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10 thoughts on “Far Eastern Tales

  1. Julie Julie says:

    These tales are quintessential Maugham eccentric, idiosyncratic, unconventional Wrapping the package in a colonial setting, he fashions long, lazy afternoons on verandahs, just on the edge of the jungle, with ladies sipping their tonics and gin and gents enjoying their whiskeys he fashions long, lazy voyages across very calm oceans, always sunlit and then conjures a thunderclap, so that you spill your gin so that the ocean heaves up a bit of menace This collection is even steven half of These tales are quintessential Maugham eccentric, idiosyncratic, unconventional Wrapping the package in a colonial setting, he fashions long, lazy afternoons on verandahs, just on the edge of the jungle, with ladies sipping their tonics and gin and gents enjoying their whiskeys he fashions long, lazy voyages across very calm oceans, always sunlit and then conjures a thunderclap, so that you spill your gin so that the ocean heaves up a bit of menace This collection is even steven half of the time Maugham delivers quite a conventional tale of colonialism, so that you re surprised there is no surprise at the end, given that it s Maugham the other half, he delivers what could be termed real zingers , and you smile because that s the Maugham you ve come to know and love, the one who makes you see the strop and razor hidden behind the calmness of convention.I like how he upsets the apple carts, just when you least expect it What I especially like is that there is no lead up drama it s like watching an elegant lady in evening dress, strolling demurely down an avenue, suddenly break into a jig and moon the bystanders, and then continue strolling down the avenue as if nothing out of the ordinary had taken place Oh, and it s full of clich s, just like this review, because there s a comfort in that too, the shorthand of shared conventions which allows you to get right to the heart of the matter without wasting too many words Great stuff


  2. Tsung Tsung says:

    Maugham effortlessly transports us to the exotic Far East, back to the colonial days For the newcomer, it is an exciting, romantic adventure To be waited on hand and foot, to control and decide the fate of other human beings, then tea on the lawn in the afternoon followed by tennis in the evening, what could be better Well, for starters it is better to be a master rather than a servant in the colonial times Life looks good but then things are never quite what they seem.Ten short stories set Maugham effortlessly transports us to the exotic Far East, back to the colonial days For the newcomer, it is an exciting, romantic adventure To be waited on hand and foot, to control and decide the fate of other human beings, then tea on the lawn in the afternoon followed by tennis in the evening, what could be better Well, for starters it is better to be a master rather than a servant in the colonial times Life looks good but then things are never quite what they seem.Ten short stories set in the Far East and Singapore gets the most mentions Yeah Although the places and activities are way before my time, there is a sense of familiarity to the stories that give them an authentic feel Maugham s descriptions are so vivid, you feel like you are in that place and time The stories are of variable lengths and quality, but certain themes stand out.Maugham seems rather preoccupied with death in its various forms Whether it s a missing person, fatal illness, suicide or even murder, death is never too far away in his writing Death ends all things and so is the comprehensive conclusion of a story but marriage finishes it very properly too and the sophisticated are ill advised to sneer at what is by convention termed a happy ending It is a sound instinct of the common people which persuades them that with this all that needs to be said is said. from The Razor s Edge.Maugham also has some issues with marriage There are plenty of broken marriages and relationships in the stories No wonder he decides to pair marriage up with death.Women are often not portrayed in a good light, ranging from vengeful to importunate to vulnerable to dependent There are a few exceptions though Seems rather misogynistic but men are also presented as flawed, from drunkenness to unfaithfulness to weakness.Generally, the stories are pretty bleak and depressing, but two stories do stand out.PO is my favourite It is multilayered, dealing with a variety of issues Apart from the usual death and infidelity, it also highlights the class divide Superstition is something which both locals and foreigners have in common.I found Neil MacAdam to be hilarious, whether it was meant to be or not The protagonist is an exasperating character with his naivete and cluelessness He does deserve some respect though for his rectitude and his uncompromising morality.Overall, worth a read


  3. Michael Michael says:

    Somerset Maugham creates for me, the atmosphere of tropical Asia, the intriguing stories that have total plausibility and yet each is contained in just one of 10 short stories Pure craftsmanship.


