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Extended Audio Sample The Moon and Sixpence Audiobook, by W. Somerset Maugham Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,712 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: W. Somerset Maugham Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455171316
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This is the story of an artist who was willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of art. Charles Strickland, a stock broker in London, seems like a good, honest man. But one day, at the age of forty, he leaves his business, his wife, and his children and goes to Paris. He has neither money nor prospects, and he knows practically nothing about art, but he is seized with a passion to paint, and for the rest of his life, nothing else matters to him. He gives up everything to which he had been accustomed for extreme poverty, social ostracism, and the freedom to paint. When he finally dies of leprosy in Tahiti, where he had gone native, the few paintings which turn up for sale bring only six to ten francs apiece. But Charles Strickland had achieved his desire to create beauty, and with the years, the world fully recognizes his blazing genius.

Based partially on the life of Paul Gauguin, this is a carefully wrought study of a private life by one of the most vivid and penetrating of contemporary literary masters.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It is very difficult for a writer of my generation, if he is honest, to pretend indifference to the work of Somerset Maugham…He was always so entirely there.”

    Gore Vidal

  • “[A] witty, compelling roman à clef…that mock[s] the way the world makes saints of the sinners who are often its best artists.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Extremely effective, and the simplicity of the narrative is notable.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Davidson has great success in personalizing the various male characters…[Maugham’s novel and] Davidson’s effortless narration form an integrated whole that is among the best in audio fiction.”

    Library Journal

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About the Author
Author W. Somerset Maugham

William Somerset Maugham (1874–1965) was born in Paris, the son of a British embassy official, and grew up in England. He studied medicine and officially qualified as a doctor before turning to writing. One of the twentieth century’s most popular novelists as well as a celebrated playwright, critic, and short-story writer, he also served as a secret agent for the British during World War I.

About the Narrator

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.