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W. Somerset Maugham

I’m coming to this distinguished author rather late, but perhaps it is best this way. At times W. Somerset Maugham is not easy to read or digest, is rather brutal and full of much multi faceted philosophies, savage irony and deep introspection that I may have either resented or breezed over in my twenties.

To read him today is to face up to some truths that have been learned along the way about humanity in general; some remarkably bolstering and others deeply disturbing and depressingly pessimistic.

Thankfully he peppers heaviness with wit so as to lighten the load of almost 500 pages, for example, of his Of Human Bondage which I am currently deep diving into and finding unputdownable (movie version with Bette Davis and Leslie Howard) at this time.

My favorite, and it seems also a worldwide favorite, is The Razor’s Edge (movie version with Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney).

Another, rather dark and intriguing read is The Painted Veil (movie version with Naomi Watts and Edward Norton).

I stand by the realization that we and books find each other during specific times in our lives. We are pulled to that which will fortify, support or shake us up when we need; knowingly and unknowingly.

And at this time Mr. Maugham absolutely hits the spot.

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