  4. Gijs Grob Gijs Grob says:

    W Somerset Maugham has written a lotthan colonial stories, but its these by which he is best remembered Far Eastern Tales is a compilation of ten stories from the 1920s and 1930s, all set in colonial Malaysia, Singapore and Borneo All are about white men and women living in these tropical regions, but in some the jungle forms only the background of the story The stories vary widely in content three are crime stories, two involve a mysterious death, and the shortest, Mabel is a rat W Somerset Maugham has written a lotthan colonial stories, but its these by which he is best remembered Far Eastern Tales is a compilation of ten stories from the 1920s and 1930s, all set in colonial Malaysia, Singapore and Borneo All are about white men and women living in these tropical regions, but in some the jungle forms only the background of the story The stories vary widely in content three are crime stories, two involve a mysterious death, and the shortest, Mabel is a rather silly comic tale All stories have their merit, yet Maugham is at his best when he evokes a sense of loss, despair and miscommunication His portraits of ill fated marriages are strong and feel very real Thus even a crime story like Before the Party is impressive mostly for its deeply tragic content Most beautiful is The Buried Talent in which two old friends in their fifties look back on their lives, and realize what they might have missed Also strong are Neil MacAdam , in which a young Scotsman is seduced by the Russian wife of his patron, and The Door of Opportunity , in which a woman discovers that her husband is less perfect than she hoped he would be


  5. Noémi Noémi says:

    It s been my first encounter with Mr Maugham, and I daresay it was such a pleasure, my dear His elegance and wit took me on a lovely journey into the jungle of human character and the most peculiar life of British colonialists.


  6. Ciaran Monaghan Ciaran Monaghan says:

    Another Maugham novel in quick succession for me and this was chosen for the Malaya and Singapore subject matter I find it difficult to review a book of short stories as there is such a difference between stories and my feelings can vary from story to story, but overall, this is one of the better short story collections that I have read There are many superior stories and often my expectations were flipped or surprised mid way through which I enjoyed They are quite different in terms of subje Another Maugham novel in quick succession for me and this was chosen for the Malaya and Singapore subject matter I find it difficult to review a book of short stories as there is such a difference between stories and my feelings can vary from story to story, but overall, this is one of the better short story collections that I have read There are many superior stories and often my expectations were flipped or surprised mid way through which I enjoyed They are quite different in terms of subject matter but tend to favour the experiences of British subjects living in the Far East One thing that struck me with this book, in contrast to other stories of colonial experiences, is that Maugham seemspositive in his description of the country and the climate than other writers Often authors seem miserable and oppressed by the heat, the damp or the jungle but Maugham s characters seemappreciative It is still heavily, negatively influenced by colonial attitudes towards local people and local culture but I felt there was an affection there that I don t often see


  7. Rusha Rusha says:

    In the audiobook, this collection of tales about British colonial life in Asia is conjured vividly to life by the wonderful Robert Powell Fair warning the book must be read as a product of its time as this was originally written in the 30 s as depictions of the indigenous Asian people who populate the story are orientalist and frequently xenophobic.


