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Publisher's Summary

William Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965), novelist, playwright, short-story writer, and the highest paid author in the world in the 1930's, nevertheless failed to gain the critical acclaim he so desperately wanted during his lifetime. "I have never pretended to be anything but a story teller. It has amused me to tell stories and I have told a great many. It is a misfortune for me that the telling of a story just for the sake of the story is not an activity that is in favor with the intelligentsia. I endeavor to bear my misfortunes with fortitude," he wrote. Today, he is considered one of the finest short story writers of all time.

There are seven stories in Volume 2.

In "An Official Position," to improve his lot, a prisoner in a French penalcolony accepts an odious job...and the consequences.In "Home," after a lifetime of living abroad, a penniless old sailor finallycomes home."Red" is a poignant love story of youth, beauty, and the fleeting moments of ecstasy that pass away only too soon.In "Mayhew," a lawyer decides to make a clean break with his past and moves toCapri.In "In A Strange Land," while traveling in Turkey, a vacationer meets an extraordinary English woman.In "The Alien Corn," a young Jewish man devotes himself to the pursuit of music over the violent objections of his aristocratic family. As the family wrestles with its Jewish identity, the son flings himself headlong into the Bohemian world of performing artists.In "The Verger," when a lowly verger is fired because of his illiteracy, it turns out to be his lucky day.

Listen to more collections of The Short Stories of William Somerset Maugham.
(P)2003 Audio Connoisseur

Critic Reviews

  • Winner, 2003 Audie Award, Classic Fiction

" "Charlton Griffin narrates with the ease of an urbane man of the world, but recreates Maugham's strange characters with pleasure and gusto. While his narrative voice is graceful and compelling, his characterizations are acutely individual, even bizarre. Their voices linger in our memory long after the tape is off." (AudioFile)

What members say

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  • Overall

Acute observations of man

Maugham's observations of the weakness and strengths of men (and sometimes women) set in every corner of the world are entrancing. The colour and exotic locations are a backdrop for accounts of human universals; death love and ambition. Charlton Griffins mellow voice is ideal for the stories though his almost but not quite British accent at times is annoying.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Brier, WA, USA
  • 06-14-04


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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Erik
  • Iowa City, IA, USA
  • 08-08-05

Great narrator and great book, a rarity

Charlton Griffin is one of the greater narrators you will find on audible. His vocal range is amazing, and he is pleasant to listen to.

It helps that he has great stories to read to the listener. Contemporary writers do not have the wit, skill, patience, and talent of Maugham. Think of Chekhov with an English sensibility. I also enjoy the colonial settings of most of his stories. Not to be missed if you dislike genre fiction as much as I do and enjoy actual literature.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Roy
  • Augusta, GA, United States
  • 04-22-05

Excellent performance

It is hard to believe that there is only one narrator in this production. This is more like listening to a play with several actors than just a book being read. It is truly one of the best experiences I've had in audiobooks, and it was not only because of the great prose of Maugham, but also the amazing work of Charlton Griffin.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Philip
  • Valletta, Malta
  • 08-12-11

What a treat!

Somerset Maugham excels in his short stories and they truly come to life thanks to the excellent narration of Charlton Griffin. The whole series is a must to listen to. What a treat!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Give us more Maugham!

I can't get enough of W. Somerset Maugham. Both his novels and his short stories are beautifully crafted and expressed. Maugham's thought process and prose seem effortless but his insight is keen. Charlton Griffin is an excellent narrator, matching the author's archly ironic tone and the tone of the "snobs" he portrays.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Even Mau of Maugham

Maintains the very high standard of volume one. If you want to escape from the sensation of icy drizzle on your bus window as you commute to Manhattan, the crush of the Tube in London, or the traffic jams of Rio, what better way than a small dose of Maugham in your ear canals. Instant transportation to tropical jungle or sunny islands, with a healthy dose of eccentric human nature thrown in. Fight greyness, banish tension, and smile quietly to yourself, even if your fellow-passengers give you strange looks.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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powerful stuff

What made the experience of listening to Short Stories of William Somerset Maugham, Volume 2 the most enjoyable?

i am exploring great writers whom i have never read but know about.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Short Stories of William Somerset Maugham, Volume 2?


What about Charlton Griffin’s performance did you like?

top knotch.

If you could take any character from Short Stories of William Somerset Maugham, Volume 2 out to dinner, who would it be and why?

the tobacco entrepreneur for his profound simplicty

Any additional comments?

looking for more