2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Capuchin Classics Edition,
This review is from: Plain Tales from the Hills (Capuchin Classics) (Paperback)
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.