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Raffles - Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman

E. W. Hornung

Book Overview: 

Raffles, Further Adventures of the Amateur Cracksman (also published as The Black Mask) is the second collection of stories in the Raffles series. After the dark turn of events at the end of The Gift of the Emperor, Bunny’s done his time and, his life not being quite what it was before, now finds himself longing for the companionship of his Raffles.

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Book Excerpt: 
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"Not to-day, Bunny, I swear!"

"You mean to tell me you really did start with the bare idea of finding a place to hide in for a night?"

"Of course I did."

"It was to be the mere reconnoitre you pretended?"

"There was no pretence about it, Bunny."

"Then why on earth go and do what you did?"

"The reason would be obvious to anyone but you," said Raffles, still with no unkindly scorn. "It was the temptation of a minute—the final impulse of the fraction of a second, when Roberto saw that I was tempted, and let me see that he saw it. It's not a thing I care to do, and I sha'n't be happy till the papers tell me the poor devil is alive. But a knock-out shot was the only chance for us then."

"Why? You don't get run in for being tempted, nor yet for showing that you are!"

"But I should have deserved running in if I hadn't yielded to such a temptation as tha. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Black Mask is the second of three Raffles story collections (there is also a later novel). The end of the first collection left Bunny arrested and ruined, with Raffles likely drowned. In the first story of Black Mask, Bunny is out of prison and attempting to sort out his life when he is reunited wit

Not as fun as the first volume due to the stifling new status quo of Raffles being a known thief and declared dead, but it has its moments.

I didn't like this quite as much as the first one. The stories didn't fit together as well, and I didn't like them quite as much. Bunny wasn't quite as ludicrous about being in love with Raffles in this one, either, which might have made up for it. However, I did discover (spoilers, sort of) that th

I preferred the capers of the first book to the attempt to go deeper here; the characters of Raffles and Bunny are too slight to sustain it. They worked better as figures of whimsy. Pity.

Worth reading for easily one of the most touching relationships in literature between the narrator and the gentleman-burglar. Thick-and-thin lifelong male friendships were rarely better explored.
The period-prose and language crackles satisfyingly with some turns of phrase to die for. Rather like whe

I say, Raffles is starting to grow on me, what? This one is quite well written, has more depth and is more about Bunny and their ridiculous and juvenile relationship - is even a little moving despite the faintly (?!) ludicrous plot. Onward chaps.

Raffles, the amateur cracksman, is back from a supposed watery grave to continue entertaining us with Further Adventures … and they are quite good. Anyone missing quiet evenings reading the exploits of Sherlock Holmes should find these tales to be a most fulfilling substitute. The relationship betwe

I did think that this was improvement on the initial book as each new story within The Black Mask gave us a further glimpse into the hidden character of Raffles and a closer inspection of his many methods of thievery.

I even felt some sympathy for this rouge when he opened up to 'Bunny' and spoke of

And to think I was upset about the ending of the first book...more

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