Collected Stories

Overview

From one of the twentieth century’s most enduringly popular fiction writers: the only hardcover edition of his short stories.

Though W. Somerset Maugham was also famous for his novels and plays, it has been argued that in the short story he reached the pinnacle of his art. These expertly told tales, with their addictive plot twists and vividly drawn characters, are both galvanizing as literature and wonderfully entertaining. In the adventures of his alter ego Ashenden, a writer ...

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Overview

From one of the twentieth century’s most enduringly popular fiction writers: the only hardcover edition of his short stories.

Though W. Somerset Maugham was also famous for his novels and plays, it has been argued that in the short story he reached the pinnacle of his art. These expertly told tales, with their addictive plot twists and vividly drawn characters, are both galvanizing as literature and wonderfully entertaining. In the adventures of his alter ego Ashenden, a writer who (like Maugham himself) turned secret agent in World War I, as well as in stories set in such far-flung locales as South Pacific islands and colonial outposts in Southeast Asia, Maugham brings his characters vividly to life, and their humanity is more convincing for the author’s merciless exposure of their flaws and failures.

Whether the chasms of misunderstanding he plumbs are those between colonizers and natives, between a missionary and a prostitute, or between a poetry-writing woman and her uncomprehending husband, Maugham brilliantly displays his irony, his wit, and his genius in the art of storytelling.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The short story was Maugham’s true métier, and some of the stories he wrote are among the best in the language.” –Anthony Burgess

“Maugham has given infinite pleasure and left us a splendour of writing which will remain for as long as the written English word is permitted to exist.” –Daily Telegraph

“If all else perish, there will remain a storyteller’s world…that is exclusively and forever Maugham, a world of verandah and prahu which we enter as well as we do that of Conan Doyle’s Baker Street, and with a happy and eternal homecoming.” –Cyril Connolly, The Times (London)

“[Maugham] is as clever a craftsman as the cleverest…He chooses his themes with as quick an eye for tragedy as the most compassionate.” –The Observer

”A formidable talent, a formidable sum of talents.” –The Spectator

Library Journal
This "Everyman's Library" collection assembles 31 of Maugham's short stories plus a select bibliography, a chronology, and an introduction into one volume. A ribbon marker adds an extra touch of class. A gem. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400042531
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/6/2004
  • Pages: 880
  • Sales rank: 469,474
  • Product dimensions: 5.33 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 1.81 (d)

Meet the Author

W. Somerset Maugham was one of the twentieth century’s most popular novelists as well as a celebrated playwright, critic, and short story writer. He was born in Paris but grew up in England and served as a secret agent for the British during World War I. He wrote many novels, including the classics Of Human Bondage, Cakes and Ale, Christmas Holiday, The Moon and Sixpence, Theatre, and Up at the Villa.
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Table of Contents

In a strange land 3
Rain 7
The fall of Edward Barnard 47
The pool 78
Mackintosh 115
The happy couple 148
The unconquered 161
Before the party 187
The yellow streak 212
The vessel of wrath 238
The force of circumstance 275
The alien corn 300
Virtue 338
The bum 373
The treasure 380
The colonel's lady 395
The human element 413
Footprints in the jungle 448
The book-bag 478
The back of beyond 513
Mayhew 544
Mirage 547
The letter 565
The outstation 598
Red 628
Miss King 649
The hairless Mexican 680
Giulia Lazzari 716
The traitor 751
His excellency 785
Sanatorium 816
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