‘They say (said Reginald) that there’s nothing sadder than victory except defeat. If you’ve ever stayed with dull people during what is alleged to be the festive season, you can probably revise that saying.’
These four Christmas stories present Saki at his inimitable, satirical best as he addresses the most perilous aspects of the holiday period: visiting dull relatives, tolerating Christmas Eve merriment, receiving unwanted gifts, and writing ecstatic thank you cards for those aforementioned gifts.
The undisputed master of the English short story, never is Saki’s satire sharper than when dissecting the customs of the upper classes at Christmas. These are four tales guaranteed to delight and disturb any Christmas gathering.
‘Saki is like a perfect martini but with absinthe stirred in . . . heady, delicious and dangerous.’ – Stephen Fry
‘The best of his stories are still better than the best of just about every other writer around.’ – Roald Dahl
‘Saki was irreplaceable and unreplaced.’ London Review of Books
‘I took it up to my bedroom, opened it casually and was unable to go to sleep until I had finished it’ – Noël Coward