was twenty when he began writing them, and twenty-two when they were published in collected form. They were written in the latter half of the 1880s, when he was working as an assistant editor for the "Civil and Military Gazette" in Lahore, north-western India (now Pakistan). It was this journalistic experience which brought him into daily contact with all sorts and conditions of life in India, and it was in the CMG (a daily newspaper) that these stories were first published, in the form of a series.

Together, the "Plain Tales..." make for a stunning collection.

The "Oxford World's Classics" edition is especially useful. It carries an excellent Introduction and General Preface by Andrew Rutherford, a chronology of Kipling's life, and good Explanatory Notes for the Indian terms which the reader will encounter in the text.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars practically perfect, 29 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Plain Tales from the Hills (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Kipling has been criticised for jingoism. I can only imagine that his critics had never read this collection of short stories. He is the (first person)narrator of these vivid vignettes of life in the British Raj, which gives them an intimate quality as if he were confiding them to you over a whisky and soda at the club on a hot Indian night. His voice is sane and practical and humane and the strong message is that we are all capable of envy, weakness and greed but also of loyalty, courage and disinterested love. Nothing is impossible or shocking for him, even the supernatural. He makes no judgements but presents the facts and asks you what you make of it all.

Above all he is a masterly story teller and before you are aware, under cover of the fascinating account, he has presented you with a phrase or an image or an idea which you never forget.

This is an excellent introduction to his work and if it leaves you hungry for more I suggest you read 'Kim' and "Stalky and Co' (surely the suavest ever schoolboys) and his remarkable short stories set in England which are as illuminating of the era as Plain Tales is of the Raj.

If this is your first time with Kipling, I envy you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What can I say about this classic?, 15 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Plain Tales from the Hills (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
Who am I to review this classic from the pen of Rudyard Kipling other than that I enjoyed it as tens of thousands of other readers must have done down the years.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars The British Raj at its Peak, 4 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Kiplings strung anecdotes {not quite short stories, certainly not a novel} present a view of the Indian Empire under Q Victoria seen from the unusual viewpoint in fiction of the Poor White Trash rather than the ruling elite. The casual racism comes with the territory. Kipling was a C19 imperialist. I personally found his attempts to denote a rural Irish accent off-putting. Otherwise you can read these Tales one at a time as little Wodehouse comedy stories, or for insight into how it was, and how they thought it was.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars very good, 23 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
a fascinating read - but make sure you read kim before because in some of these stories kipling reveals his rather silly, racist side.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Bedtime Reading, 10 Dec 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A collection of unusual and intriguing stories from the days of the raj. Recommended bedtime reading, as one can read a single short story, or several, depending on the time available
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars good, 15 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read other novels by this author and can't wait to read this one. It will make a good read on holiday.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Plain Tales from the Hills (Oxford World's Classics)
Plain Tales from the Hills (Oxford World's Classics) by Rudyard Kipling (Paperback - 29 Jan 2009)
6.31
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews