Saturday, July 17, 2004

somerset maugham

When I was 15 my Dad gave me Of Human Bondage to read. It was my first grown up book and it changed everything in my life. In the first place it is a long rich beautiful novel about an underdog who through chance and effort brings himself to a satisfying life. Along the way he makes huge mistakes, meets wonderful and terrible people, has good and bad luck, and attains in his own way a certain wisdom. Last week I happened to read it again and it is every bit as wise and beautiful a book as it was in 1959 when I first read it. I've been selling it at Prairie Lights to sometimes doubtful customers who have come back to tell me how much they love it. It was written in 1935 and I wonder how many lives it has changed.

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