Anyone who aspires to become a really good writer must read Saki. The experience will either Inspire them to produce better work, or else discourage them from ever attempting to write at all. Saki was the pen-name of H. H. Munro, a British writer who's satire and wit was to Edwardian England what that of Oscar Wilde was to Victorian England and that of Ambrose Bierce was to America during the Gilded Age. Saki used words the way Rembrandt used daubs of paint, and his pen was a rapier with which he deftly skewered his subjects with a finesse equal to that with which Cyrano de Bergerac used to skewer his opponents.
Saki's milieu was the British upper classes during the Edwardian era, that zenith of British power and complacency just before the great catastrophe of the First World War. It was an irony worthy of Saki himself that, not only did Saki's world come to an end during that horrific conflict, but Saki's life did as well, when Sergeant H. H. Munro was killed on the Western Front in 1916.
Nevertheless, we will always be able to enjoy the pleasure reading Saki's ironic wit. "Reginald in Russia" includes fifteen of Saki's incomparable short stories, each one a miniature gem, representing the use of the English language at it's very best.