  8. Paul Cornelius Paul Cornelius says:

    To read this collection of Maugham short stories is to be whisked away to another time, another place It s an awful lot like watching a scratchy old black and white adventure film from the 1930s, such as Red Dust or Lady of the Tropics It just gets everything perfect in transporting the reader to a spot in time and place that existed only ever so briefly but still stirs the imagination of many a reader.One thing about these stories nearly all of them seem to be set on a veranda In that sense To read this collection of Maugham short stories is to be whisked away to another time, another place It s an awful lot like watching a scratchy old black and white adventure film from the 1930s, such as Red Dust or Lady of the Tropics It just gets everything perfect in transporting the reader to a spot in time and place that existed only ever so briefly but still stirs the imagination of many a reader.One thing about these stories nearly all of them seem to be set on a veranda In that sense, they remind me of Conrad s Almayer s Folly Instead of a sitting room, it is the veranda that acts as a barrier to the pulsating jungle forest just a few steps on Lives are lived on these verandas Passions and fears exhibited against their backdrop Aside if you live in this part of the world, you would know how much magic these fixtures on houses have Even as I write this, I m looking out the doorway to my own veranda in the suburbs of Bangkok But it s a way of living that is also quickly disappearing, along with high ceilings, and musty rooms with their scorching heat in the dry season and limp humidity in the rainy season.And what of the settings of most of these stories Today, if you go to Malaysia, the roads are paved and well maintained Kuala Lumpur contains a harvest of malls and aircon laden hotels and restaurants The transformation is evensevere in Singapore, where the beehive of the subway has made much surface traffic disappear In both places the canals, rivers, and sampans no longer exist as an ongoing means of transportation Only in Bangkok do the riverboats and ferries continue to ply their trade in a manner reminiscent of 60 or 70 years ago If you want to experience the world of the Far East described in these stories, you ll only do so on the pages of Maugham s tales.All of this, of course, only describes the backdrop of these stories It is the characters in them that make them ultimately memorable They are of a type also no longer with us Broken down planters Jaded colonial bureaucrats And men and women always in a state of sexual frustration And most of them cratering into despair and moral failure accompanied by a Singapore sling or gin fizz


  9. Mark Ellis Mark Ellis says:

    Wonderful vignettes of human trials and tribulations in the now vanished world of Empire.


  10. Dr.J.G. Dr.J.G. says:

    So many favourites in this most people like Rainthan any other, at any rate it is the most discussed one My personal favourite however is Virtue, an unforgettable one There are many, many others of course Round Dozen for one, with amusing details of a much married man aggrieved by one of his wives turning him in Then there is the heartbreaking one of love and loss that I can t think of the name and it is a rare one for lack of cynical or otherwise bringing the reader down to earth s So many favourites in this most people like Rainthan any other, at any rate it is the most discussed one My personal favourite however is Virtue, an unforgettable one There are many, many others of course Round Dozen for one, with amusing details of a much married man aggrieved by one of his wives turning him in Then there is the heartbreaking one of love and loss that I can t think of the name and it is a rare one for lack of cynical or otherwise bringing the reader down to earth sort of twist There is Letter with its murder of a paramour gone wrong due to his having left a letter with his mistress who extorts the full value,There is the story about a widow who married a friend of her murdered husband and the daughter who looks like the second husband And there is another one with the Italian husband murdering his own father on suspicion of an affair between his father and his wife And all these are only what I can recall off hand after three decades or so I suppose the one of love and death with grief and heartbreak remains close to heart, along with Virtue that remains close to conviction, with total agreement with the protagonist by the time the story is over I wish I could remember if the story about the expensive wife becoming beautiful is here, or it is by another writer The Round Dozen About a much marrying man who was much aggrieved and felt a genuine sense of injury and grievance when one of his wives informed the law not particularly handsome or accomplished in any way whatsoever, middle aged and lower class and not educated nor sophisticated nor well to do, he had nevertheless developed a talent for marrying successfully by his own definition He found lonely older women of certain financial independence at holiday places and paid them attention, and post marriage gave them a good time until their money ran out Then it was time to move on To his chagrin, there was a small matter of having married only eleven times Most of his wives were in fact willing to take him back After his leaving prison, the protagonist received a post card from him one day, and understood he had made his round dozen to his satisfaction after all Rain This must have been terribly shocking to the hypocritical and pious while being nothing new to those without blinkers, when published first 20th century was nothing if not one that shredded many such veils of pretension from established societies of west The story takes place on a voyage in Pacific where a woman of certain profession is having fun along with a few of males around after all being alone most of their lives far away from home was tough on the guys, and an accommodating woman who was not merely paid goods but one with some spirit, some heart and joy, was a blessing Unfortunately for them there is not merely a usual contingent of the disapproving couples and other respectable members of society but also a preacher very sure and proud of himself, who goes after the woman with denunciation and promised hell fire to all that would consort with her She is brought to abject surrender and is entirely dependent on him subsequently in her submission to a pious life henceforth And the preacher is willing to sacrifice himself, to go to her at any hour of day or night she might need him, as his wife very proudly testifies to his selfless sacrifice of his own comforts The preacher meanwhile has dreams of hills of Nebraska having read it so long ago I could be wrong about the name of the particular state and then one day the preacher is found dead, having committed suicide, while there is sound of phonograph and laughter and dancing from the room of the woman who was trying to reform, and a note of bitter victory She was sincere in her repentance and her attempt to reform, but the high minded preacher all too fallible and unaware of his own Achilles s heel shared with all life, if notthan a little hypocritical in his imposition of his will and his standards of virtue on all and sundry Virtue We are begun on a gentle note with the story of a forty odd year old man, caustic and yet much loved but admittedly difficult, finding love and being completely smitten with his wife he considers himself fortunate to marry he is the same man but now happy and his acerbic nature is taken now as wit due to his basking in his wife s love, a much loved woman in society, and their insistence on being put up together when invited is an amusing embarrassment for hostesses who lack room and are used to couples wishing to be put up rather apart And then there is an acquaintance of the writer protagonist really, except one tends to assume he is the writer from colonies in Malaya, a young man who needs to have some company and is introduced to the couple Some time later, the couple is separated, and the wife is adamant in not returning to the husband, and he commits suicide The protagonist is called to interpret a letter from the young man in Malaya who has now returned, and informed that he is responsible for the love that the young man and the not so young wife now widow fell into since he introduced them The letter is cautious and sympathetic about her loss but equivocal about her prospects of being able to come to Malaya to marry him The hostess, a friend of the protagonist makes the observation that it is up to him to make the young man realise his responsibility having gone into the love affair and caused the separation, which is when it becomes clear that the wife in love with another man had never crossed her limits being a virtuous woman Virtue be damned informs her the protagonist, since it had caused so much grief and a death of a loving husband if only the wife had quietly had had her affair and finished it the man would still be alive And while to some pompous hypocrites it would be an opportunity to gasp and act shocked, today the reality of that statement is only too obvious, what with the lack of commitment of males being so huge a problem in US


