- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (4 May 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099282844
- ISBN-13: 978-0099282846
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Far Eastern Tales (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 4 May 2000
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"If all else perish, there will remain a storyteller's world...that is exclusively and forever Maugham, a world of verandah and prahu which we enter as well as we do that of Conan Doyle's Baker Street, and with a happy and eternal homecoming" (The Times)
"Maugham teases out buried secrets as mesmerising as the heat and as menacing as the surrounding jungle" (Observer)
"Ideally you should listen to these stories lying in a long cane chair on the veranda of a dark bungalow sipping a gin and bitters - not that Maugham's writing needs any further atmospheric embellishment. Like Kipling and Conrad, Maugham transports us to a long-since-vanished and distinctly non-PC world of hard-drinking colonial planters and traders and their frosty memsahibs" (Guardian)
Mesmerising short stories by this neglected 20th century masterSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
With stories including the intriguingly titled "Footprints In The Jungle", "P. & O." and "The End Of The Flight", Maugham gives a glimpse as to what life was like in the tropics during the 1920's and 1930's for the usually well-to-do "foreigners". However, it is not what his time traveling describes on the surface that is memorable, it is what is going on inside the heads of his characters - especially the women. In the majority of his novels, Maugham regularly produced seemingly "normal" women on the outside, but this calm exterior did not match what they were thinking, feeling or planning.
The tales differ in length, some are just a few pages, and others are much more substantial. This mixture makes for interesting and less predictable reading. And, the stories differ in content and theme. There are crime stories, mysterious deaths, comic tales and stories of ill-fated marriages. "The Door of Opportunity" is wonderful, in which a woman discovers that her husband is significantly more flawed than she thought he would be. "The Buried Talent" is delightful, where two middle-aged friends from the past reminisce about their lives, and realise what their major missed opportunities were. And "Neil MacAdam", in which a youthful Scottish man is seduced by the Russian wife of his benefactor.
The stories are mostly born of Maugham's personal travel experiences in Malaya, Singapore, Borneo and other remote outposts of the old British Empire.Read more ›
The writing is competent but workmanlike. I enjoyed the book but don't feel inspired to read more of his work. If you want to read more about this subject a much better book is George Orwell's Burmese days.
These ten tales of people and their relationships were very much set in a bygone era. Predominantly focused on British people, their way of living was so different from the way that I live (even as an expat) it was like reading about a different culture. Great changes appear to have happened since this time and the issues of class and race sometimes made for uncomfortable reading.
A word of warning to the politically faint-hearted: prepare to be shocked...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Maugham - he is my favourite author. Easy, very enjoyable to read. A series of gripping stories.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
An excellent classic of the old Far East. Well worth re-readingPublished 12 months ago by Fleur de Lys
The stories are fine but they are misleading as they are all contained in Collected Stories. It was the same for Ashenden and More Far Eastern tales. Read morePublished 21 months ago by christine allen