Benson then switched towriting “mainstream” fiction . . . which turned out to be just as satirical as his sensational novels, only less spectacularly so. His first effort, A Winnowing (1910), while seemingly drenched in death and dying, has moments of surreal humor that call to mind P.G. Wodehouse, and appears to have inspired Evelyn Waugh’s black comedy, The Loved One (1948). The others are even better — or worse, if that is how you want to put it. . . .