The Unbearable Bassington

The Unbearable Bassington

Saki Maurice Baring / May 30, 2020

The Unbearable Bassington This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original Due to its age it may contain imperfections such as marks notations marginalia and flawed pages Because we believe this work is c

  • Title: The Unbearable Bassington
  • Author: Saki Maurice Baring
  • ISBN: 9781417923687
  • Page: 218
  • Format: Paperback
  • This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world s literature in affordable, high quality, modernThis scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world s literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.

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      Published :2019-08-22T11:23:17+00:00

    About "Saki Maurice Baring"

      • Saki Maurice Baring

        Hector Hugh Munro, better known by the pen name Saki, was born in Akyab, Burma now known as Sittwe, Myanmar , was a British writer, whose witty and sometimes macabre stories satirized Edwardian society and culture He is considered a master of the short story and is often compared to O Henry and Dorothy Parker His tales feature delicately drawn characters and finely judged narratives The Open Window may be his most famous, with a closing line Romance at short notice was her speciality that has entered the lexicon In addition to his short stories which were first published in newspapers, as was the custom of the time, and then collected into several volumes he also wrote a full length play, The Watched Pot, in collaboration with Charles Maude two one act plays a historical study, The Rise of the Russian Empire, the only book published under his own name a short novel, The Unbearable Bassington the episodic The Westminster Alice a Parliamentary parody of Alice in Wonderland , and When William Came, subtitled A Story of London Under the Hohenzollerns, an early alternate history He was influenced by Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, and Kipling, and himself influenced A A Milne, No l Coward, and P G Wodehouse


    1. The English writer H. H. Munro, writing under the pen name Saki, straddled the19th and 20th centuries. He mainly wrote short stories that often addressed the foibles of high Edwardian society, sometimes with a touch of the macabre. His only novel was the short work, The Unbearable Bassington. I think I first read his short story, “The Open Window,” when I was in my mid teens, almost six decades ago, and was captivated by it. This was my first return to any of Saki’s works. It was a pleasan [...]

    2. Saki (H.H. Munro). THE UNBEARABLE BASSINGTON. (1912). *****. I’ve read some of Saki’s short stories, but this is the first novel I’ve read by him. I thought it was terrific, even though his style of writing is of the period. He was obviously the master of the “put-down,” and the book is full of them. This is the story of Comus Bassington, the only son of Francesca Bassington. Francesca lives in a house in London surrounded by all of her treasured things and is well content to continue [...]

    3. The Unbearable Bassington is like hanging out with Oscar Wilde at 4 in the morning at a bar after he's had a bad breakup. It's laugh-out-loud funny, it's got snarky put-downs in spades, and it has an undercurrent of cynicism, even bitterness. It's great entertainment (clearly, humor is Saki's defense mechanism, too!) but it's got a bitter aftertaste as well. I find something very human and relatable about Saki's writing, and this is a keeper.

    4. I read this in the "Complete Works of Saki" but I think it warrants its own comments.In re-reading the complete works of H.H. Munro, his short stories teem with irony and mockery regarding human nature and the foibles and essential superficiality of social behaviors, respectively. Perhaps he is merciless but not malicious, as some have described him. Maybe Reginald and Clovis, and even Vera, enjoy upsetting the artificial norm of Victorian/Edwardian behavior, but there is often an undercurrent f [...]

    5. Unlike his Reginald stories, which it much resembled at first, Saki's "The Unbearable Bassington" is a type of morality tale. It contrasts the selfishness of his mother with our protagonist's selfishness, and the conclusion we are forced to draw is that both have thrown their lives away on things of no real importance. Conus Bassington has been brought up frivolously by his mother, Francesca, who is completely in thrall to her accumulated treasures, and has one great painting which requires the [...]

    6. Author’s NoteThis story has no moral.If it points out an evil at any rate it suggests no remedy.We all know someone like Francesca or recognize something of her in ourselves. ;)What a set of characters! I wish most writer's were half as good writing characters as Saki is in this book. This made it to my favorites list easily. Funny and witty in a rare way. I will definitely read more Saki in the future.

    7. For a large part a witty satire, reminiscent of Oscar Wilde's plays, it tends to become a bit repetitive and old-fashionedly slow halfway. But then the last two chapters turn out to be masterful, dramatic, written in an excellent style. Let's read some of Saki's stories!

    8. 3.5* While I could see that this novel was a social satire, I failed to find much humor in it. Saki's short stories are much more amusing! Comus & his mother are in the end more tragic figures than figures of fun. Still worth reading for the social commentary though!

    9. A curious book with some hilarious passages early on. Ultimately a sad story of selfishness and wasted lives. I prefer his short stories.

    10. I should have been a professor and taught British Lit with a focus on the Edwardian era. Would you believe I had never even heard of Saki until I came across this book in the library? What a find! Spoiler alert (but it's vague!)Here is what Saki will do: set you up with a lovely plot with all the characters and machinations and expectations of a drawing room drama and then obliterate them and nothing, nothing works out.It's a darker more critical look at the upper class and high society, but for [...]

    11. Having never read Saki before, this was a surprise. The reviewers talk about his biting sarcasm and wit - and they're right, but I was floored by his character descriptions, so clear that I could see the person in front of me - I know this person! He is a wonderful writer. Not happy, perhaps, but startlingly perceptive about human nature and personality. I will have to read more!

    12. I gave up on this about 3/4 of the way through. It’s not that Saki is a bad writer: I’m a big fan of his short stories, and his usual wit is still sparkling here, it’s just that, despite all the clever quips, the heart of this book is so unutterably bleak that I found it really hard to read. The problem starts with the title character, Comus Bassington: “unbearable” is presumably supposed to be sarcastic but I found it to be scarily accurate. Comus is a deeply damaged soul who spends t [...]

