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Eric

Youngstown, OH, USA

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  • The Summing Up

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (11)

    William Somerset Maugham (1874�1965) was born at the height of British imperial power. When he died, the British Empire was all but a memory. In Maugham's lifetime, as his civilization slowly disappeared, people from all walks of life, the proud, the urbane, the crude, and the desperate, passed beneath the lens of his dispassionate scrutiny. Transformed into some of the most unforgettable literary works of the 20th century, his experiences re-emerged in his plays, fiction, and essays.

    Eric Chevlen says: "Portrait of the artist as an old man"
    "Portrait of the artist as an old man"
    Overall

    Listening to "The Summing Up" is like sitting with Maugham in a dimly lit club room on a steamer slowly chugging across a distant sea. He is leisurely, even dilatory, in his deeply considered but gently offered reminiscences. His was the life of an artist--a self-conscious artist who intended to hone the skills of his art. He shares his thoughts on great writers of the past, and discusses the business of succeeding as a dramatist. The last section of this book is frankly philosophical. This book reminds one of an an autobiography written with the frankness of a man who thought it would never be read by others. Perhaps it feels so frank because it deals mostly with his thoughts, and so little with the events of his life. For example, this book never even mentions that he married and fathered a daughter, nor does it allude to the years he allegedly spent living with a homosexual lover.

    As always, Charlton Griffin, who reads this book for us, is superb beyond description. He brings the perfect mixture of erudition and languor to the reading.

    I highly recommend this recording for anyone who contemplates living the life of a writer.

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