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Of Human Bondage: 100th Anniversary Edition Mass Market Paperback – Jan 2 2007


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics; 1 edition (Jan. 2 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451530179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451530172
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 10.6 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #253,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
THE day broke grey and dull. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 8 2001
Format: Paperback
I once sat down and tried to estimate how many books I've read in my life. This is a VERY rough guess, but I'd say it's close to 2,000. Based on that number, the fact that this book is my all-time favorite is pretty significant. Not only is this particular book my all-time favorite, but Mr. Maugham is also my #1 favorite author. I've read (so far) 12 of his novels, three volumes of short story collections, 22 of his plays, and a memoir, and plan to read every word this GENIUS on human nature ever had published. We're allowed to write up to a 1,000 word review; I wish I could rate this book 1,000 stars! If you read only one book in your life, this should be the one.
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By Robin E Ferrari on April 11 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
No wonder this book is a classic. A bit slow to start but starts rolling along about 1/3 in. Rich character portrayal and interesting circumstances that make you understand the mind of an artist. Would highly recommend
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By Verna.vp on Aug. 17 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was amazed when I read of Human Bondage again after many years....just how much
more I read into it......after reading so many detective, beach books it was a pleasure to
indulge in beautiful writing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laura Haggarty on June 11 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I know, I know, everyone speaks of what a classic this book is. And I must admit, when my book club decided to read this book I was initially pleased, as I really liked Razor's Edge. But of all ten of us in the club, only one finished the book!
I got as far as page 394, so I really did try. But I kept wanting to give Philip a shake, tell him to "get over it" and get on with his life already. Mildred was a perfect pill, and I was quite annoyed with how she abused his faith and love. The other characters were, for the most part, either one-dimensional, or unlikeable.
I know I'll most likely get slammed for daring to say this, but I just didn't like this book, and I was not the only one. It was just too depressing and full of despair. Avoid this unless you like a hard slog through the muck of sadness.
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Format: Paperback
I got frustrated with this book in the middle. It was a bit tedious to read at times b/c it required all my focus. But in the end, it was worth it. A good story; excellent characterizations. This author has great acumen when it comes to creating a mood, scenery, and a complex character.
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By "cmerrell" on June 22 2003
Format: Paperback
Somerset Maugham's sweeping epic unfolds over a term of twenty five or so years corresponding to the end od the Victorian era. Phillip Carey an orphan is raised by his Aunt and Uncle, an Anglican clergeyman. Phillip is ultra sensitive about his deformed foot and his Uncle's indifference. When Phillip turns to adulthood he turns his back on the Church, much to the dismay of his uncle and loving Aunt. He first tries his luck as an accountant and fails miserably. He then takes his inheritance and goes to Paris to study painting. He discovers that he only has marginal talent and returns to England to study medicine.
It is while in medical school that the most compelling part of the novel comes to life. Phillip falls miserbly in love with Milldred, an ill tempered and morally corrupt woman of a much lower class than Phillip. Mildreds descent into the abyss very nearly brings Phillip with her. Phillip finally finds himself when he befreiends a typesetter and his family and Phillip yearns for the simple and happy life that the family enjoys.
The novel is Dickens like in its deaths and depressive environs. The plight of a Paris classmate is the most poingnent of the various sub-plots. Phillip Carey is truly a Dickens like hero who chases forbidden love. The reader agonizes as Phillip is abused over and over again by Mildred. Of Human Bondage is worth the 800 pages.
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Format: Paperback
This is a classic Bildungsroman -- one of those wonderful books that allows the reader snapshots into the protagonist's life as he grows from a child into a man. Because of the nature of such novels, I found the beginning of the book quite tedious and uninteresting. In fact, it wasn't until about page 300 (when Phillip Carey, the novel's subject, is in Paris) that I felt I was really "hooked" on the story. After that point, however, I found it enjoyable to put the pieces together in the book, and to figure out how Phillip's childhood and strange adolescence made him into the man he became.
The one piece of the puzzle that never quite fit in is Mildred, the rather disgusting object of Phillip's obsession. At first, I kind of liked her for her cheekiness. As Phillip's passion for her grew, however, so did my distaste for her -- I found myself muttering warnings to Phillip under my breath each time he extended himself to her. Mildred is a unique character, however, simply because she's revolting; I didn't expect her to become so prominent in Phillip's life, because I always anticipated he'd be attracted to someone kind and lovely (like a Thomas Hardy female character). She is just one of many interesting twists in this book.
I also really enjoyed the "motherly" theme of the book. Phillip's journey through life begins without a mother, he inherits an inadequate aunt as a mother-figure, he encounters a passionless mother in Mildred, finds admirable and pitiable motherly qualities in Mrs. Athelny, and ends up with a woman who is always described as "maternal." I found it interesting to follow that thread throughout the book.
I was surprised by the ending because it didn't really seem to fit in with the rest of Phillip's life. However, upon re-reading the section of Phillip's "epiphany" about life, it all seems to work out correctly.
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