Of Human Bondage [NOOK Book]

Overview


'It is very difficult for a writer of my generation, if he is honest, to pretend indifference to the work of Somerset Maugham,' wrote Gore Vidal. 'He was always so entirely there.' Originally published in 1915, Of Human Bondage is a potent expression of the power of sexual obsession and of modern man's yearning for freedom. This classic bildungsroman tells the story of Philip Carey, a sensitive boy born with a clubfoot who is orphaned and raised by a religious aunt and uncle. Philip yearns for adventure, and at ...
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Of Human Bondage

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Overview


'It is very difficult for a writer of my generation, if he is honest, to pretend indifference to the work of Somerset Maugham,' wrote Gore Vidal. 'He was always so entirely there.' Originally published in 1915, Of Human Bondage is a potent expression of the power of sexual obsession and of modern man's yearning for freedom. This classic bildungsroman tells the story of Philip Carey, a sensitive boy born with a clubfoot who is orphaned and raised by a religious aunt and uncle. Philip yearns for adventure, and at eighteen leaves home, eventually pursuing a career as an artist in Paris. When he returns to London to study medicine, he meets the androgynous but alluring Mildred and begins a doomed love affair that will change the course of his life. There is no more powerful story of sexual infatuation, of human longing for connection and freedom. 'Here is a novel of the utmost importance,' wrote Theodore Dreiser on publication. 'It is a beacon of light by which the wanderer may be guided. . . . One feels as though one were sitting before a splendid Shiraz of priceless texture and intricate weave, admiring, feeling, responding sensually to its colors and tones.' With an Introduction by Gore Vidal Commentary by Theodore Dreiser and Graham Greene.
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Editorial Reviews

New Republic
A gorgeous read, as interesting and valuable at the beginning as at the end...compact with the experiences, the dreams, the hopes, the fears, the disillusionment, the ruptures, and the philosophizing of a strangely starved soul, it is a beacon light by which the wanderer may be guided. -- The New Republic
Theodore Dreiser
A gorgeous read, as interesting and valuable at the beginning as at the end. Compact of the experiences, the dreams, the hopes, the fears, the disillusionments, the ruptures, and the philosophizing of a strangely starved soul, it is a beacon light by which the wanderer may be guided.
The New Republic
From the Publisher
"The modern writer who has influenced me the most." - George Orwell

"One of my favourite writers." - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"A writer of great dedication." - Graham Greene

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781304047137
  • Publisher: Lulu.com
  • Publication date: 5/17/2013
  • Sold by: LULU PRESS
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 979,669
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

William Somerset Maugham was an English author, playwright, and doctor best known for the semi-autobiographical novel Of Human Bondage. Orphaned at a young age, Maugham was raised, unhappily, by his uncle, who urged him into a medical career despite his talent and interest in writing. Maugham gave up his career in medicine after his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, sold out its initial printing in several weeks, and next ventured into playwriting with Lady Frederick, which was such a success that by the following year Maugham had four plays running simultaneously. Maugham worked for the British Secret Service during the First World War, travelling all over the world before making his home in the south of France after Second World War and using his experiences as inspiration for new stories. Before his death in 1965, Maugham published many more successful novels including The Letter and The Razor’s Edge, both of which were adapted into feature films. Maugham has been remembered as one of the most influential and successful writers of his era, and is believed to have been the highest paid author of the 1930s.

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Read an Excerpt

Of Human Bondage


By W. Somerset Magham

Random House

W. Somerset Magham
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0553902377


Chapter One

I


THE DAY broke grey and dull. The clouds hung heavily, and there was a rawness in the air that suggested snow. A woman servant came into a room in which a child was sleeping and drew the curtains. She glanced mechanically at the house opposite, a stucco house with a portico, and went to the child's bed.

'Wake up, Philip,' she said.

She pulled down the bed-clothes, took him in her arms, and carried him downstairs. He was only half awake.

'Your mother wants you,' she said.

