Read Kingdom's End: Selected Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto Khalid Hasan Online


The most widely read and the most translated writer in Urdu. Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-1955) is also the most controversial: he was tried for obscenity no less than six times, both before and after the departure of the British from India in 1947. In a writing career spanning over two decades, Manto, one of Urdu's great stylists, produced a powerful and original body of workThe most widely read and the most translated writer in Urdu. Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-1955) is also the most controversial: he was tried for obscenity no less than six times, both before and after the departure of the British from India in 1947. In a writing career spanning over two decades, Manto, one of Urdu's great stylists, produced a powerful and original body of work including short stories, a novel, radio plays, essays and film scripts.This collection brings together some of Manto's finest stories, ranging from his chilling recounting of the horrors of Partition to his portrayal of the underworld. Writing with great feeling and empathy about the fallen and the rejects of society, Manto the supreme humanist shows how the essential goodness of people does not die even in the face of unimaginable suffering. Powerful and deeply moving, these stories remain as relevant today as they were first published more than half a century ago....

Title : Kingdom's End: Selected Stories
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780143102182
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 309 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Kingdom's End: Selected Stories Reviews

  • Nick
    2019-05-26 15:54

    Saadat Hasan Manto wrote not with a pen, pencil or typewriter, but with a razor. He was from Kashmir when it was still a hotbed of anti-colonialist fervor but before it became the focus of controversy between Pakistan and India. As a Muslim who had settled in Mumbai, where he wrote film scripts and radio plays, Manto left after the Partition for Lahore. The Partition sickened him. In one story, long-term patients in a mental hospital must decide whether their home town is in Pakistan and they can stay or in India, which means they must go there. In another, Pakistani and Indian border guards try to decide on which side a dog belongs. In "The Assignment", even the long and powerful bonds of mutual obligation are severed by brutal ethnic cleansing. For a South Asian writer, Manto was unusually frank about eros, and sympathetic to adolescents discovering it, but in his world, even young love falls victim to sectarian prejudice. He was unsparing in his portraits of the partying fringe of Bollywood, of the prostitution that flourished in such a puritan society, of false and corrupt holy men. Manto saw everything, was afraid of nothing, and wrote it all down.

  • Prakash Yadav
    2019-05-21 16:06

    A gem! I have used and abused the word before but never meant it until today. Manto is a classic and its infuriating that he is not recognized like Gogol or Oscar Wilde, not the kind of classic that one pretends to read but the classic that will live for ever by its own accord. I wish I could ride a review for each of the twenty eight pearls therein, but I fear I will run out of adjectives even before i begin. He is an amalgamation of Gogol, Camus, Nabokov and Wilde, only better than each, perhaps because as an Indian reader I can relate more to the underlying concepts and the backdrop of the partition, undeniable richer experience than to an alien.I firmly believe Hindustani is a superior language of expression in literature, and reading Manto in English is a crime I will have to live with. Khalid Hasan has done a good job, but one will only be satisfied to read Manto in the original. So that is on my queue by default.Stories like 'Odour' and 'On the balcony' are among the best descriptive short stories I have read. 'The Return' (originally "Khol Do") is another tragedy that is so heartbreaking, it was quite embarrassing that such a short piece of literature can impact so deeply. What Khaled Hosseini managed in a full novel, Manto did in a three pages.Its been recommended that I carry on to Ismat Chugtai, and I will be a fool not to take this advice.Needless to say, 5 stars.

  • Neha
    2019-05-23 14:52

    Saadat Hasan Manto.. a marvellous writer who can write the human emotions the way you feel them.. the pain, the joy, the unsaid feelings behind every emotion.. and every time I read Manto it touches me in a different way.. There is so much to Manto's stories.. veryone can interpret in any way they want... But the best part of Manto's stories is teh twist - the story runs fast & engaging till the last sentence when everything changes for the reader. The endings are just superb and I got the flashes of the entire story within those few sseconds and how things would have happened at the end. I can keep on writing about Manto.. but believe me I would never be able to express the marvel of Manto's writings. Its something you can only feel when you read it. A must read for sure!!!

