Saki's caustic wit and social subversion are wickedly funny. The central protagonist, Clovis, is a trickster to the bone who can rarely resist an opportunity to upset the social apple cart, even if the fallout lands on himself. While there are other authors who depict a slice of upper class British life in the pre-WWI period, the putative innocence of this age (e.g. in P.G. Wodehouse) is revealed by Saki to have swirling undercurrents of human cruelty and the bleak meaninglessness heard in the happy but empty tinkling sounds of tea time.