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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

W. Somerset Maugham is one of those prolific, craggy-faced British writers who seem rather irrelevant and fusty today. No one reads or discusses him anymore, and I’m sure he’s not taught in schools, although he enjoyed decades of success and wrote many novels, plays, collections of short stories and

Remember your first taste of beer as a kid? Sour, not sweet like a soft drink, it was hard to swallow. Still you tried. That was me reading The Moon and Sixpence. I hated Strickland, the stockbroker turned painter who deserts his wife and children to go off to Paris and Tahiti. His every word was re

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

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

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