Of Human Bondage

Of Human Bondage

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) W. Somerset Maugham, Afterword by Maeve Binchy, By (author) Benjamin DeMott

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  • Publisher: SIGNET CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 704 pages
  • Dimensions: 107mm x 170mm x 28mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 3 September 2015
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0451530179
  • ISBN 13: 9780451530172
  • Edition statement: 100th Anniversary Ed
  • Sales rank: 10,795

Product description

From a tormented orphan with a clubfoot, Philip Carey grows into an impressionable young man with a voracious appetite for adventure and knowledge. His cravings take him to Paris at age eighteen to try his hand at art, then back to London to study medicine. But even so, nothing can sate his nagging hunger for experience. Then he falls obsessively in love, embarking on a disastrous relationship that will change his life forever.... Marked by countless similarities to Maugham's own life, his masterpiece is "not an autobiography," as the author himself once contended, "but an autobiographical novel; fact and fiction are inexorably mingled; the emotions are my own." And although he based "Of Human Bondage" on what he knew, his is an "excessively rare gift of storytelling...almost the equal of imagination itself."* With an Introduction by Benjamin De Mott and an Afterword by Maeve Binchy *"The Sunday Times "(London)

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Author information

William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) studied medicine, but the quick success of his first novel, "Liza of Lambeth "(1897), started him on his lifelong literary career, during which he would become one of the most popular English authors since Dickens. His own life, however, was more tragic, shocking, and fascinating than any novel. After his adored parents died, he grew up in a miserable vicarage and suffered from a physical handicap of which he was ashamed. During his lifetime, Maugham would marry and divorce, be sent to Russia as a spy, and entertain such celebrities as Jean Cocteau, Winston Churchill, Noel Coward, the Aga Khan, and Ian Fleming at his Riviera mansion. Among his masterpieces are "Of Human Bondage," "The Painted Veil," "The Razor's Edge," and "The Moon and Sixpence." In addition, such works as "The Letter" and "Rain" established Maugham as a gifted short story writer. Benjamin DeMott (1924-2005) was professor of English and the Mellon professor of humanities at Amherst College. The author of two novels, he was best known for his cultural criticism in leading periodicals and in such books as "The Imperial Middle: Why Americans Can't Think Straight About Class" and "The Trouble with Friendship: Why Americans Can't Think Straight About Race." Maeve Binchy (1940-2012) was the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Quentins," "Scarlet Feather," "Tara Road" (an Oprah's Book Club Selection), "Circle of Friends," "Light a Penny Candle," and many other novels.

Customer reviews

By Nada BN 23 Aug 2013 5

Phillip Carey is an eternal looser, a young man who wants to be more he is capable of: his greatest failure is in his hope to become an artist in Paris and only by lack of money he starts studying medicine which surprisingly at the end fulfills him and gives him the possibility to survive. Floating around in uncertainty, in trying and letting go he is also disappointed by a common waitress Mildred who never loves him but exploits his feelings and pity to leave him for the first more interesting lover and returns in tears when she has nowhere to go but even his most generous and kind help cannot prevent her from ending in prostitution. The end of the novel shoes that great life plans, hopes and expectations are mostly unreal and resignation is all that remains to grown ups - in finding work, a stable partner and relative calm in a modest life.

Review quote

"The modern writer who has influenced me the most."--George Orwell "One of my favorite writers."--Gabriel Garcia Marquez