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on 28 November 2016
Decades ago I bought a book "The Best of Saki" with 49 stories, and enjoyed it immensely. But having recently heard a 3 hour special on Saki on BBC Radio 4 Extra, I wanted more. I ordered the "Complete Short Stories" but quickly saw that someone has said it doesn't include them all. I cancelled that immediately and ordered this one instead.

It seems an excellent buy. There are 135 stories. A few earlier ones are just a couple of pages, others longer of course, but each can be read at one sitting. Of particular interest to me is "The Toys of Peace" which he wrote during WW1 and was published posthumously. And there are many stories I'd never heard of. If you want a comprehensive collection, this is the one to get. As for the literary aspects, I'll leave it to others to write in detail about that. I just find his work fascinating, beautifully written, and full of surprises. He was clearly influenced by Wilde, and in turn influenced Roald Dahl. A major figure in the art of the short story.
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on 3 June 2013
The short stories are set in the period before the first world war and mostly feature "genteel" society, albeit with a couple of young characters (Reginald and Clovis) who manage to wreak havoc and cause chaos wherever they go. The stories are very funny and beautifully written, with many ending with a totally unexpected twist in the final sentence.

I go back to re-reading these stories every few years, and decided to buy the Wordsworth edition to replace my dog eared edition.

There are over a hundred stories which can be read at random, although some characters like Reginald and Clovis occur in many stories and are perhaps best read in sequence. The humour is unique and Saki's language and imagination are wonderful.

What a pity his writing was terminated by a sniper in 1916, while in his mid-forties.
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on 13 March 2018
Saki was in a class of his own as a writer of genuinely short short stories. His beautifully terse style with every word made to count has never been equalled.
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on 31 August 2014
As described, well packaged and promptly sent. An acquired taste and too retro for some but the short stories are very well crafted and cover a wide range of topics. The situations are dated but the humour of the human condition abides and perhaps an interest in the Balkans and Russia is back in vogue! Those unwilling to learn from these stories may be condemned to live some of them. Some are inventive even by modern standards.
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on 20 April 2018
Always worth dipping into
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on 8 January 2018
Very enjoyable and in the usual pleasing format.
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on 18 December 2016
Such great stories. BTW: I didn't receive this free as a bribe.
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on 12 August 2017
Every line is like another sip from the perfect cup of coffee. Saki is masterful, where three paragraphs serve another writer just one will do here. Perhaps the best part, they're damned funny.
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on 1 December 2017
Brilliant writing and stories. My desert island book.
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on 22 May 2016
I love this book- the painfully well observed social commentary makes me laugh out loud. There are also some very poignant and frankly heart rending tales just to throw you off your guard. Ouch- the only question is- which one are you?!
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