Collected Short Stories: Volume 3

Collected Short Stories: Volume 3 PDF/EPUB Ë

Collected Short Stories: Volume 3 [PDF / Epub] ★ Collected Short Stories: Volume 3 ✈ W. Somerset Maugham – Polishdarling.co.uk Who better qualified to chronicle the experiences of an author agent during the First World War than Somerset Maugham, himself a writer turned spy His alter ego is Ashenden, a calm observer with a coo Who better qualified to chronicle Stories: Volume ePUB ´ the experiences of an author agent during the First World War than Somerset Maugham, himself a writer turned spy His alter ego is Ashenden, a calm observer with a cool head From his almost casual recruitment into Intelligence at the beginning of hostilities we follow his progress through a series of incidents There is the fiasco of the Hairless Mexican, a ladies man and thoroughly inept assassin And the pathetic tale of Mr Harrington, the Collected Short PDF \ touching and ridiculous American, clumsily feeling his way through the turmoil of the Russian Revolution Most dreadful of all is the bleak story of the Traitor, whose fate reveals the real horror of the agent s profession.


10 thoughts on “Collected Short Stories: Volume 3

  1. Greg Greg says:

    First published 1951A book of short stories can be difficult to recall later Keeping a list of the names of the characters in each of the stories, greatly helps me to remember the story.ASHENDEN Collected Short Stories Volume 3PrefaceMISS KINGAshendenR colonel, Intelligence DepartmentBernardBaronne de HigginsPrince AliMiss King little old English governessMustapha PashaMonsieur Bridet the assistant managerDr ArbosTHE HAIRLESS MEXICANAshenden Mr SomervilleR.The Hairless Mexican The First published 1951A book of short stories can be difficult to recall later Keeping a list of the names of the characters in each of the stories, greatly helps me to remember the story.ASHENDEN Collected Short Stories Volume 3PrefaceMISS KINGAshendenR colonel, Intelligence DepartmentBernardBaronne de HigginsPrince AliMiss King little old English governessMustapha PashaMonsieur Bridet the assistant managerDr ArbosTHE HAIRLESS MEXICANAshenden Mr SomervilleR.The Hairless Mexican The General Manuel CarmonaConstantine AndreadiEnver PashaLombardosGIULIA LAZZARIAshendenBaronesse von HiginsR.Chandra Lal dangerous agitator IndianGiulia Lazzari Chandr s madly in love with GiuliaTHE TRAITORAshenden Mr SomervilleR The ColonelGustav GrabowGustave s wifeGrantly Caypor an EnglishmanMrs Caypor GermanFritzi the Caypor s DogGomezHIS EXCELLENCYAshendenSir Herbert Witherspoon British ambassadorMr Wilbur Sch fer American ambassadorHerbartus Galician PoleLady Anne Sir Herberts wifeByringRose AuburnO Malley Irish painterAlix young woman BrownYvonneMR HARRINGTON S WASHINGEleven day train to PetrogradAshendenBenedict interpreter at the British ConsulateJohn Quincy Harrington American businessman Dr Egon OrthProfessor ZAlexander DenisievAnastasia Alexandrovna Leonidov Delilah Vladimir Semenovich LeonidovSANATORIUMMidwinter Switzerland AshendenMr McLeodMr CampbellMiss Ivy BishopDr LennoxMajor George TempletonMiss Atkin middle aged spinsterHenry Chester London accountant Mrs Chester Henry s wife


