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The Chronicles of Clovis

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4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  489 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Saki (pseudonym of H. H. Munro), English author, is best known for his witty, sometimes whimsical, often cynical and bizarre short stories; they are collected in Reginald, The Chronicles of Clovis, Beasts and Super-Beasts, and other volumes. Contents of The Chronicles of Clovis include: Esme, The Match-Maker, Tobermory, Mrs. Packletide's Tiger, The Stampeding of Lady Basta ...more
Paperback, 171 pages
Published December 14th 1989 by Penguin Classics (first published 1911)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 879)
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Brad
Jul 16, 2011 Brad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shortnarrative
These remain my favorite short stories of all time. Saki's caustic wit and social subversion are wickedly funny. The central protagonist, Clovis, is a trickster to the bone who can rarely resist an opportunity to upset the social apple cart, even if the fallout lands on himself. While there are other authors who depict a slice of upper class British life in the pre-WWI period, the putative innocence of this age (e.g. in P.G. Wodehouse) is revealed by Saki to have swirling undercurrents of human ...more
Petra X
May 05, 2015 Petra X rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
I don't know if it was the pompous lugubriousness of the narrator or that was the tone of the book anyway, but I mostly found the stories unbearable in their snobbishness, misanthropy and weak humour. Maybe they are just dated and such attitudes were not only acceptable but considered funny at the time.

There were 28 stories, three days listening, and some of them I had forgotten by the time I started the next one and had to replay them in order to be sure I'd 'read' them.

I was going to say that
...more
Kyle
Apr 03, 2010 Kyle rated it really liked it
I agree with A.A. Milne when, in the introduction to the edition of The Chronicles of Clovis that I own, he writes:

"There are dearly loved books of which we babble to a neighbor at dinner, insisting that she shall share our delight in them; and there are books, equally dear to us, of which we say nothing, fearing lest the praise of others should cheapen our discovery. The books of "Saki" were, for me at least, in the second class."

The same is true for me, and for many others I imagine, because I
...more
Mick
Sep 21, 2012 Mick rated it it was amazing
Clovis (like Reginald, the other Saki character)is a young man with an attitude. If you like the mischievous wit of Wilde's four comedies, you should try Saki. Between the two of them Wilde and Saki invented trolling. Clovis operates at tea parties, dance parties and lunches in the garden of the mansion etc. He drives everyone who deserves it (and then some) to distraction with his very original verbal wickedness.
Jane
Nov 21, 2012 Jane rated it liked it
I want to BE Clovis - so clever, so wicked, so good at getting away with it!
Meredith
Dec 29, 2015 Meredith rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those of us want more in their lives and who want to stick it too our pretentious “friends”

You know that kid?
The one who is so smart that they don’t have to study? The super pompous one who made you feel like dirt because you got a B on your math test, and you didn’t know some archaic adjective that they wove into their purple prose teenage wangst poem? They also wikied all the books for English class, but still got better marks than you?


Yeah, that kid.


This book will give you the magic power to stick it to them in between the eyes.



Bam.

Here’s why:

1. Its writer, Saki, was a certified
...more
Dione Basseri
Mar 03, 2016 Dione Basseri rated it really liked it
Clovis is the spiritual successor to Saki's well-loved Reginald character. He's a bit more of a prankster than a simple snarker than Reginald, but there's plenty of deadpan humor in the stories which feature him.

It's actually the stories not about Clovis that I find most interesting in this collection. In particular, I enjoy "Srendi Vashtar," about a boy whom turns a pet ferret into his own private and bloodthirsty god. It's dark and vibrant and terrible. "Filboid Studge" is good for anyone roll
...more
Eveletta
Apr 01, 2016 Eveletta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En este conjunto de cuentos, podemos ver a un mismo personaje recurrente (Clovis) que está presente de manera indirecta en cada relato. Centrémonos en el primer cuento: Tobermory, que fue, tal vez, el cuento que más me gustó. Aquí, Saki nos presenta una reunión entre gente adinerada (no recuerdo si había nobleza presente), incrédula ante las afirmaciones de Cornelius Appin, quien asegura que ha enseñado, luego de arduo trabajo (e incontables intentos con otras especies), a hablar. Naturalmente n ...more
Matt
Sep 11, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it
A really snarky, condescending book of short stories- most of which have a dark angle or humorously macabre twist (somebody ends up dead in the majority of them...). Each story is told by, or involves, the character "Clovis," your average trouble making rich kid circa the late 19th /early 20th century. You'll wonder what it is you like about Clovis, until you realize he's much like a leprechaun: an amusing deviant with too much money.
Caio
Feb 26, 2016 Caio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Saki is as funny as watching crippled fight. Morally crippled. Which raises the interesting question of why it's okay in this case. But I digress.

