© and (P)2005 CSA Telltapes Ltd
Bittersweet tales of life in Victorian India centred on the hill town of Simla. Each story of human frailty, of life under the British Raj, of the machinations of its public official, of the long suffering Indian subjects is crafted with ironic affection and polished till it glows. The attitudes are colonial and imperialist but the characters come alive as if they lived in the 21st century. Martin Jarvis narration is gentle and flawless. I will listen to this again and again
"fabric artist and quilter"
Having just listened to a long history of the British Empire where Kipling was extensively quoted I had to listen to some Kipling. I was pleasantly surprised - these were short stories and Kipling was able to paint a picture with just a few words and you were taken back to the Hill Station of Simla in the British Raj. It was the summer seat of government but it was also where the british went to stay cool. Most of these stories were vignettes of domestic life, petty arguments, minor accomplishments but told in a way that you could taste the dust and smell the faint curry smells.
I enjoyed them and plan to find some more Kipling but it is something that would wear thin rather quickly. One can only take so much of a stiff upper lip and a solar topee.
Written with a wonderfully wry sense of humour, Plain Tales is insightful and highly amusing.
I could listen to these tales again and again!
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