  2. Manuel Alfonseca Manuel Alfonseca says:

    ENGLISH Seven stories by Maugham, built around Ashenden, a British spy during the first world war, a character based on his own activities in that field The story I liked most is The Traitor, about the capture of an Englishman married to a German lady, who is acting as a German spy But the interesting part of the story is not the espionage plot which is quite small , but its psychological depth and the dilemma faced by the protagonist to fulfill his mission.ESPA OL Siete cuentos de Maugha ENGLISH Seven stories by Maugham, built around Ashenden, a British spy during the first world war, a character based on his own activities in that field The story I liked most is The Traitor, about the capture of an Englishman married to a German lady, who is acting as a German spy But the interesting part of the story is not the espionage plot which is quite small , but its psychological depth and the dilemma faced by the protagonist to fulfill his mission.ESPA OL Siete cuentos de Maugham, alrededor de su personaje Ashenden, esp a brit nico durante la primera guerra mundial basado en sus propias actividades en ese campo El que m s me ha gustado es El traidor , sobre la captura de un ingl s casado con una alemana que act a como esp a alem n Pero lo interesante del cuento no es la trama de espionaje que es muy peque a , sino su profundidad psicol gica y el dilema al que se enfrenta el protagonista para cumplir con su misi n


  3. Anthony Anthony says:

    i picked this book up in what was intended to be idle summer reading it is, after all, maugham short stories but for the little effort this book requires maugham is such a pleasure to read it s amazingly rewarding i enjoyed the razor s edge, but the perspective maugham s Ashenden gives you on the characters he meets in the course of his duties as a WWI spy is surprisingly poignant i feel like a better person for having read this book oh, and there s some stuff about war, suspense, blah i picked this book up in what was intended to be idle summer reading it is, after all, maugham short stories but for the little effort this book requires maugham is such a pleasure to read it s amazingly rewarding i enjoyed the razor s edge, but the perspective maugham s Ashenden gives you on the characters he meets in the course of his duties as a WWI spy is surprisingly poignant i feel like a better person for having read this book oh, and there s some stuff about war, suspense, blah blah blah


  4. Sketchbook Sketchbook says:

    In 1915 MOM was based in Geneva as a UK spy, WW1 His cover, as a writer playwright, was perfect He was then writing a comedy, Caroline, which opened in London in 1916, starring Irene Vanbrugh and Dion Boucicault Switzerland was neutral My predecessor Intelligence had a nervous breakdown, a colleague in Lausanne had been sent to prison for 2 years for breaking Swiss law He was not amused by the idea of a similar fate and hoped, whatever happened, he could finish his play He did It In 1915 MOM was based in Geneva as a UK spy, WW1 His cover, as a writer playwright, was perfect He was then writing a comedy, Caroline, which opened in London in 1916, starring Irene Vanbrugh and Dion Boucicault Switzerland was neutral My predecessor Intelligence had a nervous breakdown, a colleague in Lausanne had been sent to prison for 2 years for breaking Swiss law He was not amused by the idea of a similar fate and hoped, whatever happened, he could finish his play He did It was a hit and some years later this sequence became part of his writer turned spy remembrances in Ashenden or, herewith, Vol 3 of his short stories Not to be missed Middle brows like to put MOM down Once you start reading him, you can t put him down


  5. Preston Preston says:

    This is a very entertaining novel It follows the adventures of a gentlemen spy, who finds himself in the most amusing of circumstances I particularly enjoyed the authors focus on how the protagonist, Ashenden, seems so incredibly easy to relate to He gets irritated by loquacious train passengers looks forward to a simple bath every evening to unwind and considers himselfclever than most people he meets This book feels quintessentially British.


  6. Martin Martin says:

    This is basically a reprint of Maugham s excellent short story collection Ashenden, except that this book also includes the just as excellent short story Sanatorium , so if you have to choose between Ashenden and this book, go with this one This is basically a reprint of Maugham s excellent short story collection Ashenden, except that this book also includes the just as excellent short story Sanatorium , so if you have to choose between Ashenden and this book, go with this one


