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Naked Voices: Stories And Sketches

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  130 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In this collection of sixteen stories and three sketches, translated by Rakhshanda Jalil, Manto brazenly celebrates the warts of a seemingly decent society as well as its dark underbelly - tired and overworked prostitutes in 'The Candle's Tears' or 'Loser all the Way'; ruthless as also humane pimps in 'The Hundred Candle Watt Bulb' and 'Sahay'; the utter helplessness of me ...more
Hardcover, 141 pages
Published 2008 by Roli Books
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Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was my first exposure to Manto, and definitely won't be the last. Manto's writing is so powerful, comprehensive, and compact that I wish I could read his original Urdu work and not translations. The stories are so well written, that within the few pages that they occupy, they bare the souls of men and society. The raw, gritty, tones leave no space for fluff. Yet, they are thoroughly gripping. Manto successfully captures the essence of human struggle, and presents every character's point of ...more
"It is possible, however, that Saadat Hasan may die and Manto may not."

Manto is a mental monster. He has no filters. No fucks to give. He writes about raw human (and inhuman) emotions with no qualms whatsoever. He makes you brood over your demons, and trust me, you too are going to absolutely love him, the magic he spins with his words and the sigh-spree that you're about to embark on.
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I think I enjoyed those pieces the most in which Manto has written from his POV. Always interesting to know how/what he thinks. Always reminds me of Why I Write - another collection of essays by him.
Ubaid Talpur
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Divya Thakur
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Imagine every vice possible- lust, greed, jealousy, alcohol, adultery. You will find all of it in these 16 stories and amidst all there is appreciation for beauty, humanity, nostalgia, in a way that grows upon you. These stories don't embellish pain, they give a realistic picture. The stories glimmered on the requisites of survival- hunger, love, sleep and sex. Especially sex, he prodigiously writes about it, detaching it from all taboos, assigning it the respectful attribute of life it deserves ...more
Neerja Joshi
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Naked Voices is a short story collection by one of the most prolific Urdu writers Sadat Hasan Manto. It is my first read from his vast body of work. His writing style is very distinct, very much different from all the authors I have read so far. Each story is different from the other, yet they all are a mirror to the society we lived and living into this date. The stories are open-ended, with no conclusion as such, which leaves a lot of space for a reader's imagination. Some of them will make yo ...more
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the letter, that's in this book, to his uncle Sam in America, Manto calls himself a great writer. I'm glad to know that he knew.
A great collection of short stories.
Sandeep Gupta
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Saadat Hasan Manto's short stories have an Edgar Allan Poe's quality.
They suck you in with grim tales of humanity, you start trusting the
character's instincts but when you are finally at rest within the
short narrative, they hit you with their darkest side leaving you
bewildered and in awe of the author's masterly narration of this short

I was a bit disapponted with the Introduction by translator which gave away the endings of too many
stories. Instead of the sudden surprise at some point, the
Aug 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Good book. Has a lot of manto's short stories (around 10-15) and three sketches. But they're not the best ones. I would recommend buying "Bitter Fruit". It is more comprehensive and has Manto's best works.

And yeah, in case you buy this book or even "Bitter Fruit", don't read the introduction before the stories. It'll spoil the fun and the element of surprise. Read the introduction once you've read all the stories.
Shubhankar Shinde
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the first time that I have read Manto and I must say- I missed out on one of the best short stories ever written. Though I agree that literal translation from urdu would have been difficult but the translation could have been a little better. Having finished this book in a frenzy, I can't wait to get my hands on Manto's remaining work (possibly in hindi or urdu).
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was my first book by Manto.
I have been hearing a lot about his writings being very bold and controversial in nature.
This book contains short stories and sketches and each story is deeply moving and brutally honest.

Loved the prose of every tale and looking forward to read his other books as well.
Sumit Datta
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's an amazing book.

Never thought short stories can have such deep impact. You see the corners of a society so clear as if you were there. Makes you question the bubble that we are forced to accept as the only world that is real.
Pratik Kumar
Mar 27, 2013 is currently reading it
It is an introspection into what is called 'Life'. The 2nd story is a must read.
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Brilliant! Manto is a masterful writer.
Rajni Dhanda
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
an honest book... reveals what we try to hide ...
Shubhasheesh Bagchi
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Aug 27, 2017
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Jan 17, 2014
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Sep 28, 2015
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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
“To tell you the truth, the world seemed full of sad people – those who slept on the uncovered stoops of shops as well as those who lived in high-rise mansions. The man who walks about on foot worries that he doesn’t have decent shoes to wear. The man who rides the automobile frets that he doesn’t have the latest model car. Every man’s complaint is valid in its own way. Every man’s wish is legitimate in its own right.” 31 likes
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