This collection of Somerset Maugham's short stories includes stories based in England, France and Spain, as well as the South Pacific. It includes "Rain", the tradgedy of a missionary and a prostitute and "The Three Fat Women of Antibes", a sardonic tale of abstention and greed.
Charles Strickland, a conventional stockbroker abandons his wife and children for Paris and Tahiti, to live his life as a painter. Whilst his betrayal of family, duty and honour gives him the freedom to achieve greatness, his decision leads to an obsession which carries severe implications.
Philip Carey is an orphan eager for life, love and adventure. After a few months studying in Heidelburg, and a brief spell in Paris as a would-be artist, he settles in London to train as a doctor. He meets Mildred, the loud but irresistible waitress with whom he plunges into a formative, tortured and masochistic affair which very nearly ruins him.
The second of four volumes of short stories which reflect Somerset Maugham's wry perception of human foibles and gift for evoking drama from a sense of time and place. Set in Malaya, America and England, they include "Flotsam and Jetsam", "The Man With the Scar" and "The Vessel of Wrath".
Written during World War II, this novel takes as its theme the Zen Buddhist phrase describing the narrow, painful path to enlightenment. The book describes an over-populated, materialistic society, in which people increasingly turn inwards to the spiritual life in their search for freedom.
Newly widowed after an unhappy marriage, Mary Panton finds tranquillity in a beautiful villa in the hills above Florence. From this haven of peace, she contemplates a second marriage. But then a tragic rush of events destroy her serenity.
This final, classic collection of stories reveals Maugham's unique talent for exposing and exploring the bitter realities of human relationships. Included are: "The Lotus Eater", "The Outstation" and "The Back of Beyond".
Julia Lambert is in her prime, the greatest actress in England. Off stage, however, she is bored with her handsome husband, coquettish and undisciplined. She is at first flattered and amused by the attentions of a shy and eager young fan, but before long Julia is amazed to find herself falling wildly, dangerously, in love.