We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Painted Veil Audiobook

The Painted Veil

Regular Price:$17.47
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

First published in 1925, The Painted Veil is an affirmation of the human capacity to grow, change, and forgive. Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, it is the story of the beautiful but shallow young Kitty Fane. When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to a remote region of China ravaged by a cholera epidemic.

Stripped of the British society of her youth and overwhelmed by the desolation around her, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life. She takes up work with children at a convent, but when her husband dies, she is forced to return to England to her father, her one remaining relative, to raise her unborn child. Though too late for her marriage, she has learned humility, independence, and how to love.

Listen to the classics: download more from W. Somerset Maugham.

©1925 W. Somerset Maugham; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Classic, 2007

"[Maugham is] the modern writer who has influenced me the most." (George Orwell)
"An expert craftsman....His style is sharp, quick, subdued, casual."(New York Times)
"The Painted Veil, with its sadness, its moral tension, its irony and compassion, its building evocations of lust and terror and remorse, is a work of art." (Spectator)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1050 )
5 star
 (471)
4 star
 (389)
3 star
 (140)
2 star
 (35)
1 star
 (15)
Overall
4.3 (662 )
5 star
 (325)
4 star
 (222)
3 star
 (87)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.5 (666 )
5 star
 (389)
4 star
 (209)
3 star
 (55)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jennifer 01-10-17
    Jennifer 01-10-17 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"

    This book did not capture my attention. I found it to be boring and felt the ending was anticlimactic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NinaSchatzkamerMiller 01-10-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sacred words. Beautifully read. Moving story."

    Every word is so perfectly written. Poetry. The characters came alive in the narrator's voice. I laughed, I cried, I wrote down quotes. An exquisite book with so many memorable and vivid

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-09-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well paced, universal insights, narration smooth."

    The book was well paced with universal insights. The narration was smooth allowing the listener to focus on the story without being distracted by the voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LWolfe Miami Beach, FL United States 01-07-17
    LWolfe Miami Beach, FL United States 01-07-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Listen"

    I've always been a huge WSM fan. Granted, he's not for everyone. I particularly liked this title and Kate Reading did a masterful job of narrating. For me, it was well worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    linda worthington 10-17-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "really great story beautifully read."

    The narration was wonderful. I breezed through this book and did not want it to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    22Wonderful Sacramento, CA 09-26-16
    22Wonderful Sacramento, CA 09-26-16 Member Since 2013

    Kae S.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent characters"

    A simple period piece with tremendous character development. Outstanding narrator - ideal, really.

    I've listened to this several times. Love it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paris 08-29-16
    Paris 08-29-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty good"

    Excellent performance. I would recommend this book. A tragic love story. Not my favorite, but a classic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy M Hallas 07-18-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful Realism"

    Awesome narrator - her voice was perfect for the role and so full of inflection! This story is very honest. It portrays the results of love and infidelity realistically, without silly Hollywood romance. It strikes true to the heart as you watch a vain and shallow woman gain depth and understanding and wisdom through her trials. She is transformed from a pitiful socialite to a woman of better, higher emotions and convictions. Beautiful story!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.B. Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 07-17-16
    J.B. Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 07-17-16 Member Since 2009

    Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    406
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    151
    146
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    13
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Despondency Can Teach"

    The Painted Veil, W. Somerset Maugham and narrated by Kate Reading. Like any Maugham novel, its keynote is despondency. A formal turn of the century upper middle class encounter of a beautiful woman facing abject discouragement. Okay, so now I have made this sound like a bad read. It is not. Somehow, as pedantic as his stories seem Maugham draws one into these inane and frustratingly foolish situations and the reader becomes involved. You can be annoyed by the lead characters and nevertheless, there you are turning pages (or in this case, keeping the reader reading).

    ne other introductory item, the Publisher’s summary, although not untrue, makes the story seem to concentrate on aspects of the book that were minimal. The story has many episodes not described; and the vast number of circumstances in which we see our heroine (Kitty) is what makes this a readable story.

    Our heroine comes to us as a frail characterless chick! She is not one who appreciates any virtue other than conspicuous consumption. Though beautiful (like all Maugham lead woman characters) life mistreats here in that she could not find a man to marry until her late 20s, and, then out of desperation she settles for an otherwise not intriguing marriage, and they leave for Hong Kong where her husband will be posted as a bacteriologist. A cheating love affair gone wrong puts her and her husband into a desperate situation in a cholera epidemic. She volunteers to help with orphans at a nunnery and does some minor undertakings to help the nuns care for the sick, and gets overly praised for her minor effort. Okay, now you have the story, but not its teaching and that is where Maugham is a superior author.

    What if there is no afterlife? Are all the Catholics and Protestants going to be surprised? What, if anything, is the virtue of worshiping in an organized religion? What is Daoism and does it provide understanding of life’s absurdities. Why do the unrighteous do so well in our world. Why do we lack courage and why do we cower in the presence of threats. All this and more are considered by Maugham against his simple story. If you want to think about the worth of life then, A Painted Vail, is for you to read. You can also enjoy it all if you are looking for a cheap cheat on your husband story.

    A comment on the reader: a little too dramatic but then again, she moves the story forward very well.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    montoia 10-17-15
    montoia 10-17-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Selfishness has no mercy on ourselves."

    Until we realize the world is not about what it can do for us, we are selfish and ignorant. The greatest joy in life is blessing others with peace and happiness, even in our darkest times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.