His petty characters fight, backstab, pull each others legs, and we laugh as they inflict misery upon their wretched selves. Fun as heck until he reminds us we ourselves are barely held together by our own moral crutches.

So there's fun and misery to be found in this book. Most stories are incredibly funny while some make you smirk, but others are just
...more
Jennifer
Nov 11, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
Having now read The Chronicle of Clovis, I'm left with the desperate desire to see H.H. Munro get into a cat-fight with Oscar Wilde, whose style Saki's owes something of its wit to, though he goes a bit lighter on the decadence than Wilde. I picture the two squaring off - perhaps in a dispute over a literary review, philosophical point, or necktie - with Oscar beating Munro over the head with quippy insults and Munro replying with sly, dry asides. I'd pay good money for a ticket to that.

Chronicl
...more
Julie Davis
Jun 23, 2012 Julie Davis rated it it was amazing
When I was young I discovered Saki and read all his stories. Over the years, of course, one comes across a few very popular stories repeatedly. Now I've come across a wonderful podcast, The Clovis Stories by Saki which is working its way through all the Saki stories, beginning with The Chronicles of Clovis. By the time I discovered it, The Chronicles were completed and they had moved on to Beasts and Super-Beasts. But I am listening to a story a day (or so) from the beginning. And enjoying vastl ...more
Scott Holmes
Sep 30, 2012 Scott Holmes is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what to think yet. I must have read some Saki in the past as I know the name. When Goodreads suggested The Complete Saki, I went to Gutenberg and downloaded this book, The Chronicles of Clovis. A.A.Milne's introduction almost turned me off to it as perhaps a bit too precious for me. I even quit reading but went back and looked at a few reviews here on Goodreads. So, I went back and read the rest of Esme', I'd only read the first couple of paragraphs. It certainly did take an O. Henr ...more
Theresa~OctoberLace
I started out really liking Saki’s Chronicles of Clovis, finding the writing style agreeable and the short stories quite funny. The introduction was written by A. A. Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh, who extolled on the unique writing style of Saki, comparing his command of words to the “private vintage of the connoisseur.” Milne cites “The Background” and “Mrs. Packetide’s Tiger” as the masterpieces of this book, and I totally agree. Both were fun to read and quite humorous.

Saki is the pe
...more
George Ilsley
Jan 30, 2016 George Ilsley rated it really liked it
The worst element of this edition is the cringe-worthy introduction by Auberon Waugh. He apologizes for the tone of this collection by Saki, when he could have instead mentioned the word "satire". He is even confused by the cat's cause of death in Tobermory.

Of course some pieces are better than others. However some of this collection are among Saki's best and are widely anthologized.

In other news, there is a typo on the back cover. Such a thing rarely happens in book world.
Chris Passingham
Oct 02, 2014 Chris Passingham rated it really liked it
Exceptionally well written and very entertaining, laugh out loud funny, but for some reason - maybe it's just the mood I am in - it didn't seem to "do" it for me but that's just me I suppose. I would have given this book four and a half stars but I cant. I would recommend this to anyone
Michaela
Feb 05, 2016 Michaela rated it liked it
Favourites: The Story of St. Vespaluus, The Way to the Dairy, The Remoulding of Groby Lington, The Jesting of Arlington Stringham, The Peace of Mowsle Barton.



