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The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  468 ratings  ·  58 reviews
'Mind you, it was a pukka, respectable opium-house, and not one of those stifling, sweltering chandoo-khanas that you can find all over the City.'

Kipling first became famous for his pungent, harsh and shocking stories of northwest India, where he grew up. This is just a small selection from his inexhaustibly contentious and various early work.

Introducing Little Black Clas
Paperback, Little Black Classics, #24, 52 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Penguin Classics (first published October 11th 2014)
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Sean Barrs
This is dark and grimy collection of short stories, and they’re not the sort of thing one would normally associate with Rudyard Kipling. But, they are, no doubt, important in understanding the author because they reflect the place in which he grew up: Imperial India. This obviously had an effect on him because he wrote about it here. The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows is a short story that demonstrates the horrible power opium dens had on addicts.

How did I take to it? It began at Calcutta. I used
Katie Lumsden
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting read. I always like Kipling's writing style.
Mar 13, 2020 rated it liked it
“The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows”
Rudyard Kipling
@penguinukbooks 2015

All stories taken from “Plain Tales from the Hills” 1890

“False Dawn” story quote:

“Never praise sister to a sister, in the hope of your compliments reaching the proper ears, and so preparing the way for you later on. Sisters, are women first, and sisters afterwards; and you will find that you do yourself harm.”

“The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows” story quote:

“Mind you, it was a pukka, respectable opium-house
Sam Quixote
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
This Penguin Little Black Classic collects Thrown Away, False Dawn, In the House of Suddhoo, The Bisara of Pooree, The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows, and The Story of Muhammed Din, all taken from Plain Tales from the Hills.

Rudyard Kipling’s stories are all set in colonial India where he grew up. They’re also a lot darker and more realistic than the fantastical kind he became famous for in The Jungle Books and Just So Stories.

Unfortunately there’s not a lot of good stuff in this short collection.
"Love unsought is a terrible gift."
- Rudyard Kipling, "The Bisara of Pooree"


Vol 24 of my Penguin Little Black Classics Box Set. This represents a collection of Rudyard Kipling's short stories that first appeard in Plain Tales from the Hills. I know Kipling isn't super-adored right now in academia, and is VERY controversial in India, and I get why (post-colonial, whiteman's burden, jingo imperialism, etc). However, I still LOVE, LOVE Kim and can trace my facination with South Asia directly to Kip
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Word travellers
"Tell me boy have you ever read Kipling?" Asked the man.

"No sir but I have tried ruddy hard!" Replied the boy.

Kiplings tales of India are always a pleasure to soak into. The beautiful structure is wonderful, a man that knows how to piece a sentence together using the very best words. Kiplings work comes across as a man whose writing has been unfairly and unjustifiably neglected. The tales of India are tangible, you can smell the spices in the breeze and feel the heat of the burning yellow sun.

Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was somewhat sceptic when I first started reading but boy did it surprise me.
The tales are very enjoyable with as noticable highlight the title story.
A collection of dark morbid stories are featured and it opened up a new world to me.
If it was Pinguins intention to warm readers up for the real deal op Kipling I must admit they achieved their quest. Will buy some of his books.
Liz Janet
Dec 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
Dane Cobain
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This little collection is very different to The Jungle Book, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a little colonialist but it’s also beautifully written and fun to read.

Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent collection of Kipling's short stories, and far more darker than expected. He draws on his experiences in colonial India, and his tales border on the macabre, and often supernatural.

The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows itself is a very bleak and melancholy story of an opium addict. The title comes from the very aptly named opium den the narrator frequents; where all hope is lost, and all one can hope for is dying in the quiet on a clean mat. The narrator is numb to all but his vic
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
There are six stories in this bindup and here's my rating for each story:
1. Thrown Away 3 stars
2. False Dawn 3 stars
3. In the House of Suddhoo 1 star
4. The Bisara of Pooree 2 stars
5. The Gate if the Hundred Sorrows 2 stars
6. The Story of Muhammed Din 1 star.

Sadly enough not one story stood out for me or blew me away.. so this bindup it's okay. I think it's because of the subject and because they are just random stories, so I wasn't that interested. I recommend starting with The Jungle Books.
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I have never read The Jungle Book - in fact I'm only vaguely aware of its story. This collection of short stories however deals with Northern India, where Kipling grew up. They were a quite random collection and it hardly resonated with me.

The title story, the Gate of the Hundred Sorrows, was rather depressing as it describes the effect of opium addiction.

This was not really for me.

~Little Black Classics #24~
Tom Reeves
May 27, 2015 rated it liked it
I actually really liked the stories and Kipling's writing; but I felt like the book could have used a little more and a short introduction or something.
Mia  Bakhthiar
Thrown Away - 2 stars
False Dawn - 3 stars
In the House of Sudhoo - 4 stars
The Bisara of Poree - 4 stars
The Gate of The Hundred Sorrows - 1 star
The Story of Muhammad Din - 1 star
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I am not that intrigued with this book, probably the translation is hard for me i'd better reading the pure English you know, that's why it took me so long!
Sabina Schmitz
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Experiencing Imperial India through the lense of Kipling.
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Kipling is frequently lambasted for his imperial tone and dismissiveness toward the many cultures appropriated/sacked by the British. He is also very popular in other circles for his plain-speaking language and storytelling knack: his poem If was reasonably recently dubbed the nation's favourite. Yet, having read these and the Just So Stories I must say that I feel he is ripe for a reappraisal. His stories show much sympathy for the Indians who populate them and his portrayal of white British ch ...more
Joey Woolfardis
May 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Rudyard Kipling is best known for The Jungle Book and his Just So Stories, which show his prowess as a writer and his mastery over words and their wonders.

