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Short Stories of William Somerset Maugham, Volume 1 | [W. Somerset Maugham]

Short Stories of William Somerset Maugham, Volume 1

Winner of the 2001 Audie Award for Classic Fiction, this is an unparalleled presentation of Maugham's stories, complete with sound effects and music.
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Publisher's Summary

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, the desperate - passed beneath the lens of his dispassionate scrutiny. They re-emerged in his short stories as some of the most unforgettable literary characters of the 20th century. No other writer possessed his keen ability of observation. It was an ability so well honed that his work makes you feel as if you have been drawn into an intimate conversation with the century's most arresting and sophisticated personality.

Included in this collection are:

  • The Outstation
  • Appearance and Reality
  • The Three Fat Women of Antibes
  • Mr. Know-All
  • French Joe
  • Masterson

    Listen to more collections of The Short Stories of William Somerset Maugham.

    ©2001 Audio Connoisseur

  • What the Critics Say

    • Winner, 2001 Audie Award, Classic Fiction

    "A happy marriage of prose, performance, and production. (AudioFile)

    What Members Say

    Average Customer Rating

    4.2 (185 )
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     (97)
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    4.3 (29 )
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    4.3 (30 )
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    Performance
    Sort by:
    •  
      Jack Brisbane QLDAustralia 07-05-04
      Jack Brisbane QLDAustralia 07-05-04 Member Since 2004
      HELPFUL VOTES
      49
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      "Jewels!"

      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.

      13 of 13 people found this review helpful
    •  
      John M. Joplin Seattle, wa United States 06-14-04
      John M. Joplin Seattle, wa United States 06-14-04 Member Since 2002
      HELPFUL VOTES
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      "perfection"

      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.

      6 of 6 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Roy Augusta, GA, United States 10-31-06
      Roy Augusta, GA, United States 10-31-06
      HELPFUL VOTES
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      "Great Performance"

      You will think you are listening to a play with multiple actors.

      4 of 4 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Die Falknerin 12-11-13 Member Since 2008

      Painter, musician, bibliophile...

      HELPFUL VOTES
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      "A master of the short story"

      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.

      3 of 3 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Marius Irene, South Africa 07-13-04
      Marius Irene, South Africa 07-13-04 Member Since 2004
      HELPFUL VOTES
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      "The Maughham after"

      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.

      10 of 12 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Let's Be Reasonable Greensboro, NC 11-25-05
      Let's Be Reasonable Greensboro, NC 11-25-05 Member Since 2004

      Writer

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      "Great stories, tedious"

      Marred by some producer or director who thought that adding jungle sound effects and music improves the book. They don't.

      4 of 5 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Ajay San Dimas, CA, USA 03-15-04
      Ajay San Dimas, CA, USA 03-15-04
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      "Awesome"

      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.

      4 of 5 people found this review helpful
    •  
      Colin Greer, SC, United States 04-23-11
      Colin Greer, SC, United States 04-23-11 Member Since 2004
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      "Very enjoyable--"

      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.

      1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    •  
      V. T. Carson Connecticut 08-28-09
      V. T. Carson Connecticut 08-28-09 Member Since 2004

      Audiobook Raven

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      "Great classic short stories"

      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!

      1 of 1 people found this review helpful
    •  
      hh pdx United States 07-25-06
      hh pdx United States 07-25-06 Listener Since 2003

      hh01

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      "we have met the enemy . . ."

      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.

      5 of 7 people found this review helpful
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    • ElizabethLovick
      4/19/10
      Overall
      "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.

      3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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