Author: Somerset Maugham
Publication Date: 1999 (1919)
Genre: Modern Classics
Charles Strickland, a conventional stockbroker, abandons his wife and children for Paris and Tahiti, to live his life as a painter. Whilst his betrayal of family, duty and honour gives him the freedom to achieve greatness, his decision leads to an obsession which carries severe implications. Inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence is at once a satiric caricature of Edwardian conventions and a vivid portrayal of the mentality of a genius.
The Moon and Sixpence is another wonderful work by Somerset Maugham. It is a fascinating character-study piece, both in terms of portraying Strickland and in getting into the mind and feelings of the narrator. The story moves at a good pace and kept me turning the pages, eager to find out what would happen next. Maugham's customary satire of Edwardian society and its morals and preoccupations is also present and as biting as ever. If you've already read some of Maugham's works, you will doubtless enjoy this one too. If you are new to his writing, The Moon and Sixpence would not be a bad place to start as it is a short and easy read.