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The moon and sixpence
2005
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Author Notes
Writer William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris on January 25, 1874. He attended St. Thomas's Medical School in London. <p> A prolific writer, Maugham produced novels, short stories, plays, and an autobiographical novel, "Of Human Bondage." Although he remains popular for his novels and short stories, when he was alive his plays, now dated, were also popular, and in 1908 four of his plays ran simultaneously. <p> Maugham died in Nice, France, on December 16, 1965. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
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  Library Journal Review

W. Somerset Maugham's short stories are his most highly regarded work, and the structure of The Moon and Sixpence reveals his preference for episodes and anecdotes. Partly inspired by the life of Gauguin and partly by Maugham's own life, the novel depicts a great artist as a driven, surly outcast, literally a leper. The characters are essentially one-dimensional and some stereotypes are quaint at best, but Maugham's sophisticated voice, spiked with barbed philosophical insights, remains amusing. Reader Neil Hunt does a good job voicing each character. The 1919 best seller may have a nostalgic appeal for older audiences, but most collections can safely give it a miss.‘Michael Barrett, San Antonio P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summary
One of the novels that galvanized W. Somerset Maugham's reputation as a literary master<br> <br> The Moon and Sixpence 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.<br> <br> For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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