Saturday, April 25, 2009

Witty, Weird and Outrageous

Hector Hugh Munro wrote under the pen name Saki, and his short stories are among my very favorites. These tales are indeed witty, weird and outrageous, as the title of this 2-CD audio collection claims, and they lend themselves perfectly to being read aloud. Saki's characters are unforgettable, springing to life through his evocative descriptions, and the stories are funny and surprising.

Much of the humor arises from the fact that human behavior (particularly that of the upper-class members of early 20th-century British society who populate these tales) is very predictable - until one of the characters decides to capitalize on that fact, taking things out of the realm of the expected with hilarious results.

Saki is the author of one of my all-time favorite stories, "The Open Window." If you have not read this story, you absolutely must! And you don't even have to get up - just click here - right now! You won't regret it.

There are delightful stories and creepy stories - and they all have twists, turns and surprises. Another favorite included here is "The Hen," in which Clovis, a clever rascal who is featured in several of these tales, takes it upon himself to convince a stubborn house guest to leave early - something no one has ever succeeded in doing. His methods are as surprising as they are ingenious.

The stories in this audio collection are from Saki's Chronicles of Clovis (1911) and Beasts and Superbeasts (1914).

Witty, Weird and Outrageous: Saki Favorites by Saki; narrated by Tom Sellwood (Commuters Library, 2001)

6 comments:

  1. Haven't ever heard of this author before! I just love older books like this though...

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  2. Sounds great...need to go to the library website and see if I can get this on audio. It sounds like the kind of thing that I really would enjoy listening to on my back and forths between work and home.

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  3. An update: my library did have it and so I placed a hold on the audio version. Yay!!!

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  4. Ladytink - These are wonderful stories! If you like Wodehouse and things like that, I think you'd enjoy these.

    Carl - Oh, I'm so glad they had something for you at your library. I can't wait to hear what you think!

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  5. I haven't been into short stories before, but I've been seeing alot about them around the blogosphere lately. Maybe I should check them out!

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  6. Nicole - I am not a huge short story fan - I tend to prefer the longer-lasting experience of novels. But I have to say, every now and then they just hit the spot. Particularly, as I've discovered recently, in audio! I hope you give them a try. :-)

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