The Gentleman in the Parlour

A Record of a Journey from Rangoon to Haiphong
Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
4 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Somerset Maugham set out on an extraordinary trip in September of 1922. He would remain abroad for nine months and end up traveling by canoe, riverboat, rickshaw and mule from Rangoon to Mandalay in Upper Burma, down through Thailand to Bangkok, then to Phnom Penh and across the jungle by river to Angkor Wat. From there he went down river to Saigon, then by ship to Hue and Haiphong. He ends the audiobook with an anecdotal story of his fellow passengers while on shipboard to Haiphong.

It is a beautifully crafted travelogue by one of the century's most sophisticated and arresting personalities. From stranded Europeans to staid local inhabitants, Maugham's gaze takes in a myriad of details which he would later end up using in his short stories and novels. Come along on a journey to Southeast Asia as it was between the wars…and as it would never be again.

©1930 1922 W. Somerset Maugham Royalty Trust (P)2013 Audio Connoisseur

Critic Reviews

"Maugham wrote the book, he tells us, for his own diversion, and that diversion the listener shares, feeling as if he had himself made the journey...and with an exceptionally interesting, exceptionally agreeable companion." ( The New York Times)

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Excellent introduction to Maugham’s Travel books

This is simply the best “adventure travel” book that I’ve read in quite a long time. The narrator was particularly good. So good, in fact, that I’ll be shopping for more books that he has narrated. Maugham relates his journey throughout the Asian world with stops in a host of countries including several spots in Malaysia, China, VietNam, Cambodia, Singapore and others. Also, interspersed in the book are three short stories that are related to him by the denizens of these places. Wonderful book!