Bramah's article on Wikipedia states that his works would be compared with those far more famous. That is to say, "His humorous works were ranked with Jerome K. Jerome and W. W. Jacobs, his detective stories with Conan Doyle, his politico-science fiction with H. G. Wells and his supernatural stories with Algernon Blackwood. George Orwell acknowledged that Bramah's book, What Might Have Been, influenced his Nineteen Eighty-Four. Bramah created the characters Kai Lung and Max Carrados."
To be honest, until reading that bit about "What Might Have Been might have influenced his Nineteen Eighty-Four", I might never have felt the need to read another of his works. That is not to say that The Wallet of Kai Lung is bad. It is in fact a series of short stories, two of which I enjoyed in particular: "The Story of Yung Chang" and "The Vision of Yin, the Son of Yat-Huang." I also enjoyed, though to a lesser degree, "The Vision of Yin, the Son of Yat Huang." The writing style is good, but I could not read more than a single chapter in a single sitting without having to prop my eyes open with pins. Another issue was I had a hard time keeping track of the names. I don't know why I didn't have this problem with the Japanese stories that I read.
Wikipedia's quotes from the stories are as follows:
- "He who lacks a single tael sees many bargains"
- "It is a mark of insincerity of purpose to spend one’s time in looking for the sacred Emperor in low-class teashops"
- "It has been said there are few situations in life that cannot be honourably settled, and without loss of time, either by suicide, a bag of gold or by thrusting a despised antagonist over the edge of a precipice on a dark night"
There are another four of these books. Will I read another? I don't think so. But, that does not mean I recommend against it.