The Short Stories of William Somerset Maugham Audio Cassette – May 1999
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About the Author
WILLIAM SOMERSET MAUGHAM, (1874 - 1965), was born at the height of British Imperial power. When he died at the age of 91, the British Empire was all but a memory. In Maugham's lifetime, as his civilization slowly disappeared, people from all walks of life - the proud, the urbane, the crude, the desperate - passed beneath the lens of his dispassionate scrutiny. They re-emerged in his short stories as some of the most unforgettable literary characters of the 20th century. No other writer possessed his keen ability of observation. It was an ability so well honed that his work makes you feel as if you have been drawn into an intimate conversation with the century's most arresting and sophisticated personality.
This recording took first prize for classic fiction at this year's Audie Awards, and I've never experienced such a happy marriage of prose, performance, and production. Maugham's words are chosen with exquisite skill. Charlton Griffin brings each character to life with a voice both subtle and compelling. Ordinarily, I abhor the use of sound effects in serious fiction, but like parsley on a dish, this background garnishes and never interferes or detracts. Brief musical passages are used as punctuation. On shipboard, we hear a live band, the rattle of crockery. These pieces were written before style had defeated craftsmanship in the battle for short fiction. Each is a clockwork masterpiece. B.H.C. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award. Winner of the 2001 Audie Award for Classics. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine