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review 2016-05-14 00:25
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.

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