Although the language in this is somewhat archaic, this is, or will become, a timeless classic, along with Maugham's other short stories. I, a 16 year old, was given this by my mum to read, and the book was really accessible. Every story is an original gem, which although short, lingers in your mind long after you have read it.
Maugham portrays the upper middle class wonderfully (although not all stories are about this group of people), with superb characterisation. I found it hard to relate with the characters within the collection as I had never met anyone like them, but that isn't to say I won't and it didn't make the book any less enjoyable.
To start off with, I read the shortest stories (a few pages long), and gradually built up to the longest ones, such as 'The Vessel of Wrath'. My favourites are 'The Bum', 'Jane', 'The Creative Impulse' and 'Lord Mountdrago'. I had never heard of Somerset Maugham before but am very glad I have read some of his stories.