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The Moon and Sixpence

Maugham, W. Somerset, 1874-1965 (Book - 2005 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Moon and Sixpence


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Penguin Putnam

The Moon and Sixpence, published in 1919, was one of the novels that galvanized W. Somerset Maugham’s reputation as a literary master. It follows the life of one Charles Strickland, a bourgeois city gent whose dull exterior conceals the soul of a genius. Compulsive and impassioned, he abandons his home, wife, and children to devote himself slavishly to painting. In a tiny studio in Paris, he fills canvas after canvas, refusing to sell or even exhibit his work. Beset by poverty, sickness, and his own intransigent, unscrupulous nature, he drifts to Tahiti, where, even after being blinded by leprosy, he produces some of his most extraordinary works of art. Inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence is an unforgettable study of a man possessed by the need to create—regardless of the cost to himself and to others.

  • Includes a new introduction by distinguished Maugham scholar and biographer Robert Calder


Baker & Taylor
A British stockbroker abandons his wife and career to pursue a simple life as an artist in Tahiti.

Blackwell North Amer
It seems unthinkable that Charles Strickland, the dull, bourgeois city gent, would have the tortured soul of a genius. Yet Strickland is driven to abandon his home, wife, and children to devote himself slavishly to painting. In a tiny studio in Paris he fills canvas after canvas, refusing to sell or even exhibit his work. Beset by poverty, sickness, and his own intransigent nature, he drifts to Tahiti, where, even after being blinded by leprosy, he produces some of his most extraordinary works of art. First published in 1919 and inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence is a study of a man possessed by the need to create - regardless of the cost to himself or others.

Authors: Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965
Statement of Responsibility: W. Somerset Maugham ; introduction and notes by Robert Calder
Title: The moon and sixpence
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Books,, 2005
Characteristics: xxxii, 204 p. ;,20 cm.
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Report This Jun 04, 2013
  • patienceandfortitude rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I feel conflicted about giving this a "very good" rating. The writing and story are both superb, but the themes are very hard to take. 1. Good guys finish last and are buffoons. 2. Women can only love men who physically and psychologically abuse them, and other than housekeeping and romance have no real value. 3. The genius of the artist is an excuse for horrendous behavior. 4. Beauty and Truth are more valuable than love. Then there is a dash of racism to make sure that every possible reader can find a way to be offended. Are these the author's beliefs or is he just yanking our chains? I don't know, but it makes for some interesting and disturbing reading.

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Maugham, W. Somerset, 1874-1965
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