Have you ever opened a book and hadn't closed it until you've read it cover to cover ? This is one of those rare books for several reasons. First of all, here Maugham doesn't try to obscure himself under a fictional or an anonymous narrator as in previous Novels. ( You never quite know who he is in "The Moon.." or "The Painted ..."; and in "Cakes and Ale" the narrator is a fictional character). This adds realism to the plot and makes Maughams thoughts seem more personal and therefore more genuine. The story of the young American in search of the truth is fascinating, not only because his romantic journies are accompanied by beautiful scenery, but also because his character seems to represent what people want to do with their lives in stead of living by the conventions of our society while regreting the choices they made in their youth. The main character dares to persue his dream which is basically finding an answer to the question "Why is the world so beautiful and yet so cruel?". A question that is very appealing to a person with his good-natured soul. He looks for the answer all over the world leaving prospects of wealth and stability behind. Therefore I highly recommend that you read this novel, in which the main character invites you on an unforgettable journey that may open your eyes and answer not just one, but quite a few questions. So enjoy and don't forget that Maugham is great at telling stories that are relevant even today.
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