Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Far Eastern Tales - W. Somerset Maugham

About the Book

A collection of ten short stories mainly set in Malaya, Singapore and other outposts of the former British Empire.  




What I Think

"There is no place in Malaya that has more charm than Tanah Merah." I found this opening sentence of the first story, Footprints in the Jungle, very gripping and I was immediately hooked. Maugham's use of language is beautiful, evocative and lyrical and none of the stories disappoint.  

These ten tales of people and their relationships were very much set in a bygone era. Predominantly focused on British people, their way of living was so different from the way that I live (even as an expat) it was like reading about a different culture. Great changes appear to have happened since this time and the issues of class and race sometimes made for uncomfortable reading. 

About the Author


William Somerset Maugham (25th January 1874 – 16th December 1965) was born at the British Embassy in France. By the age of ten he was orphaned and sent to England and put under the care of his uncle, Henry MacDonald Maugham, the Vicar of Whitstable, in Kent. Maugham was educated at King's School in Canterbury and left of his own accord when he was 16. At Heidelberg University he studied literature, philosophy and German. Then his studies continued with medicine at St Thomas' Hospital in Lambeth, London, for five years before finally turning to writing. He became one of the most popular writers of his era, writing plays, novels and short stories, and he was reputedly the highest paid author during the 1930s. 

9 comments:

  1. I had no idea he lived in Kent once! Thought I knew about this man. Back to Start Without Pay for me.

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    1. I didn't know either until I did this bio. Another one of Kent's claims to fame! :)

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  2. I'm going to have to read this one I've always enjoyed Maugham's stuff so thanks for reviewing this book!
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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    1. Yes, it's certainly made me want to read more of his stuff!

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  3. I have always found this writer intriguing.
    Its nice we got connected.follow me at http://getbooksreviewed.blogspot.in, leave a comment and i will follow you back.
    regards
    shreya
    https://www.facebook.com/allaboutbooksglobal

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    Replies
    1. Hi wanderer!
      Thanks for commenting and following. I've been over to your blog and am now following you back. Love the background photo on your blog!
      I'd really like to read some more stuff by W. Somerset Maugham as I really loved his writing style.
      Thanks,
      Laura

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  4. Hello!
    Congratulations on your blog and you excellent reviews!
    I found your blog beacause I am looking for a Somerset Maugham story that talks about a englishman living in a far away land (I suppose it's an island) that receives supplies and newspapers from home only six months in six months. He reads in the newspaper that there as been a murder back home related to his family or friends but instead of looking for the result of that murder in the next newspaper (he has the last six months of newspapers woth him!), he reads a newspaper a day, like if was back home and time was six months in the future.
    My father read this sotry when he was young and would like to read it again but doesn't remember it's name...
    Can you help me? Maybe you've read it!
    Thanks!
    Miguel

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    Replies
    1. Dear Miguel,
      Many thanks for reading my review and your kind comments about my blog. Unfortunately that story was not in the collection I read. However, there is another collection named 'More Far Eastern Tales' as well as countless others. It might be worth typing in some key words into a search engine. Sorry I can't be of more use.
      Kind regards,
      Laura

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    2. Thank you Laura!
      I have tried to look for it in search engines, that's how I found your blog, but that was the only success of my search so far.
      I will continue on searching! Thank you so much.
      Regards,
      Miguel

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