  7. Sofia Sofia says:

    All my reviews probably contain spoilers Someone let me borrow this book because I forgot to bring a book with me to work one day and really cannot go a whole day without reading something lol Not a book I would have picked up on my own, which is a shame and a lesson because it really was such a great little read When I read older books like this one, especially European based books I am reminded of how beautiful writing and language has been in the past Ashenden, is the main charac All my reviews probably contain spoilers Someone let me borrow this book because I forgot to bring a book with me to work one day and really cannot go a whole day without reading something lol Not a book I would have picked up on my own, which is a shame and a lesson because it really was such a great little read When I read older books like this one, especially European based books I am reminded of how beautiful writing and language has been in the past Ashenden, is the main character in all these short stories He is a spy and each story sends him on a different assignment in a different place, and with very different characters and lessons To list Miss King Characters Ashenden writer by profession , the colonel known by the letter R , Mustapha Pasha, Baroness de Higgins, and Miss King I was not familiar with Maugham s writing, so this first story confused me a little bit and I felt the ending was underwhelming Thestories I read, theI understood that all the endings in these short stories end abruptly Miss King, a presumed spy, is literally on her deathbed and asks for Ashenden to be at her bedside There is a secret she wants to tell before she dies so he waits, and waits and waits Before she dies she blurts out the word England We are to assume that she was not really German, or French but indeed a British spy, like Ashenden I have no idea if my interpretation is correct lol The Hairless Mexican Characters Ashenden, the colonel known by the letter R , The Hairless Mexican Manuel Carmona This story mostly revolves around the character description of The Hairless Mexican and gets the reader to also be charmed by this character, as is Ashenden We are convinced through the whole story at how meticulous and capable the Mexican in his work as well as learning that he is someone who is good at cards and at woo ing women In fact, the latter issue seems to be something that begins to annoy Ashenden Both men are working together so the Mexican can exterminate their target As we find out, the Mexican, who appeared so capable and detailed, assassinated the wrong target I would say the moral of this story was Do not let someone TELL you how capable and reliable they are, let them show you Guilia Lazzari Characters Ashenden writer by profession , the colonel known by the letter R , Chandra Lal, Guilia Lazzari Chandra Lal is the target for Ashended to set up so he can be arrested for his crimes Guilia Lazzari is his mistress that is jailed and then forced to write to Chandra begging him to cross the Swiss border to come see her He doesn t want to risk it, he knows he can be arrested if he is found out His mistress is beside herself with heartache but eventually convinces Lal to take the risk And as he does, he realizes it is a set up and commits suicide Upon hearing of his death, Guilia whom you expect to want to die herself, merely asks if she can have his watch, as it was one that she gifted him for his birthday or Christmas The moral of this story Sometimes love is not as grand as we make it out to be and apparently, a watch is a fine parting gift


  8. 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


  9. Steve Payne Steve Payne says:

    This third book in the Collected Short Stories of Somerset Maugham is different to the other three as all seven stories feature the one character, Ashenden, an agent who works for the British Intelligence.Unfortunately, that s my problem with this collection Maugham s strength lie in creating different worlds and populating them with fascinating characters By collecting all these stories in the one book, rather than spreading them throughout the four volumes, we re left with this rather close This third book in the Collected Short Stories of Somerset Maugham is different to the other three as all seven stories feature the one character, Ashenden, an agent who works for the British Intelligence.Unfortunately, that s my problem with this collection Maugham s strength lie in creating different worlds and populating them with fascinating characters By collecting all these stories in the one book, rather than spreading them throughout the four volumes, we re left with this rather closed in odd volume out Unlike the other volumes, which I constantly re read, I rarely go back to this one Its narrower world is not what I want from Maugham.The stories are fine enough InMiss King,Ashenden s presence is requested by a dying woman, and inMr Harrington s Washing,Ashenden falls in love But it s the final story,Sanatoriumthat is the clear winner It is mucha typical Somerset Maugham story as opposed to a spy story It tells the circumstances of various characters battling TB in a sanatorium, and typically Maugham, also battling each other This was memorably filmed in the highly recommended Trio in 1950.If you re reading Somerset Maugham s short stories for the first time, I wouldn t start here I m being harsh, as these are perfectly fine, but when I go to Maugham s short stories I want to be taken to exotic places and meet characters I want to knowabout this is what he does best, and it sfully demonstrated in the other three volumes


  10. Kealan O& Kealan O& says:

    Unbelievable how I ve gone this far into my life without having heard of this chap Incredibly vibrant characters that don t even have to do very much before you feel like you know everything about them Even the most insignificant character feels completely fleshed out and essential to the stories, which often have no satisfying resolution.I m already plotting the next of his books that I ll read and in what order I ll read the rest.


