As I mentioned a couple of days, I picked up some Saki following plenty of nice things being said about him online – and I do like a good short story! I thought it might be best to start with the small Hesperus volume, as the large Penguin one looked a bit daunting and I thought a shorted book would give me some idea of whether I’d like Saki or not (having jumped in with both feet by buying the complete works!)

I have to say that Hesperus books are just so beautifully produced – always with useful introductions and biographical information. This volume contains uncollected Saki in the form of mainly short stories plus a play and a letter home. I was hooked instantly – Saki writes wonderfully; very lovely but concise prose, readable, witty and extremely enjoyable. There’s a real art to short stories, to be able to get your character down in just a few words, and Saki does that so well. The stories are also very funny and often have a sting in the tale which is a real delight. I particularly loved “The Pond” which sent itself up beautifully. It’s obvious that Saki was a real talent and had an amazing imagination – some of the characters are Wodehousian, but there is a sharp edge to the storytelling which I enjoyed and made the stories stand out for me.

So am I ready to embark on the complete works? Well, yes – I think I will split it up a little so that in effect I read one volume at a time, as I’d hate to become jaded with them. It’s such a shame Saki didn’t survive the First World War – his commentary on the Roaring Twenties would have been something to hear!

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