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Extended Audio Sample The Moon and Sixpence, by W. Somerset Maugham Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.37 out of 54.37 out of 54.37 out of 54.37 out of 54.37 out of 5 4.37 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: W. Somerset Maugham Narrator: Steven Crossley Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2010 ISBN: 9781400187584
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Based on the life of Postimpressionist artist Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence builds on a long tradition of European writing about the South Pacific as an exotic locale. It also marks the transformation of British writer W. Somerset Maugham from celebrated playwright to accomplished novelist.

In The Moon and Sixpence, Charles Strickland is a respectable London stockbroker who decides in middle age to abandon his wife and children and devote himself to his true passion: art. Strickland’s destructive desire for self-expression takes him first to Paris to learn the craft of painting and finally to Tahiti in the South Pacific.

The Moon and Sixpence remains a complex and engaging novel echoing Maugham’s own struggles between artistic expression and public respectability and between his public persona and private life.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cristina | 12/29/2013

    " As good as the Razor's Edge. Story of Gauguin and his parcours as a normal person who then dedicated his life to becoming a painter. Makes me think of Maupassant. A pleasure to read and quite witty "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucy | 12/20/2013

    " Very very readable. The male characters are wonderfully detailed and alive - less so the women, although the last vignette of the artist's wife is shudderingly realistic. The form of the book is not quite successful: there was too abrupt a shift from Paris to Tahiti, although subsequent chapters fill in the gaps. Other reviewers have suggested that Gaugin's life merely suggested this story, and indeed there are many differences introduced, but for the Tahiti section I had Gauguin in my mind's eye all the time. I'm not quite sure why I haven't given it 5 stars, because I couldn't put it down....if only I'd liked the persona of the narrator better! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paulin | 11/14/2013

    " I really adore Maugham. The style, the feeling, the irony and honesty. Beautiful writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Buff | 11/12/2013

    " Maugham is my favorite author. I fear his name and reknown might make his books seem unapproachable and difficult to read because they are considered English literature. Not so! I love his books because while they are obviously fine writing, they are so easy to read and understand. So much "literature" is written in obscure style-to me anyway- Maugham writes clearly and beautifully. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Renee Martin | 10/13/2013

    " I just love the way W. Somerset Maugham writes: All gentleman-like even about the most debauched subjects. This is a good book for those in career transition or studying midlife change. Paul Guaguin did a honey of an about face in his life. Read it and weep. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 8/1/2013

    " the amazing and destructive gaugin! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Naomi | 7/8/2013

    " "You funny little man," said Strickland "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zachary | 4/12/2013

    " Writing that has depth but maintains readability. The characters are really interesting, and the themes (human compassion, art, past/present, love) are threshed through in an extremely compelling way. I don't really know why I loved it so much, but it has definitely become one of my favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Fuller | 3/7/2013

    " I've wanted to read this book for many years, purely because I was attracted by the title! I had no idea what the story was about. I was so surprised, and thoroughly enjoyed this read! So much so that I read Maugham's 'Of Human Bondage' straight after!!! :-) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy | 12/24/2012

    " Maugham once again has amazed me with his sharp wit, piercing insights into human character, and beautiful prose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dianna | 10/22/2012

    " i reread this every now and again. i always enjoy maugham's first person narrations of misfits, this and Razor's Edge are perennial favorites. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine Kingman | 8/7/2012

    " My favorite book. Loose interpretation of artist Paul Gauguin's life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 4/30/2011

    " This is probably my favorite Maugham so far. Although it is a quick read, I was left with the beautiful turns of phrases, imagery, and sadness that basically leaks from its core. Read it with Gaugin and his colors in mind, and you won't regret it. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aarthi | 3/24/2011

    " Read a review on the garden that highly underrated the book. The plot is hardly interesting, given the times we live in, where a man leaving his wife and family to discover himself is hardly new... but the writing, the writing! The genius of Maugham! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Renee | 3/24/2011

    " I just love the way W. Somerset Maugham writes: All gentleman-like even about the most debauched subjects. This is a good book for those in career transition or studying midlife change. Paul Guaguin did a honey of an about face in his life. Read it and weep. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olga | 2/15/2011

    " fascinating. the main character is amazing and unique. "

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