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10 thoughts on “Collected Short Stories: Volume 3

  1. Greg Greg says:

    First published 1951A book of short stories can be difficult to recall later Keeping a list of the names of the characters in each of the stories, greatly helps me to remember the story.ASHENDEN Collected Short Stories Volume 3PrefaceMISS KINGAshendenR colonel, Intelligence DepartmentBernardBaronne de HigginsPrince AliMiss King little old English governessMustapha PashaMonsieur Bridet the assistant managerDr ArbosTHE HAIRLESS MEXICANAshenden Mr SomervilleR.The Hairless Mexican The First published 1951A book of short stories can be difficult to recall later Keeping a list of the names of the characters in each of the stories, greatly helps me to remember the story.ASHENDEN Collected Short Stories Volume 3PrefaceMISS KINGAshendenR colonel, Intelligence DepartmentBernardBaronne de HigginsPrince AliMiss King little old English governessMustapha PashaMonsieur Bridet the assistant managerDr ArbosTHE HAIRLESS MEXICANAshenden Mr SomervilleR.The Hairless Mexican The General Manuel CarmonaConstantine AndreadiEnver PashaLombardosGIULIA LAZZARIAshendenBaronesse von HiginsR.Chandra Lal dangerous agitator IndianGiulia Lazzari Chandr s madly in love with GiuliaTHE TRAITORAshenden Mr SomervilleR The ColonelGustav GrabowGustave s wifeGrantly Caypor an EnglishmanMrs Caypor GermanFritzi the Caypor s DogGomezHIS EXCELLENCYAshendenSir Herbert Witherspoon British ambassadorMr Wilbur Sch fer American ambassadorHerbartus Galician PoleLady Anne Sir Herberts wifeByringRose AuburnO Malley Irish painterAlix young woman BrownYvonneMR HARRINGTON S WASHINGEleven day train to PetrogradAshendenBenedict interpreter at the British ConsulateJohn Quincy Harrington American businessman Dr Egon OrthProfessor ZAlexander DenisievAnastasia Alexandrovna Leonidov Delilah Vladimir Semenovich LeonidovSANATORIUMMidwinter Switzerland AshendenMr McLeodMr CampbellMiss Ivy BishopDr LennoxMajor George TempletonMiss Atkin middle aged spinsterHenry Chester London accountant Mrs Chester Henry s wife


  2. Manuel Alfonseca Manuel Alfonseca says:

    ENGLISH Seven stories by Maugham, built around Ashenden, a British spy during the first world war, a character based on his own activities in that field The story I liked most is The Traitor, about the capture of an Englishman married to a German lady, who is acting as a German spy But the interesting part of the story is not the espionage plot which is quite small , but its psychological depth and the dilemma faced by the protagonist to fulfill his mission.ESPA OL Siete cuentos de Maugha ENGLISH Seven stories by Maugham, built around Ashenden, a British spy during the first world war, a character based on his own activities in that field The story I liked most is The Traitor, about the capture of an Englishman married to a German lady, who is acting as a German spy But the interesting part of the story is not the espionage plot which is quite small , but its psychological depth and the dilemma faced by the protagonist to fulfill his mission.ESPA OL Siete cuentos de Maugham, alrededor de su personaje Ashenden, esp a brit nico durante la primera guerra mundial basado en sus propias actividades en ese campo El que m s me ha gustado es El traidor , sobre la captura de un ingl s casado con una alemana que act a como esp a alem n Pero lo interesante del cuento no es la trama de espionaje que es muy peque a , sino su profundidad psicol gica y el dilema al que se enfrenta el protagonista para cumplir con su misi n