  • Satish Inamdar
    2019-06-10 14:10

    Manto definitely is one of the best short story writer and this book in all its entirety deserves 5 stars.I stumbled onto Manto when I heard about a short story called - Toba Tek Singh then this curiosity was more strengthened when I saw a short video about Manto by Nawazuddin Siddique on Youtube.When I saw his short story collection - I was immediately drawn to it - The cover is impeccable too.Manto wrote his short stories in Urdu but I read the English translations done by Khalid Hasan and they r equally good. They make sure the right emotions are evoked in the reader all the time.Most of the stories written by Manto are about prostitues, people's lives during freedom struggle and the stories of partition (how it affected people). In the end there are few stories on love too.The short story titled "Kingdom's End" is a love story and it is brilliant.Coming to Toba Tek Singh - This off course is a brilliant take on post partition situation and I feel as a play it will have much more impact. I rated this story 4*s. Because personally I felt much more moved by other stories. There are 20+ stories in this book and all of them are good in their own way conveying a message but being subtle at the same time. Below is a list of short stories amongst the whole book that I particularly loved the most and have made a lasting impact on my mind and heart: (The list is no particular order)1. The Assignment2. Mozail3. Kingdom's End4. A Man of God5. The Wild Cactus6. The Dog of Titwal7. The Last Salute8. On the Balcony9. Toba Tek Singh10. The New Constitution.11. The Gift"Patch" & "Upstairs Downstairs" - are really funny - they leave you in splits and the same time there is a hint of dark humor in them (just a slight tint).The most of what I had read about freedom struggle was from history books which only talked about great leaders, important dates and spoke about masses in general. They never dived into what was going on during the lives of normal people (The history books are never intended for that purpose though). But this kind of gives a very partial and obscure picture. Manto's stories are great in that way - they deal with delicate matter - the matter of love and live of normal people, society rejects like prostitues. The stories serve the purpose of enlightening you in a great way. The picture gets clearer in a way. Manto is sometimes equated to Gogol. In the introduction of the book I read something interesting and it goes like this:Manto wrote his own epitaph 6 months before he died, though it doesnt appear on his grave in lahore. This is what it said: "Here lies Sadat Hasan Manto and with him lie buried all the secrets and mysteries of the art of short story writing. Under tons of earth he lies, still wondering who among the two is the greater short story writer: God or he"

  • Puneri
    2019-06-17 17:54

    I had heard a lot about Manto. But somehow never got around reading anything written by him. Finally, got this short story book and am mesmerized by his style, substance and the insight into human mind. Manto, who was born in British India went to Pakistan after the partition. Many of the stories revolve around those times, people and the inner feeling of who is Pakistani now and who is Hindustani? Every story has a character that definitely raises this question. How can a person be someone else just because the geographical boundary changed his place of residence? The Last Salute revolves around this dilemma. Many stories portray women, who otherwise be looked upon as only prostitutes/ or some one with low social standing. But in his stories of Mummy and A Woman's Life we see them in different light. The story of Mozail is just out of this world. Manto writes with his uncanny ability to look deep in human mind. He does not make an attempt to explain anything and in a way explains everything. In some the stories he appears as Manto, as a character in the story (Bapu Gopinath, Mummy). His humor and satire is extraordinary (Two Nation Theory). All the stories are powerful. However, the translation is a little too literal. The translator has literally translated some of the foul words in English. That defeats the purpose of those words. That job could have done better.But I am glad for the English translation since I can not read Urdu. Manto is a must for everyone who lived through partition and been through those dilemmas. Will recommend to everyone.

  • Siddharth Sharma
    2019-06-11 11:06

    Saadat Hasan Manto, the controversial Writer who,because of the controversial theme of his stories, has spent most of his days in Pakistan in jail.But, Good Lord, what a writer! He used strong language in his book,so strong that at one moment you'll start feeling ashamed of yourself for reading any such story.His stories have a human touch with no idealism at all. He portrays his characters with unashamed ease and every emotion of that character is aptly brought out to the reader.Revenge, lust, greed, love, infidelity, joy, sorrow..everything..everything has been unabashedly described. Sometimes you start feeling as if every character is standing in front of you,totally naked, and telling his/her own story.I'll read more of him. That's for sure. Earlier I knew of him because of his famous story 'Toba Tek Singh' and I used to think that he is just a one off writer, but God, how wrong I was?Saadat Hasan Manto, You wrote what you thought, without paying any heed to any authority whatsoever. Your stories are the stories of human beings...human beings who are mortal and susceptible to any vice or virtue..

  • Sulagna Ghosh
    2019-06-05 15:43

    Perhaps no other writer can express the intense pain of separation entailed by love and partition quite as well as Manto does...A sheer delight!

  • Jibran
    2019-05-28 16:47

    Five stars for Manto.Three stars for translation. No, less than three. See why:

  • Nose in a book (Kate)
    2019-06-04 10:47

    When telling people what I am reading I have stumbled over such basic information as his nationality, or country of birth, because the answer to those questions is a bit tricksy. He was born to a Kashmiri family in Amritsar in British-ruled India, later living mostly in Lahore, Bombay and finally Karachi. He died less than a decade after the Partition of 1947, and is quoted in the introduction to this volume as saying that he truly did know whether India or Pakistan was his true homeland.And that, with the turbulence of those years and tensions between religions and social groups, is central to many of the stories in this collection. Which is a great insight and can be very moving. However, in all I’d say I had a mixed reaction to these stories. The language is often beautiful, not flowery and easy to read – except occasionally for the subject matter. The stories are often erotic, with lots of describing women’s bodies, and they don’t shy away from getting down and dirty at times. This is particularly true because many of the women characters are prostitutes.My full review:

