THE COMPLETE SHORT STORIES OF RAFFLES--THE AMATEUR CRACKSMAN by E. W. Hornung

THE COMPLETE SHORT STORIES OF RAFFLES--THE AMATEUR CRACKSMAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Though Raffles stories have been written in recent decades by Barry Perowne, starting with The Return of Raffles (1933), the originals were the work, of course, of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's brother-in-law E. W. Hornung. Here, then, are those three initial collections of stories featuring the famous burglar and his pal/accomplice/narrator, ""Bunny"": The Amateur Cracksman (1898), The Black Mask (1901), and A Thief in the Night (1905). A foreword by Peter Haining muses on the Raffles character's appeal, on the stories' debt to Conan Doyle, on the film versions and Perowne versions that followed Hornung's death in 1921. (""Although some critics have found the best of Barry Perowne's Raffles stories to be inventively plotted and stylishly written, the Hornung originals remain unsurpassed. . . ."") George Orwell's essay on Raffles is included. And the stories themselves still exude old-fashioned charm (as well as old-fashioned moral/political imperatives), with the 1890s London atmosphere more engaging now, perhaps, than the tricky thieving exploits.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1984
Publisher: St. Martin's