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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

    Critic Reviews

    • Winner, 2001 Audie Award, Classic Fiction

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

    What members say

    Average Customer Ratings

    Overall

    • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    Performance

    • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    Story

    • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    Sort by:
    • Overall
    • Jack
    • Brisbane QLDAustralia
    • 07-05-04

    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

    • Overall

    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

    • Overall
    • Roy
    • Augusta, GA, United States
    • 10-31-06

    Great Performance

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

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Performance
    • Story

    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

    • Overall
    • Marius
    • Cape Town, South Africa
    • 07-13-04

    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

    • Overall

    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

    • Overall
    • Ajay
    • San Dimas, CA, USA
    • 03-15-04

    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

    • Overall
    • Performance
    • Story

    A Great Writers work with a Great Narrator

    Would you listen to Short Stories of William Somerset Maugham, Volume 1 again? Why?

    These are ageless stories; should be required reading in high scool and college. .

    What does Charlton Griffin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The twain are one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Colin
    • Greer, SC, United States
    • 04-23-11

    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

    • Overall

    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

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    • Overall
    • ElizabethLovick
    • 04-19-10

    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