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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

The Folio Book of Comic Short Stories

The Folio Book of Comic Short Stories - Dorothy Parker, Paul Cox, P.G. Wodehouse, O. Henry, Anthony Trollope, V.S. Pritchett, Muriel Spark, Evelyn Waugh, Saki, Damon Runyon, James Thurber, David Hughes, Robertson Davies, Elizabeth Bowen, Henry Lawson, W.W. Jacobs, Stephen Leacock, Richmal Crompton, Ben Travers, S

An anthology of 22 short comedic pieces, I picked this up on impulse at a UBS, because I'd never read any of the authors before (correction: I've read Wodehouse) and there were more than a couple names here that I'd often felt like I should have read, but hadn't; I was afraid they'd be weighty and, you know, deep.  So here was my chance to read their work without a lot of emotional commitment.

 

Almost all of the stories here were excellent.  As in any collection, there were a few clunkers: I found the ending of V.S. Pritchett's piece abrupt and nonsensical.  Elizabeth Bowen's and Muriel Spark's pieces left me flat. 

 

The really great stories out-weighed those though: Wilde's The Model Millionaire was my favorite of the book, with Saki's Byzantine Omelette and Robertson Davies' The Xerox in the Lost Room close behind.  Oh, and A Piece of Pie by Damon Runyon had me laughing at the truly cunning ending.  Stories by Dorothy Parker and James Thurber had more of an emotional edge; the humor from these stories came from a darker, cynical view.

 

All in all a truly excellent collection; I've already bought a collection of Saki's work based on what I've read here, and I'm looking forward to reading more by some of these authors.