Touching, profound, and beautiful
Like life at its best, this book is long and sprawling, combining themes that inspired in me delight, curiosity, insight, frustration, melancholy, and revelation.
Philip's tale, which mirrors Maugham's own life, is a journey I feel privileged to have shared. This is a long book and so something of an undertaking however I felt joy and satisfaction having just completed this book. There were parts of the book that I was bored and frustrated by however I am very pleased I stuck with it.
This is the third book I have read by [a:W. Somerset Maugham|4176632|W. Somerset Maugham|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1281475888p2/4176632.jpg], and follows [b:Ashenden|887797|Ashenden|W. Somerset Maugham|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320419387s/887797.jpg|552471] and [b:Christmas Holiday|1077367|Christmas Holiday|W. Somerset Maugham|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320463576s/1077367.jpg|1823662] which were both excellent. I am now intent on reading all his works. Unlike many of his contemporaries he wrote in a simple and accessible style, eschewing Modernist experimentation, and his books are all the better for it. I would not recommend this as a starting point for someone new to Maugham, however I now fully appreciate why many describe it as his masterpiece as it's touching, profound, and beautiful.