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The Collected Short Stories of Saki

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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  1,235 ratings  ·  48 reviews
'All decent people live beyond their incomes nowadays, and those who aren't respectable live beyond other peoples'

Saki (H.H. Munro) stands alongside Anton Chekhov and O Henry as a master of the short story. His extraordinary stories are a mixture of humorous satire, irony and the macabre, in which the stupidities and hypocrisy of conventional society are viciously pillorie
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Paperback, 512 pages
Published December 1st 1993 by Wordsworth Editions Ltd (first published 1930)
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Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienWuthering Heights by Emily Brontë1984 by George Orwell
Best British and Irish Literature
142nd out of 847 books — 885 voters
Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëPride and Prejudice by Jane AustenWuthering Heights by Emily BrontëThe Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel HawthorneSense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Wordsworth Editions
52nd out of 113 books — 36 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,537)
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Anthony D Buckley
Cool, bitter, bitter humour. These tales belonging the genre called the "Butler's Revenge". Saki's favourite people, however, are children and domestic animals. These, like Saki himself, are imprisioned outsiders, who bite back at the dull, complacent people who control them.
Paul White
I am an Author who envies the ability of certain writers whose works tend to transcend the vagaries of time.
By this I do not mean that I agree or support all the literary academics views on what is, or what is not, a great ‘classic’.

Here I am speaking purely from my own personal perspective with regards to books which have had a great impact on my life.
One author has tickled my funny bone with such satirical wit that I cannot pass the opportunity to write this review.

The author in question is He
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Lorelei
I really love this book, but it took me so long to read it... Something about the stories generally made me unable to finish one and just launch into the next one, and there are a lot of stories. Some of them are so funny it hurt. I would recommend this book, but if you are like me, be sure you aren't expecting to finish it quickly.
Tamizhmarai
Christopher Hitchens writes in an article on Saki "Wodehouse happily admitted to being influenced by Saki, and it would be interesting to know to what extent Saki was himself influenced by Wilde. There is a good deal of evidence to suggest that he was, because some of his epigrams (“Beauty is only sin deep”) betray an obvious indebtedness, and one (“To lose an hotel and a cake of soap in one afternoon suggests willful carelessness”) is an almost direct appropriation from The Importance of Being ...more
Nadia
In these short stories, Munro displays the talent for satirizing his contemporary times in short story form that is characteristic of journalists turned writers (Mark Twain and Jaroslaw Hasek come to mind); in this instance, on top of the usual critique of social mores, conventions and politics, we have a healthy dose of dark and twisted humour that highlights the ridicule of the high-class world described even more. Munro is very witty and infinitely quotable: I intended to make note of a few o ...more
Confirmed Neurotic
H H Munroe ... What an absolute delight to read. His pen-name "Saki" which in Urdu means "one who serves wine" is totally justified. He intoxicates and mesmerises readers with his play of words, premise and characterization leaving them to want more ... ask any ardent Daroo-baaj who always demands (as if a lawful right) a last drink when the bar is about to close.

I went berserk with laughter after reading some of his stories. The one I remember are "Mrs. Packletide's Tiger", "The open Window",
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Lana
Feb 12, 2014 Lana marked it as to-read
Shelves: owned
I remember way back when I was in year 6, this 5th grader's mum gifted me this book as a present (she ordered a copy for her son and another for me), and I vowed that I would never read it because I hated her son with a passion.

Eight years later, the book's sitting on my shelf (still unread), and I still don't understand how a ten-year-old boy would be interested in reading a book like this when the nineteen-year-old version of me can't even make it past the first page...

But I will read this!

One
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Ibrahem Wasti
Saki must me a great person to have a conversation with, but never an argument. He seems to be the guy that can turn every political or philosophical discussion on its head out of sheer improvisational wit. His dialogues can convey the personalities of his characters or caricatures with as simple response to a question or whimsical comment.


