In 1938 Maugham wrote, "Fact and fiction are so intermingled in my work that now, looking back on it, I can hardly distinguish one from the other." Maugham also wrote that most of his short stories were inspired by accounts he heard firsthand during his travels to the lonely outposts of the British Empire. His beautifully restrained prose allowed him to explore the tensions and passions of isolated white colonists without the use of cloying melodrama.
In volume three of this series, we present all of the remaining short stories which Maugham published after World War I and which he subsequently caused to be republished in various collections. The stories in volume three are:
© W. Somerset Maugham Royalty Trust (P)2013 Audio Connoisseur
Painter, musician, bibliophile...
Having listened to all three volumes of the complete stories, I am once again amazed by the talents of WSM. Were I an aspiring young writer, I would study his work as we figure painters study the draftsmanship of Degas and Klimt. He maintains intense focus, clear motivation, and never wastes a word as he captures character, dialogue, and situation. Times have changed, to be sure, but excellent technique endures, which is reason enough to study the masters.
The short story is a merciless, demanding mistress: one wrong move and there will be no end of trouble. When an author is a master of this medium, it shows his talents to best effect.
Some listeners have groused about Charlton Griffin's not being British. I don't mind that, though some of his pronunciations can be a little eccentric. His rich, world-weary voice is perfectly suited to the character of WSM's observations here. I highly recommend this series to students of human nature, good writing, and days gone by. Enjoy.
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