She opened the door of a room on the floor below and took the child over to a bed in which a woman was lying. It was his mother. She stretched out her arms, and the child nestled by her side. He did not ask why he had been awakened. The woman kissed his eyes, and with thin, small hands felt the warm body through his white flannel nightgown. She pressed him closer to herself. 'Are you sleepy, darling?' she said.

Her voice was so weak that it seemed to come already from a great distance. The child did not answer, but smiled comfortably. He was very happy in the large, warm bed, with those soft arms about him. He tried to make himself smaller still as he cuddled against his mother, and he kissed her sleepily. In a moment he closed his eyes and was fast asleep. The doctor came forward and stood by the bedside.

'Oh, don't take him away yet,' she moaned.

The doctor, without answering, looked at her gravely. Knowing she would not be allowed to keep the child much longer, the woman kissed him again; and she passed her hand down his body till she came to his feet; she held the right foot in her hand and felt the five small toes; and then slowly passed her hand over the left one. She gave a sob.

'What's the matter?' said the doctor. 'You're tired.'

She shook her head, unable to speak, and the tears rolled down her cheeks. The doctor bent down.

'Let me take him.'

She was too weak to resist his wish, and she gave the child up. The doctor handed him back to his nurse.

'You'd better put him back in his own bed.'

'Very well, sir.'

The little boy, still sleeping, was taken away. His mother sobbed now broken-heartedly. 'What will happen to him, poor child?'

The monthly nurse tried to quiet her, and presently, from exhaustion, the crying ceased. The doctor walked to a table on the other side of the room, upon which, under a towel, lay the body of a still-born child. He lifted the towel and looked. He was hidden from the bed by a screen, but the woman guessed what he was doing.

'Was it a girl or a boy?' she whispered to the nurse.

'Another boy.'

The woman did not answer. In a moment the child's nurse came back. She approached the bed.
'Master Philip never woke up,' she said.

There was a pause. Then the doctor felt his patient's pulse once more.

'I don't think there's anything I can do just now,' he said. 'I'll call again after breakfast.'

'I'll show you out, sir,' said the child's nurse.

They walked downstairs in silence. In the hall the doctor stopped.

'You've sent for Mrs. Carey's brother-in-law, haven't you?'

'Yes, sir.'

'D'you know at what time he'll be here?'

'No, sir, I'm expecting a telegram.'

'What about the little boy? I should think he'd be better out of the way.'

'Miss Watkin said she'd take him, sir.'

'Who's she?'

'She's his godmother, sir. D'you think Mrs. Carey will get over it, sir?'

The doctor shook his head.


II


IT WAS a week later. Philip was sitting on the floor in the drawing-room at Miss Watkin's house in Onslow Gardens. He was an only child and used to amusing himself. The room was filled with massive furniture, and on each of the sofas were three big cushions. There was a cushion too in each armchair. All these he had taken and, with the help of the gilt rout chairs, light and easy to move, had made an elaborate cave in which he could hide himself from the Red Indians who were lurking behind the curtains. He put his ear to the floor and listened to the herd of buffaloes that raced across the prairie. Presently, hearing the door open, he held his breath so that he might not be discovered; but a violent hand pulled away a chair and the cushions fell down.

'You naughty boy, Miss Watkin will be cross with you.'

'Hulloa, Emma!' he said.

The nurse bent down and kissed him, then began to shake out the cushions, and put them back in their places.

'Am I to come home?' he asked.

'Yes, I've come to fetch you.'

'You've got a new dress on.'

It was in 1885, and she wore a bustle. Her gown was of black velvet, with tight sleeves and sloping shoulders, and the skirt had three large flounces. She wore a black bonnet with velvet strings. She hesitated. The question she had expected did not come, and so she could not give the answer she had prepared.

'Aren't you going to ask how your mamma is?' she said at length.

'Oh, I forgot. How is mamma?'

Now she was ready.

'Your mamma is quite well and happy.'

'Oh, I am glad.'

'Your mamma's gone away. You won't ever see her any more.'

Philip did not know what she meant.

'Why not?'

'Your mamma's in heaven.'

