Publisher Description

Of Human Bondage (1915) is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. It is generally agreed to be his masterpiece and to be strongly autobiographical in nature, although Maugham stated, "This is a novel, not an autobiography, though much in it is autobiographical, more is pure invention." [1] Maugham, who had originally planned to call his novel Beauty from Ashes, finally settled on a title taken from a section of Spinoza's Ethics. [2] The Modern Library ranked Of Human Bondage No. 66 on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

GENRE
Fiction & Literature
RELEASED
1965
January 1
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
1,065
Pages
PUBLISHER
Public Domain
SELLER
Public Domain
SIZE
723
KB

Customer Reviews

MathAndScienceTrained ,

Of Human Bondage

NOTE: I would not represent myself to be trained in literary criticism, or even to be well-read. However, I would like to respond to this novel, from the standpoint simply of being a fairly intelligent reader who has passed the age of 60 years.

There is little argument possible that Maugham’s work here is other than well-written. His use of images, vocabulary, selection of details, use of pre-shadowing, etc. show skill in character development and in telling a coherent story. (This, even if the writing is not notably “tight” it seems to me. The story could be shortened in some areas, and a few entire episodes omitted entirely, without loss to the tale.)

It seems to be a “coming of age” story. By this I mean that it shows the principal character’s (Philip Carey’s) development toward an ultimate understanding and philosophy of life. That development involves a few “universal questions”: What is “beautiful”?; what is “moral”?; and what constitutes happiness in life? But it is a “coming of age” tale in that the author does not seem to put Philip’s answers as his (Maugham’s) recommendations for the reader.

Personally I did not find the first one-fourth or so if the book very engaging. I did not develop much feeling for Philip during that portion, nor did I find the conflict(s) with which the story had confronting Philip actually very interesting. I continued through and past the approximate one-quarter mark primarily because the work is regarded as being a classic of sorts, and Maugham’s probable masterpiece. However after that point, I did begin to have interest in the story; and I began to regret coming to the end of a chapter because it meant I should consider stopping and laying aside my reading for a while.

I am likely to re-read it at some point in the future, though I do not now feel compulsion to do so anytime soon.

童年95 ,

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