- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
More copies of this ISBN
Other titles in the New York Review Books Classics series:
The Unrest-Cure and Other Storiesby Saki Saki
Synopses & Reviews
SAKI (Hector Hugh Munro; 1870–1916) was born to a military police officer father in British-controlled Burma. After the death of his mother in 1872, Munro and his two older siblings were sent to live in Devon, England, with their paternal grandmother and aunts. Munro was considered sickly and received casual tutoring at home until the age of ten, though he was later sent to boarding school. In 1887 his father retired to England and began several years of travel on the Continent with his children. In 1893 Munro joined the Indian Imperial police in Burma (where he reportedly kept a tiger cub as a pet) but contracted malaria after a year and returned to Devon. By 1894 he had resolved to become a writer and, subsidized by his father, moved to London, where he would receive public recognition for a series of political satires based on Alice in Wonderland. From 1902 to 1909 he worked as a foreign correspondent in the Balkans, Russia, and Paris while publishing short stories and sketches in newspapers; these pieces were gathered in the collections Reginald (1904), Reginald in Russia (1910), The Chronicles of Clovis (1911), Beasts and Super-Beasts (1914), and the posthumous The Toys of Peace (1923). In addition to short stories, Munro also wrote a full-length play, The Watched Pot, in collaboration with Charles Maude; two one-act plays; a historical study, The Rise of the Russian Empire; a short novel, The Unbearable Bassington; and a fantasy about England under German occupation, When William Came. Having enlisted for service in World War I despite being officially over-age, Munro was killed in action near Beaumont-Hamel, France.
Edward Gorey (1925–2000) was born in Chicago. He studied briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago, spent three years in the army testing poison gas, and attended Harvard College, where he majored in French literature and roomed with the poet Frank O’Hara. In 1953 Gorey published The Unstrung Harp, the first of his many extraordinary books, which include The Curious Sofa, The Haunted Tea-Cosy, and The Epiplectic Bicycle.
In addition to illustrating his own books, Edward Gorey provided drawings to countless books for both children and adults. Of these, New York Review Books has published The Haunted Looking Glass, a collection of Gothic tales that he selected and illustrated; The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells; Men and Gods, a retelling of ancient Greek myths by Rex Warner; in collaboration with Rhoda Levine, Three Ladies Beside the Sea and He Was There from the Day We Moved In; and The Unrest-Cure and Other Stories, a collection of tales by Saki.
"This collection of short stories by the masterful Saki centers on the wealthy denizens of Edwardian England, many of whom prove wicked and haunting. The stories bounce with satire and senselessness, and aim for the middle where, to quote one of his characters, 'you have the material for tragedy drawn straight from life.' Ultimately, each is a kind of tragedy wrapped in the macabre and seasoned with surrealism, an effect both disturbing and wickedly funny. A talking cat named Tobermory provides excellent diversion for a dinner-party until it is discovered the cat knows all their secrets. Three children take their revenge on their neighbor Octavian Ruttle by allowing his infant daughter to sink into the pigsty's mud. In 'Reginald's Drama,' Reginald aloofly describes to another how he shall 'write a really great drama' that no one will understand; however, 'every one will go back to their homes with a vague feeling of dissatisfaction with their lives and surroundings. Then they will put up new wall-papers and forget.' The Other asks, 'But how about those that have oak paneling all over the house?' To one degree or another, this is the backbone of Saki's literary pretensions. These short brilliant sketches make for a wonderful read. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
An NYRB Classics Original
The whimsical, macabre tales of British writer H. H. Munro—better known as Saki—skewer the banality and hypocrisy of polite English society between the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of World War I. Saki’s heroes are enfants terribles who marshal their considerable wit and imagination against the cruelty and fatuousness of a decorous and doomed world.
Here, Saki’s brilliantly polished dark gems are paired with illustrations by the peerless Edward Gorey, available for the first time in an English-language edition. The fragile elegance and creeping menace of Gorey’s pen-and-ink drawings perfectly complements Saki’s population of delicate ladies, mischief-making charges, spectral guests, sardonic house pets, flustered authority figures, and delightfully preposterous imposters.
The whimsical, macabre tales of British writer H. H. Munro—better known as Saki—deftly, mercilessly, and hilariously skewer the banality and hypocrisy of polite upper-class English society between the end of Queen Victoria’s reign and the beginning of World War I. Their heroes are clever, amoral children and other enfants terribles who marshal their considerable wit and imagination against the cruelty or fatuousness, bad faith or simple tedium of a decorous and doomed world.
This selection of Saki’s most polished dark gems comes paired with illustrations by the peerless Edward Gorey, whose fine-lined pen-and-ink drawings evoke, in all their fragile elegance and creeping menace, Saki’s Edwardian drawing rooms and garden parties, along with their population of overly delicate ladies and their mischief-making charges, spectral guests and sardonic house pets, flustered authority figures, and all manner of delightfully preposterous imposters.
About the Author
Saki was the pen name of the British writer Hector Hugh Munro (1870–1916). In addition to his short stories, of which he was an acknowledged master, he also wrote a full-length play, The Watched Pot, in collaboration with Charles Maude; two one-act plays; a historical study, The Rise of the Russian Empire; a short novel, The Unbearable Bassington; a parody of Alice in Wonderland, The Westminster Alice; and a fantasy about England under German occupation, When William Came.
The celebrated American writer and artist Edward Gorey (1925–2000) published The Unstrung Harp in 1953, followed by more than a hundred extraordinary books, including The Curious Sofa, The Haunted Tea-Cosy, and The Epiplectic Bicycle. In addition to illustrating his own books, Gorey provided drawings to countless books for both children and adults. Of these, New York Review Books has published The Haunted Looking Glass, a collection of Gothic tales that he selected and illustrated; The War of the Worlds, the pioneering work of science fiction by H. G. Wells; Men and Gods, a retelling of ancient Greek myths by Rex Warner; and the children’s books Three Ladies Beside the Sea and He Was There From the Day We Moved In, both by Rhoda Levine.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like