©2006 W. Somerset Maugham (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
"[Maugham is] the modern writer who has influenced me the most." (George Orwell)
"An expert craftsman....His style is sharp, quick, subdued, casual."(The 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)
I was very taken with the movie of "The Painted Veil." While I still think the film very fine, this novella proves itself better precisely in those places where the film-makers altered the story. Kitty never becomes perfect, and the ending is hopeful, not triumphant. The reading, too, is very well done. Good male voices, as well as the female.
This story really took me by surprise. I thought it might be a dated and quaint journey into another time. While parts of it are quaint, its substance is timeless. It has all the major ingredients of a great story: lust, love, betrayal, adventure, pathos, and an anti-hero(ine) central character who transforms in a plausible way. The woman reading it is a little wooden, but her posh accent is actually quite enjoyable and works well with the story.
After watching the movie, I wanted to read the book. It was obviously a better book. Much more human ending. The narrator brought the book to life in such a way that it truly moved me. Thank you! Great buy!
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY - (British Classic) Occasionally I'll hear a classic when I'm in the mood for a beautifully descriptive, simple story with deep character development. The Painted Veil is simple, well told and enjoyable, but I wish there had been more descriptions of this area of China and its people.
The main thrust of the book is Kitty's transformation after she and Walter (husband) move to a cholera-stricken region and she volunteers in a convent/hospital. Lots of character development. There are some sad undertones, but the book is not dark.
PERFORMANCE - Well done, nice French accents for the nuns.
OVERALL - This book is probably more for women, as it's mostly about Kitty's thoughts, feelings and her personal growth. Classics aren't my favorite genre, so it takes a great one to get 4 or 5 stars from this reviewer. This one was just okay.
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
I can't tell you why I love this glimpse into the twenties and early 20th century china. The romance belies romance and kicks the gooey love stuff to the curb. But I came to love the doctor in this book, even if his wife was too shallow to manage that herself. And she in her own way learns to be kind. It's a very interesting book about imperfect lives.
if your interested in the story, ill just say that this is one of few times that the movie is actually better than the book. the narrator is annoying and the main protagonist is not relatable at all. i get that this book was written in the thirties but kittie is the most rediculously stereo typical ignorant and trivial woman ive ever read. maugham describes every character as looking the same and repeats the words ironic, comic, and vulgar (among others) over and over again. there are multiple unnecessary scenes and the story is full of cliches.
An Avid Reader
This book is truly about the transformation of a spirit- or the discovery of one. I don't want to be a spoiler so I'll only say- read it- bear with it. It is a worthwhile journey.
Listening, allows the mind to enter the magical realm ......
Not much... barely through the first 15 min. could not finish the book.... it was tooooo Ugh!!!!!
Ease up on the details..... let the readers imagination have a chance.
I did see the movie and loved it....
The reader was toooo breathy...
It was the reader that drew me in. I listened to the ten minute sample and I was hooked. The story is not gripping all the way through. Some of the characters stay frustratingly distant, but Kitty grows and deepens with every page, and watching her navigate her world is fascinating.
I would listen again; the reader was impeccable. Natural, believable, soothing. The narration was probably the best I have ever listened to.
I most enjoyed that the characters are all so irreparably flawed and damaged. It was human. It was clear that their issues were a product of both the times and just the sheer fact of being honestly alive. Yes, some of their concerns were trivial. Yes, some of their reactions were overly dramatic. Yes, it was like listening to a train wreck as it happens. Isn't life really like that?
Kitty Fane. Of course, that was the main character and her perspective throughout the book, but she just did it SO WELL.
For me, the most memorable characters were all of them—I know, that's a cheater's way out, but none of the lives and situations are really cleared up or explained, so I was left wondering about nearly everyone, even if they had died. What were their real motivations? What would they or should they or could they have done differently? Did they ever find out that (fill in secret or lesson here)? Did anyone else eventually become a victim of the Cholera? I will never know the answers, and will likely think about those loose ends for a long time to come.
"The Painted Veil"
Fantastic story. One of those that when it ends, you want to double check it really has finished because you were enjoying it so much
Beautiful, serene, quite affectionate style of writing, I did enjoy this book despite its often old fashioned language, the whole thing was very captivating and special.
"Love and revenge."
A story that will be told forever. Love, revenge and life doesn't end after a fall
"Bleak but compelling"
Typical Somerset Maugham - compelling and desperately sad. I wanted to listen to this after seeing the film. As expected, the book is much bleaker and more complex, without the reconciliation between Kitty and Walter that made the film more of a straightforward romance.
Great story about a woman who gets herself into a bit of a pickle with an affair in china at turn of century
"A brilliant novel"
I found the writing compelling, and rather fascinating, and it's a great idea for a story (although Maugham's casual racism is a bit off-putting at times). Unfortunately the narration is monotonous and she doesn't really attempt to separate the different voices. It's a shame as it would be hugely enjoyable.
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