  • Susan
    2019-05-21 12:11

    A friend from Pakistan recommended this author. These stories are simply humanity, raw and stripped down to the essence of life. I love to read work that exposes reality and captures true emotion. His writing does. His understanding of women and his ability to show us the quality in people who may not seem like obvious subjects for such make his writing thought provoking. It seems over time I have gotten to expect much from what I read. I am not satisfied to be simply entertained. If I don't have questions after reading a book or start looking at things from a different aspect then I don't feel my time was spent well. I highly recommend Manto's work.

  • Chetana
    2019-05-26 11:57

    Tragedy always has touched me deeply. And Manto has painted it with the most intricate hues. LOVE

  • Sanjana Suresh Kumar
    2019-05-21 13:56

    Saadat Hasan Manto's stories are like the picture of Aylan Kurdi. When newspaper reports about hundreds of thousands killed in the Syria crisis failed to touch hearts, the single photograph of a three year-old boy lying crumpled on a beach in Turkey moved the world to tears. In the same way, Manto uses his insight into the human psyche to portray the raw horror of Partition and war. But Manto's writing doesn't wallow in the sorrow and pain. Instead, it is dripping with a mixture of irony and wit that bring out the poignancy of human tragedy all the more sharply. They tell us the tales, not of the independence movement, partition, war or communal tensions, but of the individuals who were affected by these.The most heart-rending stories were those about the people who became the helpless victims of mindless violence. Like the residents of a lunatic asylum in ‘Toba Tek Singh’ who end up the powerless pawns of political forces beyond their comprehension. ‘Mozail’, ‘Colder than Ice’ and ‘The Return’ are haunting accounts that speak of the true enemy of Partition: neither a religion nor a nation, but men themselves, mobbed together in inhuman frenzy. ‘The Dog of Titwal’ was a hilarious story that revealed how ludicrous war can be. ‘The Last Salute’ followed the same theme, but this one elicited tears, not guffaws. ‘The Price of Freedom’ and ‘It Happened in 1919’ exposes the conditions of common people caught up in the independence struggle. But it would be a grave injustice to this consummate writer if I appreciated only the stories of violence and war. The twenty-eight stories of this collection alone encompass a great variety. There were portrayals of the simplicity and naïveté of village life, the discovery of sexuality and the exploration of sexual relations. Prostitutes feature in many of the stories, but Manto doesn't depict them as shady creatures inhabiting the underbellies of towns and cities. He humanizes them, describing these women as no different from others who desire love, new clothes to wear on a festival day and a little bit of rest when exhausted.Manto is a storyteller of a bygone era- an era that seems rather distant and unfamiliar in present circumstances. With his skill and flair he has created compelling accounts of those times that appeal even today. I just wish that the translation had done justice and captured the essence of the original Urdu writing, instead of becoming muddled mid-sentence in so many instances.

  • Girl from Mumbai
    2019-05-19 16:55

    “Here lies Saadat Hasan Manto and with him lie buried all the secrets and mysteries of the art of short story writing. Under tons of earth, he lies, still wondering who among the two is the greater short story writer: God or he”. This was the epitaph that written by Manto for himself six months before his death., clearly the man knew that he had a command over his pen which was constantly dripping with sarcasm.“Kingdom’s End” a collection of stories and sketches by Manto, showcases some of his best short stories including Toba Tek Singh, A Man of God, Babu Gopi Nath and many others. The stories are stark, woven with a tinge of reality touching the heart of readers even with the brashness of his words. A man riddled with pain and commemorations of one of the greatest tragedies of our times the “Partition”, he penned stories dripping with sarcasm and wit. Reading stories written by “Saadat Hasan Manto” seems like one is taking a crash course in the realities of what Partition did to a whole generation of humans and the aftermath that followed. He laments, he berates; he cries, and you can also feel he aches because that is what his stories are full of, his despair on the apathy that has crept in human nature. The self-proclaimed enfant terrible of Urdu literature he was a storyteller par excellence, the sharpness of his language and the intense realism grips the reader in its folds making one feel the pathos and the shame of partition. Leaving you with a sad dull ache that refuses to leave even when you have put the book away.A must have book for Manto readers.