She began to cry, and Philip, though he did not quite understand, cried too. Emma was a tall, big-boned woman, with fair hair and large features. She came from Devonshire and, notwithstanding her many years of service in London, had never lost the breadth of her accent. Her tears increased her emotion, and she pressed the little boy to her heart. She felt vaguely the pity of that child deprived of the only love in the world that is quite unselfish. It seemed dreadful that he must be handed over to strangers. But in a little while she pulled herself together.

'Your Uncle William is waiting in to see you,' she said. 'Go and say good-bye to Miss Watkin, and we'll go home.'

'I don't want to say good-bye,' he answered, instinctively anxious to hide his tears.

'Very well, run upstairs and get your hat.'

He fetched it, and when he came down Emma was waiting for him in the hall. He heard the sound of voices in the study behind the dining-room. He paused. He knew that Miss Watkin and her sister were talking to friends, and it seemed to him-he was nine years old-that if he went in they would be sorry for him.

'I think I'll go and say good-bye to Miss Watkin.'

'I think you'd better,' said Emma.

'Go in and tell them I'm coming,' he said.

He wished to make the most of his opportunity. Emma knocked at the door and walked in. He heard her speak.

'Master Philip wants to say good-bye to you, miss.'

There was a sudden hush of the conversation, and Philip limped in. Henrietta Watkin was a stout woman, with a red face and dyed hair. In those days to dye the hair excited comment, and Philip had heard much gossip at home when his godmother's changed colour. She lived with an elder sister, who had resigned herself contentedly to old age. Two ladies, whom Philip did not know, were calling, and they looked at him curiously.

'My poor child,' said Miss Watkin, opening her arms.

She began to cry. Philip understood now why she had not been in to luncheon and why she wore a black dress. She could not speak.

'I've got to go home,' said Philip, at last.

He disengaged himself from Miss Watkin's arms, and she kissed him again. Then he went to her sister and bade her good-bye too. One of the strange ladies asked if she might kiss him, and he gravely gave her permission. Though crying, he keenly enjoyed the sensation he was causing; he would have been glad to stay a little longer to be made so much of, but felt they expected him to go, so he said that Emma was waiting for him. He went out of the room. Emma had gone downstairs to speak with a friend in the basement, and he waited for her on the landing. He heard Henrietta Watkin's voice.

'His mother was my greatest friend. I can't bear to think that she's dead.'

'You oughtn't to have gone to the funeral, Henrietta,' said her sister. 'I knew it would upset you.'
Then one of the strangers spoke.

'Poor little boy, it's dreadful to think of him quite alone in the world. I see he limps.'

'Yes, he's got a club-foot. It was such a grief to his mother.'

Then Emma came back. They called a hansom, and she told the driver where to go.


III


WHEN THEY reached the house Mrs. Carey had died in-it was in a dreary, respectable street between Notting Hill Gate and High Street, Kensington-Emma led Philip into the drawing-room. His uncle was writing letters of thanks for the wreaths which had been sent. One of them, which had arrived too late for the funeral, lay in its cardboard box on the hall-table.

'Here's Master Philip,' said Emma.

Mr. Carey stood up slowly and shook hands with the little boy. Then on second thoughts he bent down and kissed his forehead. He was a man of somewhat less than average height, inclined to corpulence, with his hair, worn long, arranged over the scalp so as to conceal his baldness. He was clean-shaven. His features were regular, and it was possible to imagine that in his youth he had been good-looking. On his watch-chain he wore a gold cross.

'You're going to live with me now, Philip,' said Mr. Carey. 'Shall you like that?'

Two years before Philip had been sent down to stay at the vicarage after an attack of chicken-pox; but there remained with him a recollection of an attic and a large garden rather than of his uncle and aunt.

'Yes.'

'You must look upon me and your Aunt Louisa as your father and mother.'

The child's mouth trembled a little, he reddened, but did not answer.

'Your dear mother left you in my charge.'

Mr. Carey had no great ease in expressing himself. When the news came that his sister-in-law was dying, he set off at once for London, but on the way thought of nothing but the disturbance in his life that would be caused if her death forced him to undertake the care of her son. He was well over fifty, and his wife, to whom he had been married for thirty years, was childless; he did not look forward with any pleasure to the presence of a small boy who might be noisy and rough. He had never much liked his sister-in-law.

