Plain Tales from the Hills (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 22 Feb 2001
|New from||Used from|
Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
There is a newer edition of this item:
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was an English poet, essayist, short-story writer and novelist with a particular interest in British imperialism. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
* Let's have much more Kipling on audio please. The Guardian --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
However, while connected by theme and characters, the nature of the tales varies considerably. There are; comedies; morality tales; sad stories; maudlin tales, a supernatural yet comedic yarn; and one moment of sudden horror. A great read which makes me glad that I have more Kipling short stories waiting in my to be read plies.
NB reviews for a number of different editions of this collection appear to be grouped here. The edition I read was the Penguin Popular Classics ISBN 0140620923 version and it is unabridged unlike some editions mentioned here.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lovely book for free...thanks Amazon I enjoyed this read.Published 1 month ago by Anthony J. Thompson
From another age and set of tastes. In today's PC world would be called racist but it is of it's time and is indicative of the great things to come from a very young author. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mrs. Doreen L. Kellett
Not the best from Kipling. The stories do not stand the test of time, to my mind. Many of his tales are wonderful reading, but not these.Published 2 months ago by S. Duncan
Great insight to the happenings of long ago! Some new words I had not come across before either.Published 2 months ago by B. Wheeler