  • Ranjana Gupta
    2019-05-26 11:12

    This is the second collection of stories / memoirs by Manto that I have read - I would like to read the non-translated version some day - and the thing that strikes me most is how freeing his thoughts were for the times he wrote in. Sexuality, politics, incest, murder, romance - nothing escapes his pen. Each story in the collection is incisive in its insight into human nature and its pitfalls.It is an eclectic mix of short stories, highlighting the pathos of riots during partition (The Return, The Assignment), the stupidity of war (The Dog of Titwal), the vagaries of love and more often than not lust (Mozail, The Wild Cactus, Odour), the confusion of adolescence (Blouse, A Wet Afternoon, The Patch) and the trials and tribulations of womanhood (Siraj, A Woman's Life).His writing is witty, sarcastic yet imbued with an inevitable sense of tragedy or at the very least, pathos. Puny human lives deluded into thinking of being better than their circumstances! A memorable collection of short stories. Read it.

  • Jaydeep
    2019-06-18 14:57

    Reading these stories has helped me understand myself and my world a lot better. There is a lot of praise deserved here for a number of things – Khalid Hasan’s translations, that at times convey to the reader a whiff of the aromatic cadences of Urdu – the edition’s cover, a painting by Iqbal Hussain, in which there is a young lady in blue whose eyes by themselves speak many unspoken narratives – and above all, perhaps drunken, but in perfect command of his by turn sharp, sardonic, and impossibly tender pen, our writer, the inimitable Manto. Among the stories, I would probably mark out ‘On the Balcony’ as my favourite.

  • Ambar
    2019-06-16 09:46

    South Asian literature almost always features sub-par translation, even from acknowledged scholars like Khalid Hassan. While the translation is better than most comparable south Asian volumes, it does seem a little forced at times.Manto though, really is a supreme humanist. An avid reader of people, Manto's favourite themes appear to be cultural and communal friction, adolescence and puberty, and portraits of fringe sections of society. He writes without refrain, or fear of reprisal, with disarming simplicity and sharp clarity

  • Sugan Shreyas
    2019-06-03 11:59

    The brilliance of this book is that it leaves you wondering which of his stories are real and which ones are fiction. Sheer genius who writes semi-fiction in the guise of short stories. It's both light-hearted and heavy, the characters both ugly and beautiful.. Like any good art, I might have to keep coming back to it to grasp the work in its entirety.

  • Pauline McGonagle
    2019-05-27 16:46

    Read 'Khol Do' from this. This is an extraordinary story about the exchange of menatlly ill patients during Partition from either side of the India/Pakistan borders and the confusion of the operation on the patients, their families and the people who had to organise it.Highly symbolic of the general chaos, disturbance and tragic effects of the whole country which wa to become two 'nations'.

  • Tashfeen
    2019-06-13 17:06

    Saadat Hasan Manto is an amazing story teller. Although all his stories end on a sad note but he writes with a lot of conviction. His stories explore the other dark side of human factor which was hard to come by at a time when it was written. Very few authors i believe have an innate power to infuse sorrow in their writing as much as Saadat Hasan Manto does with his stories.

  • Poonam
    2019-06-05 18:11

    Manto as everyone knows wrote originally in Urdu. I was surprised by his stories. The narrative never shies away from sexuality. In fact, Manto was tried at least 6 times for obscenity!!No, he is not at all obscene. Has written heart-rending stories around Partition. He also has a dry as well as sharp sense of humor and wit. A very interesting read.

  • Parvathi Ram
    2019-05-23 11:48

    my favourites are toba tek singh, the assignment, odour, a man of god, the gift, the dog of titwal, two nation theory. his stories on partition and its violence are heart wrenching. so few words and so much meaning...

  • Kholboi Christine Vaiphei
    2019-06-10 09:54

    Took me up and down the Indian rural lifestyle, as well as behind closed doors, into the life of women, famous women, servants, little details of life otherwise eye-opener for me. It was like peeking into someone else's life!

  • Arindita Gogoi
    2019-06-11 11:06

    I read these stories in Hindi and wonder how they would sound in Urdu. Manto just leaves one speechless and worried - with that kind of writing, how did he survive? Toba Tek Singh, Thanda Gosht to name a few...

  • Nupur Babbar
    2019-05-23 09:51

    Colourful, crisp, witty and dark, mysterious, thought- stirring and depressing at the same time. A must read for short story lovers. The original Urdu version would do more justice in capturing the essence of the stories.

  • Umar Shaikh
    2019-06-15 14:49

    A great collection of Manto's stories, and very well translated.

  • Tanay Bagayatkar
    2019-06-02 10:54

    some amazing short stories, wish Iknew Urdu so that I could read the original version

  • vik
    2019-05-21 12:06

    I have many story collections of Manto.I wish I knew more Urdu words to enjoy it even more.

  • Shantanu Chaudhary
    2019-06-07 13:09

    loved all the stories..

  • Jagriti
    2019-05-27 14:57

    Progressive writer at its best.

  • Sarah
    2019-06-15 17:03

    A sure waste of time.He has just exaggerated about injustice prevailing in society without presenting any solution.If somebody wants to curse his nation and get depressed then surely read it.