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The Explorer

W. Somerset Maugham

Book Overview: 

An early novel by W. Somerset Maugham about conflicting feelings of self-integrity, filial love, romantic love. Lucy Allerton and Alec MacKenzie have to choose between grasping happiness that is their due and upholding a set of moral values that define themselves.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The gulls, with their melancholy flight, were skimming upon the surface of the water. The desolation of that scene—it was the same which, a few days before, had rent poor Lucy's heart—appeared to enter his soul; but, strangely enough, it uplifted him, filling him with exulting thoughts. He quickened his pace, and Lucy, without a word, kept step with him. He seemed not to notice where they walked, and presently she led him away from the sea. They tramped along a winding road, between trim hedges and fertile fields; and the country had all the sweet air of Kent, with its easy grace and its comfortable beauty. They passed a caravan, with a shaggy horse browsing at the wayside, and a family of dinglers sitting around a fire of sticks. The sight curiously affected Lucy. The wandering life of those people, with no ties but to the ramshackle carriage which was their only home, their familiarity with the fields and with strange hidden places, filled her with a wild de. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I consider Somerset Maugham as one of my favorite authors. The Explorer was a nice diversion. The story was classic, in that it bordered on melodramatic and the outcomes were somewhat predictable. When something happened as a twist to the story, I generally nodded as if to say, "Yes, I could see tha

З усіх прочитаних мною книг Сомерсета Моема ця - найслабша. Якби я читала її років двадцять тому, певно критикувала б саме лінію він-вона-та інші, оцю досить штучну ритуальність навколо стосунків. Але з перспективи сьогоднішнього дня, до недоліків варто додати оцей колоніальний дискурс "підкорення"

Perfectly serviceable melodrama in which proud, beautiful Lucy is desperate to restore her family’s good name after her ne’er do well father loses their ancestral home and swindles a woman out of her fortune. Alec is a brave, handsome (and rich!) man who has been single-handedly trying to rid Africa

3.5 stars

Maugham admitted that he wrote this book strictly for the money and didn't really believe in it.

Knowing that the British public were tiring of realistic 'slum tale' novels, Maugham felt that the public were more in the mood for Kipling-esque 'patriotic' fiction, and with this book gave the

The Explorer felt more like Maugham the playwright rather than Maughham the novilist. By this I mean that playwrights have the ability to narrate the behaviors of the actors and rely upon the actors to communicate the emotions of the characters. The novilist, however, needs to place his readers insi

I was not expecting much from this novel. If it were any good I would have heard about it. I cannot remember Maugham talking about it in any of his autobiographical writings.
And indeed, it is rather weak. We have our heroine Alice who comes straight from the 18th century. She comes from a well respe

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book. It's cut from the same cloth as Mrs Craddock and Maugham's other pre-Of Human Bondage novels in that the prose is a bit on the flowery side and the tone somewhat melodramatic compared to his later work. If anything it feels even more like a 19th Centur

‘The Explorer’ may not be Maugham’s most memorable work but you’ll still find his signature well-drawn characters and elegant prose in this novel he penned when he was a mere 25 years old. It’s hard to believe someone so young could write so well. And could anyone else make passive voice sound so st

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