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Saki (Hector Hugh Munro)


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#1 vinay87

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 03:02 PM

Anyone read his work?

"The Storyteller" was the short story that made me want to write in the first place. I loved it and I still read it nowadays. I also like Sredni Vashtar, Open Window and several of the Reginald stories.

I have his entire collection in an omnibus but I only lack his "only novel with a serious vein" the Rise and Fall of the Russian Empire. I hope to find it some day. He's one of my favourite writers. Too bad he died so young.

#2 Anika

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 05:40 AM

I'm so glad to see another fan of this superb writer, vinay87! :console:

I was going to start a thread about him myself once-upon-a-time, but failed to do so. Well, chose not to, actually. My reading tastes are firmly in the past, and I'm aware that's a sparsely populated locale. It can be an asset at times since I never have to rush to book-clearance sales before everything's gone. Once they are well and truly picked-over, what I would be inclined to want is still there. Actually, I purposely wait. Fewer books I have to dig through, you see.

I have the Penguin version of the 'Complete Saki' which I've read many times. Often I'll just open it anywhere and start reading in the middle of a story for a page or two since it never fails to elevate my prevailing disposition. Frequently a single paragraph accomplishes the required levity. Mine doesn't include an introduction, unfortunately, which I prefer having for enlightenment on story origins and the author's background, though I've found elucidation by other sources.

A few of his stories are a tad macabre, but he's the type of writer that I hold at the apex of my style preference. Innovative word usage, dexterous analogies, facetious badinage tinged with snide dismissal, and the requisite pathos for characters just as one begins to wish they'd sidle off a pier and stop annoying everyone. I truly lament the masterpieces he would have created had he survived the war.

#3 vinay87

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 10:55 AM

Yup. I've ready many many other writers after I found Saki, but I swear I still aspire to write short stories like him one day. He is my goal.

#4 sadya

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 11:01 AM

I haven't read all his work, but so far 'Open Window' has been my favorite Saki story.

#5 Kidsmum

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 12:59 PM

I love the Lumber Room :blush:

#6 itsmeagain

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 08:10 AM

His stories are amazingly funny. I took a Penguin compendium whilst travelling in Georgia, and laughed my socks off.

#7 poppy

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 11:39 PM

I read some of his short stories a while back, I think it was The Chronicles of Clovis, he's hilariously funny and very witty. It may even have been you, Itsme, who introduced me to them, if so, thank you very much! :friends3: If I remember rightly he has a similar humour to Wodehouse.



#8 itsmeagain

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 10:49 AM

He is similar to Wodehouse. I love the way he makes fun of the wealthy and pompous, in a dry and caustic way.

#9 Kylie

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 02:00 PM

Ooh, you had me at Wodehouse. :) I've added Saki to my list of must-read authors. Thanks for the recommendation!



#10 chesilbeach

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 02:06 PM

Some of the people at my book group have recommended Saki in the past, so he's been on my radar for a while, but haven't got around to actually reading any yet! :D



#11 davidh219

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 06:58 AM

Saki's one of my newest favorite authors. Genuinely hilarious. I have the The Complete Saki, but I haven't quite finished all of it yet. My general opinion so far is that Reginald is his worst collection, Reginald in Russia is an improvement but still not amazing, and everything else is incredible. I've tried getting the guys at my neighborhood theater to do a production of one of his plays but they're not having it, lol. 



#12 Marie H

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 10:51 AM

I love Saki's short stories, especially Beasts and Super-Beasts. I bought The Complete Saki nearly 30 years ago, and loved the short stories, but the novels and plays were dry and dull, after the sparkling, wickedly good ones.



#13 Kylie

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 12:38 PM

Saki's one of my newest favorite authors. Genuinely hilarious. I have the The Complete Saki, but I haven't quite finished all of it yet. My general opinion so far is that Reginald is his worst collection, Reginald in Russia is an improvement but still not amazing, and everything else is incredible. I've tried getting the guys at my neighborhood theater to do a production of one of his plays but they're not having it, lol. 

 

Ooh, I didn't know he did plays. I haven't read anything by Saki yet, but the others above said that his humour is Wodehouse-esque. Are his plays the same? I'd love to put on a Wodehouse play with my local theatre group, but it doesn't seem possible. Could Saki be a good alternative?

 

ETA: Oh, I just saw Marie's response:


I love Saki's short stories, especially Beasts and Super-Beasts. I bought The Complete Saki nearly 30 years ago, and loved the short stories, but the novels and plays were dry and dull, after the sparkling, wickedly good ones.

 

 

I guess that's a no to humorous plays then? :(



#14 itsmeagain

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 02:35 PM

His animal related short stories are utterly hilarious I must say.
Overall the Clovis tales are really good too.

Edited by itsmeagain, 03 July 2016 - 04:08 PM.


#15 davidh219

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 03:51 PM

Ooh, I didn't know he did plays. I haven't read anything by Saki yet, but the others above said that his humour is Wodehouse-esque. Are his plays the same? I'd love to put on a Wodehouse play with my local theatre group, but it doesn't seem possible. Could Saki be a good alternative?

 

ETA: Oh, I just saw Marie's response:


 

 

I guess that's a no to humorous plays then? :(

 

Haven't read any Wodehouse yet, sorry. Saki's done three plays, or at least there are three plays in my copy of The Complete Saki. I thought they were hilarious. -shrug- Opinions, and all that. They're really short, though. One is longer than the other two, but still probably not long enough for a whole full production. My neighborhood theater is known for doing stuff like "TEN" where they do ten ten-minute plays, so that's the sort of thing I was pitching it for. 



#16 poppy

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 12:06 AM

Haven't read any Wodehouse yet, sorry.

 

David, if you're a fan of Saki and British humour, you MUST try some Wodehouse :blush2:  I believe he was influenced by Saki's writing and you can certainly see similarities. Jeeves and Wooster stories I think are his best work and the Blandings series is very funny as well.



#17 davidh219

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 12:31 AM

David, if you're a fan of Saki and British humour, you MUST try some Wodehouse :blush2:  I believe he was influenced by Saki's writing and you can certainly see similarities. Jeeves and Wooster stories I think are his best work and the Blandings series is very funny as well.

He's already on my radar, don't worry. I've got the librivox audibook of My Man Jeeves on my phone, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.



#18 Marie H

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 06:16 PM

Well there is are different opinions on Saki's works :D .

I still think his short stories are the best way to start reading Saki's work.  :smile:

 

His animal related short stories are utterly hilarious I must say.
Overall the Clovis tales are really good too.

How could I forget Clovis Sangrail? :doh:  He is wonderful!

 

I guess that's a no to humorous plays then? :(

Nowhere near as good as the beasts/superbeasts stories, for me.

And the Clovis collection are very good. I tried to describe the story telling of Saki to a friend once, and the closest I could come to was "imagining filming P G Wodehouse Jeeves and Wooster, but directed by David Lynch :giggle2: . Saki has a very dry sense of humour, but with  a certain macabre.

I recently read some reviews, and the best description of Saki as a mix of Oscar Wilde and Roald Dahl (I would refer to the Tales of the Unexpected rather the childrens books)






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