JCD
Jul 06, 2015 JCD rated it really liked it
When I get that feeling that the world is a comedy of futility I now have a name for it... I often get that "Clovis" feeling. I'm certain that I have missed some of the subtleties of these stories they are creamy rich in satire.
Jane
Sep 03, 2011 Jane rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys dry, dark humor mixed with utter ridiculousness.
Shelves: favorites
This book was problematic for me - I "read" it mostly as an audiobook from Librivox.org and partly on my laptop while taking the train to and from Sacramento and Oakland. This means that I was around other people when I was reading this and it was really hard to keep from laughing out loud. I never recommend books to people on the basis of "OMG, it's sooo funny!" and I hate it when people recommend books to me for that reason, but I'm going to break that rule for this book. It's darkly, morbidly ...more
Bruno
Jul 13, 2015 Bruno rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Borges estaba en lo cierto. Saki posee un tono de trivialidad para narrar relatos de trama cruel y amarga, como las deliciosas comedias de Wilde
Neil McFarlane
Dec 29, 2014 Neil McFarlane rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully witty, humorous short stories. I only discovered Saki a couple of years ago. I'm very glad I did.
Greg Fanoe
Apr 06, 2013 Greg Fanoe rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
This book is available for free on Project Gutenberg. And most of the stories are really short. So there's really no excuse to not pop over there and read one or two to see if you dig the style.

Personally, I love the simplicity of his writing style, and there's tons of funny lines here. Mostly great (though I have a weakness for detached irony), with some clunkers here and there.

Top 5 Stories: "The Back Ground", "Sredni Vashtar", "The Story of St. Vespaluus", "Mrs. Packletide's Tiger", "Wratisla
...more
Betsy Boo
Jul 03, 2014 Betsy Boo rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-lit
When you read Saki you just know this guy must've played some awesome practical jokes on his friends.
Leslie
Jul 27, 2015 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amusing short stories but not quite as good as Beasts and Superbeasts. Saki has a very British sense of humor -- if you don't like Wodehouse, Jerome or other authors of that ilk, you will probably not find these funny...
Douglas Dalrymple
Jan 13, 2014 Douglas Dalrymple rated it really liked it
Macabre is probably the word. But so is hilarious. Witty and satirical also figure. Saki’s Chronicles of Clovis has got to be one of the most enjoyable short-story collections I’ve ever read. What happens when a hyena gets loose in the English countryside? Or when a tattoo (still on someone’s back) is purchased by the state as a masterpiece? Or when government ministers are replaced by angels in disguise? Pick up some Saki and find out.
Kat
Feb 16, 2012 Kat rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fanarchist
Saki writes like a very charming sociopath (who you find yourself liking, despite your better judgment). Stories range from talking cats named Tobermory, hyenas eating gypsy toddlers(!!!), and children feeding their tiresome minders to badgers. Sometimes it reaches the other end of the spectrum and the casual heartlessness becomes a little too jarring, though. The Introduction by A.A Milne was a fantastic surprise.
Kathrine
May 27, 2013 Kathrine rated it really liked it
Very clever, you can really imagine these stories being told in an arch drawl, such a vivid voice/style throughout the stories. However, I couldn't help feeling that the stories were all about the surface, they lacked substance. I can't resist comparing them to Hemingway's stories, which I think are the opposite, loads of stuff going on beneath the surface...Perhaps I need to read some more Saki...
Ross Beresford
Jan 26, 2012 Ross Beresford rated it really liked it
I actually read this book in the EPUB edition at Project Gutenberg. These are amusing stories that stand the test of time pretty well. Mostly of upper class English life around 1900. Favorites include "The Unrest-Cure", "Sredni Vashtar", "Tobermory", and "The Secret Sin of Septimus Brope".
Fishface
Jan 16, 2016 Fishface rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read, but I was not happy to see that Clovis never appears at all in some of these stories. I figured this would be the one boos that collected nothing but Clovis tales, and collected them all in one spot. It was not to be. I guess that's what I should have expected out of my favorite agent of chaos.
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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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“The censorious said she slept in a hammock and understood Yeats's poems, but her family denied both stories.” 13 likes
“And the vagueness of his alarm added to its terrors; when once you have taken the Impossible into your calculations its possibilities become practically limitless.” 11 likes
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