William Somerset Maugham
I was introduced to Maugham by his semi-autobiographical work Of Human Bondage. Till then my reading habits were not ripe. I used to read Tinkle, Champak, Agatha Christie etc. This was my first real read and I loved it. I never knew this was a semi-autobiographical work. The stammering was replaced by Philip Carey’s crippling. The character settled down to be a doctor. The Whitstable was replaced by Blackstable. This was a book that could have a lasting impact on you. My friend Gauri Bartakke gifted me this book when I was in Pune this February. I lended it to another friend of mine and he hasn’t returned me as yet. I dislike when people dont return books. How RUDE!
Well then I read Razor’s Edge and again reread it few months back. I was in LOVE with Larry. Maugham made you fall in love with this character with his deep and affectionate smile. Its the beauty of Maugham. The book has a wonderful line: “A God that can be understood is no God.” How classy, lucid way of writing!!
I think perhaps the most hilariuos read of Maugham so far has been Cakes and Ale. What a book man!! A reader cannot miss this one. Some really “real” statements. The observations of a 16 year old teenager and then recollections of them when he grows up are really, really hilarious.
The observations, descriptions, emotions are amazing…be it any book. This is the charm of Maugham. For instance, in Cakes and Ale, when he gets invovled with a beautiful elderly lady..he can’t help but say the dilema of writing in first person. He says that it is a great feeling to see the reader smile, smirk or even have tears in his eyes….but its no great feeling to appear a foolish. Despite this apprehension he want to be remembered the most for this book. This is just a glimpse and I am no Maugham to make this reading interesting and hilarious. I will write more as I read more.
The next on my shelf is “Fools and their Folly”. I know I am dying to read it and you wondering the fools in this one…but this one will surely take time.
Dated: 9/05/2006 on Critical Views