  3. Anthony Anthony says:

    i picked this book up in what was intended to be idle summer reading it is, after all, maugham short stories but for the little effort this book requires maugham is such a pleasure to read it s amazingly rewarding i enjoyed the razor s edge, but the perspective maugham s Ashenden gives you on the characters he meets in the course of his duties as a WWI spy is surprisingly poignant i feel like a better person for having read this book oh, and there s some stuff about war, suspense, blah i picked this book up in what was intended to be idle summer reading it is, after all, maugham short stories but for the little effort this book requires maugham is such a pleasure to read it s amazingly rewarding i enjoyed the razor s edge, but the perspective maugham s Ashenden gives you on the characters he meets in the course of his duties as a WWI spy is surprisingly poignant i feel like a better person for having read this book oh, and there s some stuff about war, suspense, blah blah blah


  4. Sketchbook Sketchbook says:

    In 1915 MOM was based in Geneva as a UK spy, WW1 His cover, as a writer playwright, was perfect He was then writing a comedy, Caroline, which opened in London in 1916, starring Irene Vanbrugh and Dion Boucicault Switzerland was neutral My predecessor Intelligence had a nervous breakdown, a colleague in Lausanne had been sent to prison for 2 years for breaking Swiss law He was not amused by the idea of a similar fate and hoped, whatever happened, he could finish his play He did It In 1915 MOM was based in Geneva as a UK spy, WW1 His cover, as a writer playwright, was perfect He was then writing a comedy, Caroline, which opened in London in 1916, starring Irene Vanbrugh and Dion Boucicault Switzerland was neutral My predecessor Intelligence had a nervous breakdown, a colleague in Lausanne had been sent to prison for 2 years for breaking Swiss law He was not amused by the idea of a similar fate and hoped, whatever happened, he could finish his play He did It was a hit and some years later this sequence became part of his writer turned spy remembrances in Ashenden or, herewith, Vol 3 of his short stories Not to be missed Middle brows like to put MOM down Once you start reading him, you can t put him down


  5. Preston Preston says:

    This is a very entertaining novel It follows the adventures of a gentlemen spy, who finds himself in the most amusing of circumstances I particularly enjoyed the authors focus on how the protagonist, Ashenden, seems so incredibly easy to relate to He gets irritated by loquacious train passengers looks forward to a simple bath every evening to unwind and considers himselfclever than most people he meets This book feels quintessentially British.


  6. Martin Martin says:

    This is basically a reprint of Maugham s excellent short story collection Ashenden, except that this book also includes the just as excellent short story Sanatorium , so if you have to choose between Ashenden and this book, go with this one This is basically a reprint of Maugham s excellent short story collection Ashenden, except that this book also includes the just as excellent short story Sanatorium , so if you have to choose between Ashenden and this book, go with this one