    13. Others have given reviews of the whole wickedly funny book. I comment only, unfavorably, on its form.This is Saki's failed attempt to write a tragedy, a story in which the main character's flaw destroys him. Taking Comus Bassington as the main character, this is perhaps indeed the novel's shape; his own choices find him (view spoiler)[exiled to a colony, (hide spoiler)] where he predictably (view spoiler)[perishes of a local illness in "unutterable loneliness" (hide spoiler)]. However, there is [...]

    14. (view spoiler)[Funny in parts but not (or not as a _whole_) satirical. (There is a tendency to assume that Saki is never serious, and this novel is plenty serious especially the last few chapters. Especially, practically depressingly, the last two chapters. (But also for example the meeting, more toward the middle of the novel, of Elayne and her old school friend the farmer- which is not depressing, but is poetic, insightful (my opinion) and thought-provoking while being in no way satirically tr [...]

    15. My first Saki, and I was utterly charmed and waylaid by the ferocious social roasting and the bitter, very human sense of loss expressed in this slim novel. I will be reading much more of Saki!

    16. I file this one under "interesting failures." Like some other writers with a genius for writing short stories, Saki seemed unable to master the very different skills required to construct a first-rate novel. "Bassington" reads more like a series of disconnected vignettes than one seamless narrative. Worse, while his usually "unbearable" characters are entertaining, even weirdly lovable, when briefly encountered in a short story, they become simply obnoxious when you get a steady diet of them in [...]

    17. I will now write my review with the aid of Rin Okumura from Blue Exorcist, my stand-in for Comus Bassington.Comus Bassington is a devilishly handsome and charming young man.The key word here is devilish. He usually does exactly the opposite of what he should do.He gets away with it for a long time, thanks primarily to his loving (and patient) mother, but also due to his almost equally devilish friends.Of course Mephisto is Courtenay. Of course.But, eventually life deals him what he's owed.I know [...]

    18. 3 1/2 starsThis was a re-read but I remember so little of it before starting it again I thought it was new to me.Saki is the King of the short story based on impeccably dressed, selfish, witty bright young things with rather mean hearted spirits. Although amusing his stories also shock with the callous disregard his characters show towards the feelings and lives of others. Think Oscar Wilde at his bored cynical best and then take out the kind heartedness which is often concealed beneath the sard [...]

    19. I realize this was first written in the early 20th Century and the style is completely different, but in today's "get-to-the-point" instant gratification world this book takes a long time to develop. Each chapter starts with lengthy scene-setting prose or character descriptions that are sometimes irrelevant to the story. The meat of the book comes in bits and pieces and doesn't flow forward very well. On the flip side, this is an incredible look into 19th Century England that does an incredible [...]

    20. It is a simple story of Francesca, her unbearable son, the tug between motherly affection and survival and the want of seeing your son make it to something in life. The language is old-fashioned - unwinding and descriptive sentences.But the art of story-telling, the satire - is amazing. This is a piece of literature you must bother to read if you like poetry, like the early 19th-century literature and love satire. Apparently, it is not Saki's best - He is good at short stories. But it is a very [...]

    21. I suppose that only Saki could so effectively write a tragedy--in the Shakespearean/Aristotelian sense, recounting a fatal fall caused by the protagonist's flaw (in this case, the flaws of the protagonists)--I say, no one else could write a tragedy so well, lace it with irony and wit and satire, and after the worst has happened, twist the ending to be a smidgen more ironically bitter.Or want to.

    22. Not for everyone, these funny English pig dogs. Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called "Arthur King," you and all your silly English K-nig-hts. Oh wait i went off on a tangent. But Saki is the king of the snarky English put-down. Perhaps John Cleese got his inspiration from him. One of those books you need to own so that you can read a few chapters or a short story on sleepless nights or rainy afternoons.

    23. * 1000 novels everyone must read: the definitive listSelected by the Guardian's Review team and a panel of expert judges, this list includes only novels – no memoirs, no short stories, no long poems – from any decade and in any language. Originally published in thematic supplements – love, crime, comedy, family and self, state of the nation, science fiction and fantasy, war and travel – they appear here for the first time in a single list.

    24. A slight, character-driven novel about a spoilt, selfish young man who sabotages his own and his mother's attempts to secure him a bright and prosperous future. His widowed mother, it is true, acts out of self-interest. She is every bit as selfish as he is. It is not as witty as Saki's short stories, and I was a little disappointed.

    25. A strange and funny satirical novel by the inimitable Saki. Odd for the young "Comus" to be described as the central character; his mother is really the centre of this book. The novel opens and closes with her, and dwells on her hopes and dreams. Comus, on the other hand, is a blank slate, albeit an attractive one.

    26. As Saki’s first novel I suppose I should cut him some slack. Witty, but not as witty as his later short pieces. Terribly cruel to his characters, but not quite so charmingly as later.Recommended for people who like class satire; Oscar Wilde fans, for example.This review originally appeared on book coasters

    27. Young Comus Bassington just doesn't give a damn, but he does have good looks and much charm, he eventually realises that this gets him nowhere and despite his mother's urgings, eventually ends up as an exileCan be read online: haytom/category/the-unbeara

    28. I was really let down after reading this book. I had such high expectations for it, considering how much I love Saki's short stories, but found it was nothing like them. It was very verbose, almost a chore to read, because the plot line went absolutely nowhere. What a shame!

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