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©2001 Audio Connoisseur
"A happy marriage of prose, performance, and production. (AudioFile)
I found these "period piece" short stories an absolute delight. Imperialism, racism and class culture are rampant throughout - not "politically acceptable" in today's world but they define an earlier period.
Few authors can observe and write as well today.
The pace and quality of the narration compliments the high standard of the stories.
Most enjoyable listening.
The excellent production qualities of this audio book are perfectly matched to a master story teller. These stories echoed in my head long after hearing.
Painter, musician, bibliophile...
I just finished all three volumes of the Somerset Maugham short stories from Audio Connoisseur. Each was excellent, but this collection was my favorite.
"The Outstation" is the strongest story, I think, because of the way the author develops the contrast between the two dynamic main characters without turning them into caricatures. "Mr. Know-All" and "The Three Fat Women of Antibes" are laugh-out-loud funny and satirical. All of the stories reflect the author's gift for meticulous observation, and just as often, his thinly-veiled contempt for his fellow humans!
I was never under the impression that Charlton Griffin was British, so that wasn't an issue for me. I love his voice. Even if his pronunciations are sometimes eccentric, I really do enjoy him and the way he adds sound effects and music to his productions. (If you require a British narrator, try "Rain and other Stories," another good collection of Somerset Maugham stories, narrated by Steven Crossley). It's good to have a choice of styles.
These short stories are great to read, but even better to listen to. I've long enjoyed them, re-reading them every few years. Most are dominated by wash of colonial ennui, but nevertheless vary significantly, surprising and delighting on each occasion. The narrator is superb, despite his sometimes eccentric pronunciations, for example "orphan" for "often", but I'm told that this is what happens when an Oxford man one sips too many pink gins in tropical climes. Now, if only Audible got some Graham Greene novels as well.
Marred by some producer or director who thought that adding jungle sound effects and music improves the book. They don't.
This is perhaps the best narrator doing an excellent job of presenting the works of my favorite author.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook and would recommend it without any hesistation.
This is my first encounter with Maugham's work and these are gems. Characters, suspense, humor and pathos in 30 minute --more or less--chunks. The narrator is first rate. Looking forward to volumes 2 and 3.
I love Somerset Maugham's novels and I was happy to devour this first volume of collected short stories. Unfortunately, one item repeats a short story contained in Far Eastern Tales. Some of the stories in this first volume remind me of Joseph Conrad -- Lord Jim, Almayer's Folly, The Painted Veil, and the Heart of Darkness. I can't get enough!
Gentle stories of passionate characters who missed the forest for the trees. Some are noble, some are incapable of being noble. These classic stories are worth a listen, especially now when our culture is so anti-introspective. Only complaint is that the reader occasionally mispronounces a word jarringly (ex. "row" as an argument rhymes with "cow", not "oh." Also end of "Antipodes" does not rhyme with "modes.") But no one bothers to prep for a reading today, it's all cold takes. Despite the shortcomings, it's still a fine recording.
"Brilliant stories, terrible narration"
Maugham's short stories are matchless. Each is different, but they all draw you in and leave you wondering what happened next. They are all set between the wars, many in the Far East, and all revolve round the way different people interact with each other.
BUT ? and it a very big BUT ? before you buy, make sure you can stand the narration.
This is an American recording, and is narrated by an American putting on a very bad English accent. I can usually ignore such things, but on this I heard every mispronunciation ? there were so many and they were so jarring. Khaki does not rhyme with tacky; long does not rhyme with sawn.
If that wasn't enough, there are sound effects. A bit of music between the stories I can handle. But jungle noises repeated all through a story set in Malaya I can not, especially with 'suspense' music on top.
So brilliant stories. But do check the sound sample before you buy.
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