William Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965), novelist, playwright, short-story writer, and the highest paid author in the world in the 1930's, nevertheless failed to gain the critical acclaim he so desperately wanted during his lifetime. "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. I endeavor to bear my misfortunes with fortitude," he wrote. Today, he is considered one of the finest short story writers of all time.There are seven stories in Volume 2.
In "An Official Position," to improve his lot, a prisoner in a French penalcolony accepts an odious job...and the consequences.In "Home," after a lifetime of living abroad, a penniless old sailor finallycomes home.
"Red" is a poignant love story of youth, beauty, and the fleeting moments of ecstasy that pass away only too soon.
In "Mayhew," a lawyer decides to make a clean break with his past and moves toCapri.
In "In A Strange Land," while traveling in Turkey, a vacationer meets an extraordinary English woman.
In "The Alien Corn," a young Jewish man devotes himself to the pursuit of music over the violent objections of his aristocratic family. As the family wrestles with its Jewish identity, the son flings himself headlong into the Bohemian world of performing artists.
In "The Verger," when a lowly verger is fired because of his illiteracy, it turns out to be his lucky day.
Winner, 2003 Audie Award, Classic Fiction
" "Charlton Griffin narrates with the ease of an urbane man of the world, but recreates Maugham's strange characters with pleasure and gusto. While his narrative voice is graceful and compelling, his characterizations are acutely individual, even bizarre. Their voices linger in our memory long after the tape is off." (AudioFile)
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Acute observations of man
- Simon Bowler