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The Moon and Sixpence

W. Somerset Maugham

Book Overview: 

This Maugham novel is based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin. The story is told by the narrator as he gradually comes to know the main character Charles Strickland, a middle aged stock broker. We follow Strickland from the point where he abruptly abandons his wife and children to become an artist, through his life in Paris and Marseille to Tahiti, where he eventually dies of leprosy.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I might have spoken of the economic position of woman, of the contract, tacit and overt, which a man accepts by his marriage, and of much else; but I felt that there was only one point which really signified.

"Don't you care for her any more?"

"Not a bit," he replied.

The matter was immensely serious for all the parties concerned, but there was in the manner of his answer such a cheerful effrontery that I had to bite my lips in order not to laugh. I reminded myself that his behaviour was abominable. I worked myself up into a state of moral indignation.

"Damn it all, there are your children to think of. They've never done you any harm. They didn't ask to be brought into the world. If you chuck everything like this, they'll be thrown on the streets.

"They've had a good many years of comfort. It's much more than the majority of children have. Besides, somebody will look after them. When it comes to the point, the MacAndrew. . . Read More

Community Reviews

"Art is a manifestation of emotion, and emotion speaks a language that all may understand."- W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence

I'd only ever read one Maugham before this ("Of Human Bondage") but even with just that one read I could tell Maugham was a very special writer and destined to be on

Life isn’t long enough for love and art.

Years ago I read and thoroughly enjoyed W. Somerset Maugham’s Theatre, so when I found a copy of The Moon and Sixpence in the bookcase, it looked the perfect breezy weekend diversion I was looking for before I would embark on the finale of Thomas Mann’ s D

I liked the writing and the story, too; maybe I'm not on the right track, but what I take away is that everyone deep down can hope for something else, a changing total of his life. Still, it will be too excessive if he does it too late; it will be too extreme (this is what is happening here). I thin

Fair warning, this is going to be a long review for this is a book that is close to my heart written by an author whom I deeply admire.

The Right Time

There are some books that walk into your life at an opportune time. I'm talking about the books that send a pleasant shiver down your spine laden with

This book marked a sudden seismic shock in my fractured life.

Reeling from burnout - but finally having swept up the badly burned scrambled eggs that were my brains from off the floor - I hastened with Dante Alighieri into Hades Proper.

It was one of my first Amazon orders after reaching the summit o

I may not be able to tell a post-impressionist painter from a post hole digger, but if I see a painting by Paul Gauguin I can usually identify it correctly.

W. Somerset Maugham’s 1919 novel about fictional artist Charles Strickland is loosely based on the life of the French painter, but let’s be hone

W. Somerset Maugham's Charles Strickland might not be heading onto my list of the most likeable characters in literature, but one thing is for sure, he is certainly one of the most memorable. Strickland, a bourgeois city gent living in London has a dull, soulless exterior that conceals the fact he j

“Beauty is something wonderful and strange that the artist fashions out of the chaos of the world in the torment of his soul. And when he has made it, it is not given to all to know it. To recognize it you must repeat the adventure of the artist. It is a melody that he sings to you, and to hear it a

How much do we forgive a great, talented artist who is also a despicable human being? Will his admirers look the other way, thinking since he is no longer around and no more harm can be done by him, it is all right now to forgive and forget, besides he didn't do anything to their family but to other

The Moon and Sixpence, W. Somerset Maugham

The Moon and Sixpence is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham first published in 1919. The story is in part based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin.

It is told in episodic form by a first-person narrator, in a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the

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