A masterful collection of 28 short stories by Edwardian satirist Hector Hugh Munro, who wrote under the pseudonym “Saki”. The Chronicles of Clovis includes many of Saki’s best known tales, exemplifying his witty and multi-layered storytelling, satirizing the habits and morals of British society of his day.
©2011 Red Door Audiobooks (P)2011 Red Door Audiobooks
Painter, musician, bibliophile...
I've listened to other Cathy Dobson narrations and she's perfectly well-suited to some literary styles. But not this one.
H.H. Munro (Saki) published this collection of stories in 1912, bringing to life his most memorable character, "Clovis Sangrail." If Clovis is not actually telling the story, the action is seen from his viewpoint. I couldn't get used to a woman's narration of his stories. I felt the same way about Barbara Leigh-Hunt's narration. It's just inept casting, not the fault of the reader herself.
Clovis is such a character! He's rich, elegant, naughty, sophisticated, highly intelligent...the pure distillation of Saki. He demands an actor who is capable of epitomizing all these things and more, with just the right touch. I enjoyed Derek Jacobi, Frederick Davidson, and Alexander Spencer as Clovis.
There are a few stories here that do not appear with any frequency elsewhere: Hermann the Irascible, Filboid Studge, The Story of St. Vespalus, and the Way to the Dairy, etc. On the other hand, they are hardly the best Saki has to offer.
If you're new to Saki, I would look to "The Selected Short Stories of Saki" read by Frederick Davidson and Nadia May. It is quite extensive, gives value for money, and the performances are perfectly suited to the material.
Many other very British and very funny authors. Think PG Wodehouse, early Evelyn Waugh, Jerome K. Jerome.
The choice of a female narrator for the male POV character jarred. I think I was spoiled by hearing the Stephen Fry Reads Saki stories first. That set very high expectations. There was nothing wrong with the narration; it was thoroughly professional. It just didn't match up to my expectation. I did listen to the sample, and thought this would not be an issue for me. I was wrong.
Clovis, of course, as the archly witty POV character, and poor, supplicant Conradin in Srendi Vashtar.
I first read these stories probably 40 years ago, and go back to the Saki short stories from time to time over the years. This is literary comfort food.
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