Search-icon

The Skeptical Romancer

Selected Travel Writing

By , (Editor)

Hardcover published by Everyman's Library (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

have you read it? rate it!
Histogram_reset_icon
(1 REVIEW)
ADD TO MY SHELF
About This Book

One of the seminal writers of the twentieth century, W. Somerset Maugham was also a fearless and constant traveler who chronicled his adventures with a rare mix of wit and excitement. In The Skeptical Romancer, acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer selects vignettes of Maugham's wise and vivid prose that track his transformation from a boyish traveler in Spain to a worldly man of letters, looking back on India, China, Russia, and America. Beginning with an early book on Spain and culminating in excerpts from old age, this collection introduces us to Maugham at his most surprising, charming, and prophetic. In piece after piece, one can see the spirit that continues to cast an unrivaled influence over successors from Graham Greene to Paul Theroux, from Jan Morris to V. S. Naipaul.

Show less

One of the seminal writers of the twentieth century, W. Somerset Maugham was also a fearless and constant traveler who chronicled his adventures with a rare mix of wit and excitement. In The Skeptical Romancer, acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer selects vignettes of Maugham's wise and vivid prose that track his transformation from a boyish traveler in Spain to a worldly man of letters, looking back on India, China, Russia, and America. Beginning with an early book on Spain and culminating in excerpts from old age, this collection introduces us to Maugham at his most surprising, charming, and prophetic. In piece after piece, one can see the spirit that continues to cast an unrivaled influence over successors from Graham Greene to Paul Theroux, from Jan Morris to V. S. Naipaul.

Product Details
Hardcover (248 pages)
Published: November 3, 2009
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Everyman's Library
ISBN: 9780307272126
Other books byW. Somerset Maugham
  • Of Human Bondage

    Of Human Bondage
    Of Human Bondage, byW. Somerset Maugham, is part of theBarnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features ofBarnes & Noble Classics: All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest.Barnes & Noble Classicspulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. One of the most widely read novels of the twentieth century,W. Somerset Maugham’s masterpieceOf Human Bondagegives a harrowing depiction of unrequited love. Philip Carey, a sensitive orphan born with a clubfoot, finds himself in desperate need of passion and inspiration. He abandons his studies to travel, first to Heidelberg, and then to Paris, where he nurses ambitions of becoming a great artist. Philip’s youthful idealism erodes, however, as he comes face-to-face with his own mediocrity and lack of impact on the world. After returning to London to study medicine, he becomes wildly infatuated with Mildred, a vulgar, tawdry waitress, and begins a doomed love affair that will change the course of his life.   First published in 1915, the semi-autobiographicalOf Human Bondagecombines the values left over from the Victorian era with the prevailing irony and despair of the early twentieth century. Unsentimental yet bursting with deep feeling,Of Human Bondageremains Maugham’s most complete statement of the importance of physical and spiritual liberty, a theme that resounds more loudly than ever today.   Carin Companickis a freelance writer and a specialist in the field of language proficiency assessment. She studied English literature at Haverford College and completed her graduate work in Victorian and modern literature at Columbia University. She lives and works in Princeton, New Jersey.

    The Magician

    The Magician
    Maugham’s enchanting tale of secrets and fatal attraction The Magician is one of Somerset Maugham’s most complex and perceptive novels. Running through it is the theme of evil, deftly woven into a story as memorable for its action as for its astonishingly vivid characters. In fin de siecle Paris, Arthur and Margaret are engaged to be married. Everyone approves and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves—until the sinister and repulsive Oliver Haddo appears.

    Liza of Lambeth

    Liza of Lambeth
    Maugham's first published novel - a vividly realistic portrayal of slum life. Down among the drab slums of Lambeth, eighteen-year-old Liza is the darling of Vere Street. Vibrant and bewitching, she has found an adoring if conventional beau in Tom. When she meets Jim Blakeston, a married man new to the area, she is immediately magnetized by his attentions. But the streets are wise to their illicit, passionate affair and before long the secret is out. From the Trade Paperback edition.

    The Moon and Sixpence

    The Moon and Sixpence
    The Moon and Sixpence, published in 1919, was one of the novels that galvanized W. Somerset Maugham’s reputation as a literary master. It follows the life of one Charles Strickland, a bourgeois city gent whose dull exterior conceals the soul of a genius. Compulsive and impassioned, he abandons his home, wife, and children to devote himself slavishly to painting. In a tiny studio in Paris, he fills canvas after canvas, refusing to sell or even exhibit his work. Beset by poverty, sickness, and his own intransigent, unscrupulous nature, he drifts to Tahiti, where, even after being blinded by leprosy, he produces some of his most extraordinary works of art. Inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence is an unforgettable study of a man possessed by the need to create—regardless of the cost to himself and to others. Includes a new introduction by distinguished Maugham scholar and biographer Robert Calder

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
Quote Cannot be Empty

Submitted quotes are usually posted within 48 hours

ThanksYour Quote Will be posted Shortly
Bookish