Lit Pick of the Week: “The Unrest-Cure and Other Stories” by Saki, illustrated by Edward Gorey

Courtesy of the New York Review of Books

Radar is committed to all forms of art and entertainment and as such, will pick one book as a reading recommendation every week. This week Radar’s “Lit” pick is “The Unrest-Cure and Other Stories” by Saki and illustrated by Edward Gorey.

Ghoulish 19th century literature inevitably evokes the eerie literary experiments of writers such as H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe and H.G. Wells. However, a seminal British short story writer in his time, H.H. Munro — popularly known by his pen name, Saki — is a neglected figure in the literature of the macabre: Wry, satirical, creepy and ever brilliant, his short stories are the perfect cross between Poe and Oscar Wilde.

Recently reissued by publishing house NYRB Classics, “The Unrest-Cure” is a compilation of some of Saki’s best short stories written between 1904-1919, with accompanying illustrations by iconic American artist Edward Gorey. The pencil and charcoal drawings, which are interspersed between every page corresponding to relevant scenes, are perfectly suited for the atmosphere of Saki’s caustic and sardonic narratives. These stories skewer early 20th century English aristocratic culture through absurdly hilarious sequences and stories that border on the morbid. This collection of stories is vastly entertaining, and will give readers an introduction to one of Britain’s finest satirical minds.

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