Below is my ranking of the 10 best short stories, out of 22, I read by Saki from best to worst in descending order (the other 12 are listed, but not ranked).
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Isaac
At the time my mother gave this as a gift, she may or may not have seen how like this volume's central character I had already become (a snippy queer), but I thank her just the same. Saki's stories chronicle Clovis as he dishes out pre-Roald Dahl, sitcomesque lesson-teaching to the pompous elite.
Afhb
The best stories in this collection are master-works: perfectly paced with strong characterisation and decidedly anti-establishment themes. Brilliant book which you can pick up on a whim and jump immediately into a bygone age.
Tony
THE BEST OF SAKI. (pre-1914). Saki (H. H. Munro). *****.
Aside from coming across the inclusion of one of his stories in one anthology or another, I haven’t really read much of his short works. I have read his novel, “The Unbearable Bassington,” and enjoyed it. He is known, however, for his short stories. It was a tragedy that he was killed in the First World War; it was from a sniper in France. Supposedly, Munro’s last words were: “Put out that damned cigarette.” It just might be a good story. H
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Riezkystory
Saki artinya adalah pembawa cangkir dalam bahasa Persia. Kata yang diambil dari kumpulan syair karya Omar Khayam (salah satu kumpulan syair terbagus yang pernah gue baca) tersebut akhirnya diambil seorang sastrawan Inggris bernama H.H Munro sebagai nama pena (Kalau kita mengetikkan kata Saki di pencarian Google, seringkali yang muncul justru judul sebuah anime :D ). Saki dikenal sebaga penulis cerita pendek, dengan gaya yang menurut gue merupakan campuran gaya penulis O Henry dan Oscar Wilde. Ke ...more
Dimitar Darren
Абсурдите на общуването, ексцентричностите на буржоазния манталитет, променящият се свят в началото на ХХ в. - всичко има в разказите на Саки, дори ужаси. Да, повечето са хумористични, но не очаквайте нищо а ла Удхаус. Много често Саки започва разказа си с почти безгрижен тон, който с нарастващ ужас кристализира в кошмар, халюцинация, самозаблуда, лъжа, горчива действителност. Ако трябва да посоча лайтмотив, свързващ по-голямата част от историите, това са животните - глупави, закачливи, насмешли ...more
Craig Simpson
Style-wise, Saki reeks of the Edwardian era in which they were written. Having said that, old favourites, like The Lumber-Room and Sredni Vashtar, still make me chuckle even now. As most stories are short, each can be read over a cup of coffee.
Rachel
The introduction to my copy stated that some people are just not clever enough for Saki, so that's me told. It wasn't really my cup of tea - clever maybe, but cold and heartless. I couldn't see past the snobbery and misogyny and anti-semitism to care at all about these peculiar characters whose main concerns were having nice trousers and a good hairstyle. It was like Jeeves and Wooster, but without any of the humour.
Gaye Sinclair
Wicked, wicked wit. (Apart from Shredni Vashtar, which is therapy).
Jonathan Stroud
Witty, elegant and twisted tales of many types. JS
Jens Wirth
The best short stories I ever read ...
Janitag
Funny and bitter!


Benjamin Dupre
divertido y brutal
Tomi Pakei
Clever, tedious though
The introduction says that Saki's short stories are like wine--they should be sipped, and savored slowly. Maybe that's right, if it's about fine wine after all, all along. But with a 500-page (or so) pack of varying quality short stories in tiny font, I guess what I need is a few healthy gulps since too many breaks (sips) could make the reading a bit monotonously tedious—and the quenching rather pointless.
Frances
Aug 06, 2012 Frances rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lovers of British humour, P. G. Wodehouse, and satire upon Edwardian society
Recommended to Frances by: Alexandra Purvis
Shelves: fiction, humour, satire
Hysterical and brilliantly satirical, Saki (H. H. Munro) was a brilliant writer who inspired the likes of P.G. Wodehouse and other British humourists. There are many moments that are laugh-out-loud funny. My favourite stories are "The Stampeding of Lady Bastable," "The Open Window," "The Shartz-Metterklume Method," "The Lumber Room," and "Shock Tactics."
Alasdair Peterson
From the introduction:

"Saki's short stories of urbane malice are like a fine desert wine - they should be sipped, and savoured slowly; so intense are they to read that to read them at one sitting may induce a kind of literary dyspepsia".

Haiving plunged into the volume at first, I can understand the sentiments behind this warning. Great fun but best to ration them out over a year or so!

Adri Villegas
Cuentos breves que parten de bromas, de malos entendidos, de asuntos cotidianos, son los que construye Saki. A partir de un fino humor y el reflejo de la alta sociedad europea de comienzos de Siglo XX Saki logra construir historias sencillas, sin grandes pretensiones, pero que logran reflejar la inutilidad de las preocupaciones y los “grandes problemas” que agobian a la gente
Jim
These tales are exquisite! He has a dry wit, like Oscar Wilde. There are not many other authors that come mind who are like this. The modern day equivilants MAY be Road Dahl (his adult tales please) and John Collier. (IF unfamilier with them, look up both of these please! they are both wonderful!)
Paul Valente
Not as well known as Oscar Wilde or as well loved as Wodehouse, Saki's short stories deserve their place in the pantheon of the great comic writers. Hilarious, supremely clever, and full of acerbic wit and loveable scoundrels, I don't think i've ever been more entertained by a book of short stories.
Neha Oberoi
Saki has always been my all time favourite. I have a weakness for satire and his dry wit keeps my mind reeling at his creativity and sharpness for hitting the spot of my funny bone.

My favourite's been Mrs. Packletide's Tiger and of course the Regi series. Its a must read!
Anita
Absolutely perfect. It seems appropriate to quote from the introduction: "[Hector Hugh Munro] was killed by a sniper on the dark morning of 14th November 1916; his last words before being shot were, 'Put that bloody cigarette out.'"
Carra
I read these at bedtime to my husband (gross, right?) and we both really enjoyed them. Saki writes for children as a child, in my opinion, and captures something that also appeals to adults (or rather, your inner-child). He's a scamp.
Jaime
Darkly funny and with a real bite, H.H. Munro (Saki) delivered many of the most satisfying short stories ever written. Each one is a craftily polished gem cut to perfection...that, diamond-like, *cuts* to perfection.
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Hector Hugh Munro, better known by the pen name Saki, was born in Akyab, Burma (now known as Sittwe, Myanmar), was a British writer, whose witty and sometimes macabre stories satirized Edwardian society and culture. He is considered a master of the short story and is often compared to O. Henry and Dorothy Parker. His tales feature delicately drawn characters and finely judged narratives. "The Open ...more
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