Friday, 5 October 2001

Saki: The Square Egg (1924)

Edition: Penguin, 1982
Review number: 955

The second collection of Saki's writing published in the decade after his death is very short; it contains just five or six pieces. The majority are more journalism than storytelling, on subjects such as the way that the Western Front affected the behaviour of birds or on British politics. The pieces about the front - the one just mentioned and The Square Egg itself, about a con man preying on soldiers just behind the lines - are most memorable, but the collection is generally not as interesting as Saki's others. This is because the writing has dated more rapidly, as it requires knowledge of events now obscure, a fault shared with his other brief political satire, Alice in Westminster.

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