HH Munro, better known by his pen name of Saki has scarcely been out of print since he was first published It has to be admitted that a taste for Saki is something of an addiction. And, like all addictions, once acquired, it is hard to shake off. In the years since his tragically early death in the trenches at the hands of a German sniper, fellow addicts have included Graham Greene, Noel Coward and Tom Sharpe. All of us take a slightly wicked satisfaction from his biting wit and the subversive way in which he undermines the staid Edwardian Society he purports to observe. It would be easy to forget that Munro foresaw the imminent collapse of this society into the cataclysm of the Great War. With his experience as a political journalist in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, he was probably more aware than most of the storm that was brewing. But, essentially, he was an observer of his fellow-man. And it is for the humour of his observations, for the dazzling twists and turns his tales take and for the fact that he makes us laugh inordinately that he is to be treasured and shared with those who have not yet acquired the addiction. Reginald In Russia & Other Sketches will certainly help that addiction.
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