'I'm going to take you down to Blackstable tomorrow,' he said.

'With Emma?'

The child put his hand in hers, and she pressed it.

'I'm afraid Emma must go away,' said Mr. Carey.

'But I want Emma to come with me.'

Philip began to cry, and the nurse could not help crying too. Mr. Carey looked at them helplessly.
'I think you'd better leave me alone with Master Philip for a moment.'

'Very good, sir.'

Though Philip clung to her, she released herself gently. Mr. Carey took the boy on his knee and put his arm round him.

'You mustn't cry,' he said. 'You're too old to have a nurse now. We must see about sending you to school.'

'I want Emma to come with me,' the child repeated.

'It costs too much money, Philip. Your father didn't leave very much, and I don't know what's become of it. You must look at every penny you spend.'

Mr. Carey had called the day before on the family solicitor. Philip's father was a surgeon in good practice, and his hospital appointments suggested an established position; so that it was a surprise on his sudden death from blood-poisoning to find that he had left his widow little more than his life insurance and what could be got from the lease of their house in Bruton Street. This was six months ago; and Mrs. Carey, already in delicate health, finding herself with child, had lost her head and accepted for the lease the first offer that was made. She stored her furniture, and, at a rent which the parson thought outrageous, took a furnished house for a year, so that she might suffer from no inconvenience till her child was born. But she had never been used to the management of money, and was unable to adapt her expenditure to her altered circumstances. The little she had slipped through her fingers in one way and another, so that now, when all expenses were paid, not much more than two thousand pounds remained to support the boy till he was able to earn his own living. It was impossible to explain all this to Philip and he was sobbing still.

'You'd better go to Emma,' Mr. Carey said, feeling that she could console the child better than anyone.

Without a word Philip slipped off his uncle's knee, but Mr. Carey stopped him.

'We must go tomorrow, because on Saturday I've got to prepare my sermon, and you must tell Emma to get your things ready today. You can bring all your toys. And if you want anything to remember your father and mother by you can take one thing for each of them. Everything else is going to be sold.'

The boy slipped out of the room. Mr. Carey was unused to work, and he turned to his correspondence with resentment. On one side of the desk was a bundle of bills, and these filled him with irritation. One especially seemed preposterous. Immediately after Mrs. Carey's death Emma had ordered from the florist masses of white flowers for the room in which the dead woman lay. It was sheer waste of money. Emma took far too much upon herself. Even if there had been no financial necessity, he would have dismissed her.

But Philip went to her, and hid his face in her bosom, and wept as though his heart would break. And she, feeling that he was almost her own son-she had taken him when he was a month old-consoled him with soft words. She promised that she would come and see him sometimes, and that she would never forget him; and she told him about the country he was going to and about her own home in Devonshire-her father kept a turnpike on the high-road that led to Exeter, and there were pigs in the sty, and there was a cow, and the cow had just had a calf-till Philip forgot his tears and grew excited at the thought of his approaching journey. Presently she put him down, for there was much to be done, and he helped her to lay out his clothes on the bed. She sent him into the nursery to gather up his toys, and in a little while he was playing happily.


From the Paperback edition.


Excerpted from Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Magham Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 111 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(63)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 111 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Of Human Bondage-Intellectually Provacative

    I won't lie. I was bored the first 300 pages. But the next 400 pages made up for it. Maugham built the basis for the plot and the characters slowly in this semi-autobiographical theme fest. Great for book clubs who want to discuss coming of age, changing thoughts on relegion and philosophy, human nature, one-sided love and the pursuit of happiness. Maugham managed to create tension every time Milred, the horrible object of young Philip Cary's obsession, enters a scene. Likewise, one dreads the financial demise of Phillip with equal tension. As a bookclub member for over 15 years, it is nice to find a book with real meat in it.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2004

    A Great Read

    It's been almost two weeks since I finished reading this book and it's still in my mind. If you have lived any at all, this beautiful book will stir you. I read a friend's copy and now I have to get my own. I would get a hardcover if it were available. It is that good.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2003

    Incredible!

