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Kingdom's End: Selected Stories

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  552 ratings  ·  44 reviews
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 work ...more
Paperback, 309 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Penguin Books (first published 1988)
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  552 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ca ...more
Prakash Yadav
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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, perha
May 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
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 f ...more
Satish Inamdar
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 the
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Siddharth Sharma
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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,
Five stars for Manto.

Three stars for translation. No, less than three.

See why:
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For someone who lived only for 43 years, Manto left monumental amount of work behind. For me, his stories represented unflinching honesty and power, and a mirror to a vicious chapter of India- Partition. His stories are an impression to nakedness of human nature. He talks about rape, killing, prostitution, lust, love, moral corruption, about what they mean- in their true essence. He was truly ahead of his times, even though the world has moved on, we are still stuck in the same India VS Pakistan ...more
Sulagna Ghosh
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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!
Nose in a book (Kate)
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 tha
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 hav ...more
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Tragedy always has touched me deeply. And Manto has painted it with the most intricate hues. LOVE
Ankan Shrivastava
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Manto's stories unfold and unfurl in your mind. He has portrayed that section of humanity which remains invisible to our sensibilities but which is there all the time.

Every story is a masterpiece in itself. Manto makes you the co- bearer of the pain of his characters and that is what that set his works aside from anything that I have read yet. Some parts of the stories hit you when you are completely unaware of their slow unraveling. For example- The dog of Titwat. While reading another story I
Oct 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Most of Manto's stories are available as audiobook in Urdu. I listened to the Urdu version (when possible) and used this book as "subtitle". It's always difficult to rate a book which is a collection of many stories. Some of the stories were really good- funny/shocking/tragic. Others were quite blah. Overall, it's a 3.5 for me.

Although, these were definitely not the most mind blowing short stories I have ever read, I can definitely see their appeal (and importance). I also think that one MUST D
Gourang Ambulkar
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Manto is astonishingly earthly and human in his writing. If you try to disarm his writing as purely fictional, then you are lying to your conscience. Because if you look around you, you will notice many or even all, depending how observant you were, the characters depicted. He provokes and compels you to accept the fact that you share this planet with the characters he depicts. Truly masterful. You can deny Manto but you can never ignore him, because he writes about the very grain which shapes u ...more
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read mainly Manto's Partition stories as part of a class about Indian literature. I think the translation is a bit subpar... some of the stories appeared to have an intention of humor that didn't translate in the language. Manto is notable for his low class characters (lots of prostitutes). I was shocked a bit by the excessive violence of the Partition stories, but then again, the Partition was exceedingly violent and terrible. Overall, very moving short stories.
Akshay Mangal Mahar
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
everyone must read Manto once in their life time.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, lierature
I resend this book after seeing the biopic on Manto. His stories are written with deep feeling . It can disturb the reader as his writing is raw and straight .
Suraj Dhakal
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
loved most of short stories
Sanjana Suresh Kumar
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Girl from Mumbai
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“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 b
Ranjana Gupta
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
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, T
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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 disarm
Sugan Shreyas
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
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'.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
A book that wears its pain and broken heart on its sleeve, set against the soon to be partitioning of India in 1947. Each short story is about human beings trying to connect physically and sexually as well, and the collection is written with a sexual frankness that was not in Urdu literature. There is joy, then pain then more pain again.
Jun 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
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...
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Saadat Hasan Manto (Urdu: سعادت حسن منٹو, Hindi: सआदत हसन मंटो), the most widely read and the most controversial short-story writer in Urdu, was born on 11 May 1912 at Sambrala in Punjab's Ludhiana District. In a writing career spanning over two decades he produced twenty-two collections of short stories, one novel, five collections of radio plays, three collections of essays, two collections of r ...more