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Collected Short Stories Volume 2 [Paperback]

W. Somerset Maugham
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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THERE are few books in the world that contain more meat than the Sailing Directions published by the Hydrographic Department by order of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unforeseen Twists of Fate June 12 2002
As a master of the short story, W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) was the highest paid author in the 1930's. He was born in the British Embassy in Paris, on January 25, 1874.
He wrote with a sense of irony and wit. Often, he would express a cynical attitude towards life and his love of traveling found its way into his writing. He didn't confine himself to one genre, but also wrote novels, essays and plays.
His purpose was to entertain his readers, although you do learn the subtleties of human nature from many of his stories. His keen eye for the minute details of life is combined with his writing style in such away as to capture and keep your attention. It is said that due to becoming an orphan at the age of 10, he was shy and tended to be more of a passive observer rather than an active participant. This explains some of the detachment that you feel in various stories.
"I have never pretended to be anything but a story teller. It has amused me to tell stories and I have told a great many. It is a misfortune for me that the telling of a story just for the sake of the story is not an activity that is in favor with the intelligentsia. In endeavor to bear my misfortunes with fortitude." (from Creatures of Circumstance, 1947)
In this collection you will find stories that are filled with tales of the South Seas, Europe and America. They are concise and persuasive and evoke a time and place where you completely are absorbed into a story that often has a nice unforeseen twist right at the end. Either you are surprised, laughing, sad life took a certain turn, or very amused.
My Favorite Stories in this Collection :
The Vessel of Wrath: A tale of love between a missionary and a drunken reprobate that has a most surprising ending.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Short Story Classic Feb. 27 2001
Maugham's style is perfectly suited for short story writing. His facility of communicating all kinds of ideas is truly amazing. Thus his stories feel like a light read, but they also often give you pause--Maugham is trying to pry deep into what makes people think and act the way they do. He wrote his stories a century ago, and the mark of the time lies firmly upon some of them. It is clear that he was influenced by psychological insgihts and ideas that have penetrated intellectual circles of his time. Read these stories for their ease of communication, ideas about human nature, and vivid images, such as those of the South Pacific and the industrial landscape of the rising American giant.
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Format:Audio Cassette
The Short Stories Of William Somerset Maugham II is a superbly accomplished "theatre of the mind" audiobook experience showcasing seven of Maugham's short stories: An Official Position; Mayhew; The Alien Corn; The Verger; Red; Home; and In A Strange Land. Skilfully narrated by Charlton Griffin and enhanced with both music and sound effects, The Short Stories Of William Somerset Maugham II is an enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, academic, and community library audiobook collections -- and a terrific introduction to a master storyteller's talent for a whole new generation of listeners.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Maugham as he was meant to be heard Feb. 10 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
The first volume in this series won the Audie Award for Classic Fiction, and this second volume is just as good. Maybe better. It is rare to find a narrator who can keep you riveted to a story like Charlton Griffin. This man obviously knows his Maugham. Maugham was a storyteller par excellence, and in Charlton Griffin we have the man who was born to be his narrator. Every story sparkles.
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4.0 out of 5 stars yoda April 21 2014
By yoda
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Classic. All the human strengths and weaknesses. What character descriptions!! Brilliant. Maugham had such a gift for describing characters and the situations they found themselves in.
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