In Defense of W. Somerset Maugham

And I’ll fourth it.

I first encountered the stories of W. Somerset Maugham as an undergraduate in an out-of-print two-volume set that I was extremely lucky to find at an estate sale a few years later. Maugham’s stories were hardly “a creaking reminder of distant colonial days.” Like Graham Greene and Anthony Burgess, Maugham was an expert in depicting British expatriates escaping to tropical isles, attempting to find meaning through run-ins, both carnal and conversational, with these new environs. I’ll have more to say on all this, as well as his Ashenden stories, in a future post when I can find the time.


  1. Of Human Bondage was horrible, I accept that other books aren’t. I loathe whatsisname and her–the syphilitic lover–what nincompoops.

  2. Please find the time to write that post. I love Maugham, I say it proudly; for 20 years now I’ve been calling The Razor’s Edge my most favourite book ever.

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