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Larry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of this spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham's most brillant characters - his fiancee Isabel, whose choice between love and wealth have lifelong repercussions, and Elliot Templeton, her uncle, a classic expatriate American snob. The most ambitious of Maugham's novels, this is also one in which Maugham himself plays a considerable part as he wanders in and out of the story, to observe his characters struggling with their fates.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099284864
ISBN-10: 0099284863
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 22mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 1-Apr-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


US Kirkus Review » One of the ??most challenging books Somerset Maughan has given us. Those who look to him for a colorful, romantic story will find this slow-paced at the start; but in the final analysis even they will find that he has told a good story - more than one, in fact, and that he has given ?? something else as well. For in Larry D??ornell he has drawn a character symbolic or ma??ny we shall meet in the years ahead - a youth who has lost touch with the ??ing?? that had ??ttered before the war (this time the first World War) and who is seeking knowledge and faith. Larry was engaged to a girl he had always known, Isabel Bradley; but Larcy's ??unworldliness and reluctance to conform result in a broken engage??t??, and she ??rries as Maugham tells her ten years inter "for a square diamond and a mi??k co??t. And Larry goes on with his search, through study, through travel, finally to find at least a glimmer of light in two years spent in the ??ashram?? of an Indian ?? story - Larry's story - and the story of the tragic worlding, Elliot?? Templeton, Isabel's bachelor uncle, are threads that most and part and most again in a pattern skillfully woven by Maugham, who is father confessor to each ??one in ter??m. The book has some of Maughan's best writing, some of his finest ??characterization....This appeared in Red Book last Spring; it is the ?? selection of the Literary Guild. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - W. Somerset Maugham

William Somerset Maugham was born in 1874 and lived in Paris until he was ten. He was educated at King's School, Canterbury, and at Heidelberg University. He spent some time at St. Thomas' Hospital with the idea of practising medicine, but the success of his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, published in 1897, won him over to letters. Of Human Bondage, the first of his masterpieces, came out in 1915, and with the publication in 1919 of The Moon and Sixpence his reputation as a novelist was established. At the same time his fame as a successful playwright and short story writer was being consolidated with acclaimed productions of various plays and the publication of The Trembling of a Leaf, subtitled Little Stories of the South Sea Islands, in 1921, which was followed by seven more collections. His other works include travel books, essays, criticism and the autobiographical The Summing Up and A Writer's Notebook. In 1927 Somerset Maugham settled in the South of France and lived there until his death in 1965.

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