book review: the best of saki

Saki (H.H. Munro) wrote a lot of stories. The Best of Saki was my introduction to them. I really enjoyed how cruel they were. No. Not cruel. How unflinching they were. People who were self-important were punished. Animals and children told the truth (and occupied sunrooms). In one story a baby is lost and when the baby is found the parents gush over it as being a miracle and then they find their actual baby and it’s revealed that the first one wasn’t theirs at all, even though they were gushing over it. So the woman who found it has to take it back to the road. I don’t know. Everyone’s just such self-involved assholes. It’s very entertaining. I mean, I can get behind this kind of wit, which feels so different from the Oscar Wilde bullshit that seems so contrived. The cutting remarks in Saki just feel like things smart people would say off the cuff for real. Not like those bon mots that people would pass around afterwards. I guess because these ones tend not to be said for an audience, which is my impression of that Wildean stuff. Maybe I’m completely misremembering how that all worked. Anyway. I liked the black humour of Saki.

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