Far Eastern Tales

W.Somerset Maugham

In keeping with the holiday theme (the one that I have unfortunately recently returned from), I thought it advisable to take on a little light reading around the topic, hence picking up a copy of Vintage Maugham from my husband’s well-planned, travelling material.

Far Eastern Tales is a selection of short stories guaranteed to add something to those hours in transit; times when you realise Vietnam Airlines doesn’t always place an eating tray in front of you; or…even when not touring around Indochina, and you’re just interested in a quick, enjoyable page turner which fits nicely in a 15cm x 22cm sized pocket.

Mr W.Somerset Maugham kindly delivers ten compositions which always seemed to finish, not in the way I’d first suspected. And his characters, especially the women, come across as thoroughly modern and decisive in their actions, which I found remarkable, particularly as this was written in or around 1920s…I think…however Wikipedia hasn’t be able to collaborate my time estimation.

Whilst reading you can sense on so many different levels, the environment of the action. Either on board a ship deep in the Indian Ocean too far from land to be of any assistance to Mr Gallagher; or walking blindly through the jungle; or even having to share a confined space with a man who always has something to say.

Additionally, as I tend to be a firm admirer of ‘character’ above all else, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was ‘plot’ that drove me on and claimed my affections.

So, I thought I’d briefly compile a list of my favourite tales from the Tales, amusingly though I’ve managed to pretty much list all, bar three…ohh well I guess that says something in itself, so here goes.

  • Footprints in the Jungle
  • The Door of Opportunity
  • The Buried Talent
  • Before the Party
  • Mr Know-All
  • Neil MacAdam
  • The Force of Circumstance

And, if you pick up the 2000 publication you’ll benefit from the added bonus of a pretty tasteful book cover to boot. Enjoy!

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