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Far Eastern Tales [PDF / Epub] ☄ Far Eastern Tales By W. Somerset Maugham – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Far Eastern Tales is a collection of Maugham s short stories, all born of his experiences in Malaysia, Singapore, and other outposts of the former British Empire The stories included on this recording Far Eastern Tales is a collection of Maugham s short stories, all born of his experiences in Malaysia, Singapore, and other outposts of the former British Empire The stories included on this recording are Footprints in the Jungle , Mabel , P O , The Door of Oportunity , The Buried Talent , Before the Party , Mr Know all , Neil MacAdam , The End of the Flight and The Force of Circumstance.

  • Audio CD
  • Far Eastern Tales
  • W. Somerset Maugham
  • English
  • 10 May 2019
  • 1405678356 Edition Language English Setting

About the Author: W. Somerset Maugham

William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in He spoke French even before he spoke a word of English, a fact to which some critics attribute the purity of his style His parents died early and, after an unhappy boyhood, which he recorded poignantly in Of Human Bondage, Maugham became a qualified physician But writing was his true vocation For ten years before his first success, he almost literally starved while pouring out novels and plays Maugham wrote at a time when experimental Far Eastern PDF/EPUB ² modernist literature such as that of William Faulkner, Thomas Mann, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf was gaining increasing popularity and winning critical acclaim In this context, his plain prose style was criticized as such a tissue of clich s that one s wonder is finally aroused at the writer s ability to assemble so many and at his unfailing inability to put anything in an individual wayDuring World War I, Maugham worked for the British Secret Service He travelled all over the world, and made many visits to America After World War II, Maugham made his home in south of France and continued to move between England and Nice till his death in .