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Plain Tales from the Hills (1888)

by Rudyard Kipling

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,1541113,109 (3.66)31
First published in 1888, Plain Tales from the Hills was Kipling's first volume of prose fiction. His vignettes of life in British India give vivid insights into Anglo-India at work and play, and into the character of the Indians themselves. Witty, wry, sometimes cynical, these tales with their brevity and concentration of effect are landmarks in the history of the short story as an art-form.… (more)
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» See also 31 mentions

English (10)  Spanish (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Cuentos de cuando la India era una colonia británica, con sus bailes, con sus intrigas y con su vida.

Un mundo en el que los nativos apenas figuran porque forman una sociedad por aparte.

Muy lindos relatos de una tierra que hoy es más fantástica que la Tierra Media. ( )
  Pindarix | Jul 15, 2021 |
Winding through this slow-moving book of thankfully short short boring and redundant stories
of the English experience with the natives of British India, I tried to find a favorite.
The "object-letters" in "Beyond the Pale" were intriguing, then came the horror story ending.

Instead, there was this:

"A man should, whatever happens,
keep to his own caste, race, and breed.
Let the White go to the White, and the Black to the Black."

Worse still, on pages 254 and 255, ever so casually appear the N-words.

Geez, even from the expected taint of Mr. White Man's Burden, this was unexpected.

The book is valuable only for the illustrations of Howard Mueller. ( )
  m.belljackson | May 23, 2020 |
A collection of stories from Kipling written in the 1890s, all of which are set in the India of the Imperial Raj. They're of varying quality. The ones rendered in the argot of the soldiers can be quite difficult to parse, owing to the thickness of the accent, which lessens their effect. Others simply meander. But there are a half-dozen stories in the collection that are definite winners, including a hilarious sort-of ghost story involving a beloved horse of a regiment, and an affecting story of employee management where the truth is kept from a recalcitrant and critical employee. Might not be for everyone, this collection, especially given the odour in which Kipling is held by some. ( )
  EricCostello | Sep 12, 2018 |
"A rich portrait of Anglo-Indian society"
By sally tarbox on 17 January 2017
Format: Paperback
Kipling writes these highly entertaining and readable little tales in a gossipy fashion, as if he's talking to you - "there was a case once... But that is another story."
Set in the hill stations of late 19th century India, some characters surface more than once - good-natured femme fatale Mrs Haukbee and Irish soldier Private Mulvaney. There are stories on every aspect of life: romance, high-jinks among the soldiers, men falling prey to drink and opium, horse racing, ghosts... The white contingent are prevalent, but the 'native' locals also feature.
I was particularly struck by the touching 'Story of Muhammed Din', where the author recollects a servant's child; and by the humour of "Pig." In the latter tale, a man who's been cheated in his purchase of a horse, avenges himself by applying - constantly - to the seller, a government official - for pages of advice on a pretended plan to raise swine.
A total mixture of stories, which I really enjoyed. ( )
  starbox | Jan 16, 2017 |
Having published only three novels, viz. The Light that Failed (1891), Captains Courageous (1896) and Kim (1901), Rudyard Kipling is mostly remembered for his poetry and short stories. He won the Nobel Prize in 1907, but as his prose and poetry is most closely associated with British colonialism, his work is now but little read.

Plain tales from the hills, a collection of 40 stories, is one of the first prose works of Kipling to be published. But for twelve, these stories had first appeared in a local newspaper in India. They are sketches of various aspects of life in British India.

However, these stories and the sentiments they refer to stand very far off modern readers. Most of the stories come across as gossip, and would only seem interesting to an incrowd readership, either British colonials of the time in India or the home country. Among modern readers it is unlikely to find either staunch defenders of the Raj, or readers to whom the intricacies of life in Simla would be appealing enough to read.

The stories appear dull, and as some stories are interrelated, with characters repeatedl appearing, it is not clear to modern readers what is going on. Besides, what appears to be going on, seems of very little interest to readers now.

Plain tales from the hills is clearly dated to beyond shelf life, and best left alone. ( )
1 vote edwinbcn | Dec 7, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rudyard Kiplingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manguel, AlbertoPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norton, Charles EliotBiographical sketchsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norton, Charles EliotIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rutherford, AndrewEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trotter, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woudhuysen, H. R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the wittiest woman in India I dedicate this book.
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She was the daughter of Sonnoo, a Hill-man of the Himalayas, and Jadeh his wife.
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First published in 1888, Plain Tales from the Hills was Kipling's first volume of prose fiction. His vignettes of life in British India give vivid insights into Anglo-India at work and play, and into the character of the Indians themselves. Witty, wry, sometimes cynical, these tales with their brevity and concentration of effect are landmarks in the history of the short story as an art-form.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140183124, 0141442395

 

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