    The prose is absolutely marvelous. Nothing to jar your concentration. It deals with trials and tribulations of an orphan called Carey who is born with a club foot. The author is very clever and in fact quite ruthless in showing whole complex character of Carey. He is ashamed of his deformity, he is naïve, sentimental, foolish and in the end even harbors murderous feeling for his Uncle to get his money. The point is that a human being need not act according to his character always but can react differently to situations to suit his own interest. Maugham uses powerful prose to describe the death of Carey¿s uncle, a real tear-jerker. Highly stimulating. Now this is a big novel and the start of the novel is somewhat Dickenish , but it is successful to hold your interest from the first page. This is in contract to Victor Hugo¿s Les Miserables and even compares favorably with M M Kaye¿s Far Pavillions ( a big book) which resorts to the boring description of the Anglo-Afghan war Yawn!. A must read and indeed can come only from a complex character like Maugham himself You can also try Razor¿s Edge, but it is nothing compared to this one. A true classy classic.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2011

    Absolutely stunning

    A towering novel. It is amazing that someone can write with such clarity and insight into human psychology. Remarkable use of the English language. The book is very well formatted with only a few misspellings.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2005

    Fantastic Read!

    I just finished this almost 700 page novel and I had a hard time putting down! It really is Maugham's masterpiece. I enjoyed almost every page not just for the story itself but for the tidbits of philosophy that Maugham scatters throughout the work. I would definitely put this on my list of top ten reads of all time.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2005

    It is my holly book!

    I have never been attached to a book like this one. I have read it more than 4 times and keep reading some random pages of it every day. I take it with me everywhere I go. Philip Carey is everyone of us, with a one weakness that remains an obsession throughout first 30 years. Extremely representative of inner conflicts of human beings. I believe that what happens in the book happens to me i.e. events, thoughts, emotions, the 'poor things' for other humans and it is the 'autobiography' of someone living in Yemen, that's me! I long to have the same ending as I am now 32 at Philip's age before the last chapter! I finally understood Fanny Price and Mildred, and I found Cronshaw's rug and my life pattern inscripted within!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2012

    Perhaps the finest example of combining plot and story with thou

    Perhaps the finest example of combining plot and story with thought-provoking issues that I’ve ever read. The writing is lovely, Philip Carey’s story compelling, and the issues of life are brought into the story in appealing and integrated ways. I read it in the Nook anthology 25 Favorite Novels II, and want to post my thoughts, but couldn't post them there for only one of the books. I read this because respected friend JH told me this might be her favorite book of all. I can surely see why since it rose quickly to among the best I’ve ever read, too. Orphaned almost immediately after the book begins, Philip Carey and his club foot are placed in the late 19th century home of his aunt and uncle, a vicar, who are childless. He is sent to school where his previously sensitive, but agreeable self is tested. Thus his transformation from gregarious to introspective loner commences. The decisions about directions he should take with an eye to the future, lead Philip to change course more than once, and paralleling his career changes in direction are his romantic relationships, which also follow a meandering course. Philip’s first thirty years or so are written brilliantly, with insight into his inner thoughts and actions, the support characters in his life interesting but largely without their inner lives told. The settings, Germany, Paris, London, and other British locales resonate in their nineteenth century form. Among the issues in Philip’s life are some alluded to above, the changes and choices, the way being disabled affects his growing up and life, and the difficulties of being a sensitive, sometimes too sensitive, introvert and having meaningful friendships. Other issues include the importance and role of art, especially visual art, in his life, the interplay between impulses and emotion vs. philosophies of life in determining actions, the costs and benefits of being good-hearted and loyal, the effect of having or not having family, and those are all topped off by the biggie: the meaning of life. There are more issues worth mentioning, but I will close here with the observation that the first two sentences above are true at the highest levels, and this is an amazing book for both its story and its issues. Top-notch.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    Really interesting and insightful story.

    This is a story about one man's struggle to find his place in the world. I love the way the story is built and the increasing maturity of the main character. Many parts of this story parallel those of Maugham's own life. Parts of it drag, but others are beautifully rendered.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Just finished it!