The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows just doesn't cut it. It was terribly written and I almost forgot who had written it. His poetry is marvellous, his best and most famous being If, and his prose is just as good. He was born and grew up in Indian, which these stories concern.

It may be that I am not interested in India; perhaps that may be it. But
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recently published in the Penguin LIttle Black Classics series, this collection presents six short stories from "Plain Tales from the Hills", a volume first published in 1890 when Kipling was still in his twenties. These are tales of Imperial India - a setting which must have seemed exotic then, and is all the more so now that the British Raj is, literally, history. Two of the stories have supernatural elements. All of them however manage to convey a sense of dread and unease. In contrast, the n ...more
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beautiful writing. This is my first work by Kipling and I really like it. I'm looking forward to read more from him (kim, the jungle books etc.)
thrown away: **** (soldier boy)
false dawn: *** (sandstorm)
in the house of suddhoo: *** (magic)
the gate of the hundred sorrows: ***** (opium)
the story of muhammad din: ***** (little boy)
Apr 13, 2015 rated it liked it
As with all collection of stories I found some interesting and others not quite so much. Made this my memorial flash mob book at the Bookcrossing convention OXford 2015
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it
This Little Black Classic actually consists of six short stories by Rudyard Kipling, and not just the one titling the book. All rather more dark than you would expect.

I only enjoyed two out of the six. One called 'Thrown Away', which is a rather sad story about a man who had a sheltered childhood, wrapped in cotton wool for so long by his parents that he has little sense of the struggles and strife of adulthood. He goes out into the world to make a successful life for himself, but things are muc
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-it
Kipling has been a sentimental favorite since childhood. But this was based on the themes of his short stories, featuring the lives of animals waxing philosophical in the jungles of India, and my ratty Comics Illustrated of Kim. I've read so little of his work, The Man Who Would Be King topping my shortlist, and I yet have to read any of his novels.

There are six short stories in this little black chapbook that merely cost eighty pesos. The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows, about a man's nonchalant na
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
An exceptionally good book, beautifully descriptive. It is the none specific stories like this that Kipling truly shines, he isn’t trying to make up dialogue, scenes of a far flung country, it goes through everything you can see on the streets and the world around you, the description of poverty, the beggars, the addicts, the world that was even more true then as it is today. This story can equally be transferred to any city in India today or even around the world and would still hold true to it ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Started this book as somewhat of a breather read because I had been reading intense books back to back, and wow. I shouldn’t have been surprised considering the small summary on the back of the book, yet I was.

I hadn’t expected Kipling’s work to be this dark and intense. The book is a collection of short stories, each more shocking than the next. It took me a bit of extra effort to concentrate on a few stories. Throughout the book, there’s a sense of palpable doom. What moved it from a 3 star to
Sarah Parker
I’m not a huge fan of Kipling but i was intrigued by his stories of Imperial India where he was born and raised. However, I am not as thrilled with these stories as I expected to be.

The most memorable story is The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows which isn’t so much a story as an account of a day in the life of an opium addict.

Thrown Away is slightly upsetting but not so much that I was moved beyond belief.

All in all, I’m glad I’ve read them but I’m not too sure I’ll remember much about them.
Gumbo Ya-ya
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
The language is these stories near drips with effortless charm, grace, and wit. The stories themselves, by dint of their length, are clipped and pinhole-focused; by turns they are chilling, saddening, and blackly humorous. Half come off as slightly perfunctory, cut short to their own detriment, but the other half seem to have found their natural length.
Mirjam hoffman
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
When I studied English in uni I enjoyed Kipling's jungle book, but this little book of short stories about colonial India didn't make a good impression on me. It reminded me of a man who likes to hear himself talk about stories he might have heard somewhere.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it
**=changed rating

Thrown Away: 2 stars**
False Dawn: 2 stars**
In the House of Suddhoo: 3 stars
The Bisara of Pooree: 3 stars
The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows: 3 stars
The Story of Muhammad Din: 3 stars
Artur Martsinkovskiy
A collection of stories by Kipling all of which take place in India. Some are better, some are worse, but mostly they are quite entertaining given you don’t expect too convoluted a story. The first one about the Boy and the title-bearing The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows are the best for my taste.
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Joseph Rudyard Kipling was a journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist.

Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King (1888). His poems include Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), The Gods of the Copybook Headings (1919), The White Man's Burden (1899), and If— (1910). He is regarded as a major innovator in

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“Now India is a place beyond all others where one must not take things too seriously - the mid-day sun always excepted. Too much work and too much energy kill a man as effectively as too much assorted vice or too much drink. Flirtation does not matter, because every one is being transferred, and either you or she leave the station and never return. Good work does not matter, because a man is judged by his worst output, and another man takes all the credit of his best as a rule. Bad work does not matter, because other men do worse, and incompetents hang on longer in India than anywhere else. Amusements do not matter, because you must repeat them as soon as you have accomplished them once, and most amusements only mean trying to win another person's money. Sickness does not matter, because it's all in the day's work, and if you die, another man takes over your place and your office in the eight hours between your death and burial. Nothing matters except Home-furlough and acting allowances, and these only because they are scarce. It is a slack country, where all men work with imperfect instruments, and the wisest thing is to escape as soon as you ever can to some place where amusement is amusement and a reputation worth the having.” 0 likes
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