  7. Sofia Sofia says:

    All my reviews probably contain spoilers Someone let me borrow this book because I forgot to bring a book with me to work one day and really cannot go a whole day without reading something lol Not a book I would have picked up on my own, which is a shame and a lesson because it really was such a great little read When I read older books like this one, especially European based books I am reminded of how beautiful writing and language has been in the past Ashenden, is the main charac All my reviews probably contain spoilers Someone let me borrow this book because I forgot to bring a book with me to work one day and really cannot go a whole day without reading something lol Not a book I would have picked up on my own, which is a shame and a lesson because it really was such a great little read When I read older books like this one, especially European based books I am reminded of how beautiful writing and language has been in the past Ashenden, is the main character in all these short stories He is a spy and each story sends him on a different assignment in a different place, and with very different characters and lessons To list Miss King Characters Ashenden writer by profession , the colonel known by the letter R , Mustapha Pasha, Baroness de Higgins, and Miss King I was not familiar with Maugham s writing, so this first story confused me a little bit and I felt the ending was underwhelming Thestories I read, theI understood that all the endings in these short stories end abruptly Miss King, a presumed spy, is literally on her deathbed and asks for Ashenden to be at her bedside There is a secret she wants to tell before she dies so he waits, and waits and waits Before she dies she blurts out the word England We are to assume that she was not really German, or French but indeed a British spy, like Ashenden I have no idea if my interpretation is correct lol The Hairless Mexican Characters Ashenden, the colonel known by the letter R , The Hairless Mexican Manuel Carmona This story mostly revolves around the character description of The Hairless Mexican and gets the reader to also be charmed by this character, as is Ashenden We are convinced through the whole story at how meticulous and capable the Mexican in his work as well as learning that he is someone who is good at cards and at woo ing women In fact, the latter issue seems to be something that begins to annoy Ashenden Both men are working together so the Mexican can exterminate their target As we find out, the Mexican, who appeared so capable and detailed, assassinated the wrong target I would say the moral of this story was Do not let someone TELL you how capable and reliable they are, let them show you Guilia Lazzari Characters Ashenden writer by profession , the colonel known by the letter R , Chandra Lal, Guilia Lazzari Chandra Lal is the target for Ashended to set up so he can be arrested for his crimes Guilia Lazzari is his mistress that is jailed and then forced to write to Chandra begging him to cross the Swiss border to come see her He doesn t want to risk it, he knows he can be arrested if he is found out His mistress is beside herself with heartache but eventually convinces Lal to take the risk And as he does, he realizes it is a set up and commits suicide Upon hearing of his death, Guilia whom you expect to want to die herself, merely asks if she can have his watch, as it was one that she gifted him for his birthday or Christmas The moral of this story Sometimes love is not as grand as we make it out to be and apparently, a watch is a fine parting gift


  8. 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


  9. Steve Payne Steve Payne says:

    This third book in the Collected Short Stories of Somerset Maugham is different to the other three as all seven stories feature the one character, Ashenden, an agent who works for the British Intelligence.Unfortunately, that s my problem with this collection Maugham s strength lie in creating different worlds and populating them with fascinating characters By collecting all these stories in the one book, rather than spreading them throughout the four volumes, we re left with this rather close This third book in the Collected Short Stories of Somerset Maugham is different to the other three as all seven stories feature the one character, Ashenden, an agent who works for the British Intelligence.Unfortunately, that s my problem with this collection Maugham s strength lie in creating different worlds and populating them with fascinating characters By collecting all these stories in the one book, rather than spreading them throughout the four volumes, we re left with this rather closed in odd volume out Unlike the other volumes, which I constantly re read, I rarely go back to this one Its narrower world is not what I want from Maugham.The stories are fine enough InMiss King,Ashenden s presence is requested by a dying woman, and inMr Harrington s Washing,Ashenden falls in love But it s the final story,Sanatoriumthat is the clear winner It is mucha typical Somerset Maugham story as opposed to a spy story It tells the circumstances of various characters battling TB in a sanatorium, and typically Maugham, also battling each other This was memorably filmed in the highly recommended Trio in 1950.If you re reading Somerset Maugham s short stories for the first time, I wouldn t start here I m being harsh, as these are perfectly fine, but when I go to Maugham s short stories I want to be taken to exotic places and meet characters I want to knowabout this is what he does best, and it sfully demonstrated in the other three volumes


  10. Kealan O& Kealan O& says:

    Unbelievable how I ve gone this far into my life without having heard of this chap Incredibly vibrant characters that don t even have to do very much before you feel like you know everything about them Even the most insignificant character feels completely fleshed out and essential to the stories, which often have no satisfying resolution.I m already plotting the next of his books that I ll read and in what order I ll read the rest.


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