    The book is good. Philip let Mildred make a fool out of him over and over and over again. And I told myself that if he ends up with her at the end of the book I will throw the book into the fire when I'm done. I won't spoil the story for anyone. But I will recommend reading it. It's really good.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Heart Somerset Maugham

    This was the first book by Somerset Maugham I read, and it is a keeper!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2004

    Speechless

    Maugham's masterpiece is truly worth the read. I spent quite a while plowing through this work, convincing myself I must read on, and it was worth it. Although some parts were slow, the realization of this book's reality to life caused even the most tedious of tales to ring true. This book and this author knows what it means to be human and, therefore, imperfect and wonderful. It comes with no sappy ending, and no climactic bang peaks in the middle -- but if you read closely, Maugham's main character, Phillip, will tell you your life story as he tells his. I can still see the streets of Paris.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2003

    gut wrenchingly honest

    This novel paints a picture of the human spirit through a very truthful and seductive eye. The characters are fantastically dynamic and vulnerable.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2003

    An woNDERFUL bOOK!

    At first I thought a 600 page book would be monotonous and exhausting, but think again. I really understood what the main characters' were going through; it's probably an enlightment for many individuals who can't find the significance of life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2001

    100 years later and it still means something...

    This book was written about 1915 about a kid growing up. As I read it, it was amazing how many things were written that I identified with and related to today. It was a great story with a lot of insights into humanity that can be ingested at one's own leisure. They are not force fed to you; the book does not hold your hand, but rather tells a story and allows one to take from what they will - wonderful!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2000

    One of the best books I've ever read

    This book is probably one of the best books I've ever read in my life, after Les Miserables and Atlas Shrugged. It's poignant and heart-rending, and beautiful all the same. The language is probably one of the best things about it, Maugham has a true gift for prose and he writes in a way that leaves you on the point of tears for poor Phillip. The fact that the novel is more or less autobiographical makes it all the more powerful, and adds to the story's beauty. Never before has someone written with such beauty of the pain and trials of being a prisoner of one's emotions, and to read this novel is to fall in love with the little boy who grows to be a man and fights with himself and with cruel society his whole life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2011

    Lots of errors

    And symbols and weird stuff. Looked at the first 3 pages and deleted it. Buy the book for 99 cents. The free versions are all crappy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2011

    Sort of recommended

    I am a girl from the "hood. I have some college education and figure myself not too wordly on language from the 19th century. I must admit that I don't know what they are talking about a lot of the time, but when the story goes toward dialog, it is a good story. I can't believe that Phillip can be so gullable to acquiesce to Mildred's every need at times and I just wanted to slap the crap out of him...but I know what he went through. I've been that pathetic in my life at times myself. I thank GOD that I am over it though (not to mention how much money it has cost me to get here though) I can understand his infatuation. This is a good story but it takes one a long time to get through it. I must admit that I've seen the movie starring Bette Davis and Lesley (whatever his name from Gone With the Wind) and I would love to see the movie again. I wanted to see what the director did with the story applied against the book story. I do remember that the movie has nothing to do with the characters that Phillip interacted with in the book though...that would have made a very boring movie I think. Ok, that's my take on it anyway.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003

    Absolutely worth the read.

    What an incredible novel! I wish I was half as articulate as W. Somerset Maugham, so that I could adequately express how much I loved this book. As another reviewer previously stated, the first 300 pages or so are a little slow but I definitely think that as a whole, it's all worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2001

    Excellent

    The first half of the novel seems a bit deliberate, but the reader only realizes that it is the slow events of the first half that lead to the experiences that Phillip encounters in the second half. The first half of the book took me about 2-3 months to read; the second half took me 6 days. It was simply hard to put down as Maugham's style clearly facilitates an easy feeling of sympathy for Philip. The philosophical discussions and reassessments that Philip has are very well thought out and expressed. It is simply a great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2013

    its okay

    It could have been shorter with the same points gotten across. Still finished it...took about two months give or take to read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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