The Moon and Sixpence

The Moon and Sixpence

Book - 2005
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One of the novels that galvanized W. Somerset Maugham's reputation as a literary master

The Moon and Sixpence follows the life of one Charles Strickland, a bourgeois city gent whose dull exterior conceals the soul of a genius. Compulsive and impassioned, he abandons his home, wife, and children to devote himself slavishly to painting. In a tiny studio in Paris, he fills canvas after canvas, refusing to sell or even exhibit his work. Beset by poverty, sickness, and his own intransigent, unscrupulous nature, he drifts to Tahiti, where, even after being blinded by leprosy, he produces some of his most extraordinary works of art. Inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence is an unforgettable study of a man possessed by the need to create--regardless of the cost to himself and to others.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2005.
ISBN: 9780143039341
Branch Call Number: FIC MAUGHAM
Characteristics: xxxii, 204 p. ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Calder, Robert 1941-


From the critics

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Apr 09, 2019

Moon and Sixpence has influenced my view of how I should spend my life significantly. It feels like it shows me a completely different possibility of life, and also the chance to change, take control of my own life. The way William Maugham manages this story, which is firstly unclear when you start the book, is really impressing as you gradually read through. Rather than directly demonstrate the life of Strickland through the third person angle or perspective of the main character, as novels always do, the life of our great artist is told through different people who had met him before. And due to the difference of individuals, the stories and image of Strickland vary much, and some of them can't even be fully trusted, which appeals to me so much. I strongly recommend this book to teens who are confused by life. This book will give you great inspiration. 5/5 Stars. @Rocksy of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Feb 26, 2019

This book portrays the cruel and artistic genius of a painter and contrasts it with the hurt his obsession with art causes his loved ones. This story is said to be based on the real life artist Paul Gauguin.

Feb 23, 2017

Strickland is an insufferable arse, but the beauty of the sentences make this book worth it.

Mar 29, 2016

As the previous reader says, I also feel conflicted with giving this a great rating. The story is riveting but the main character of Strickland is just too much over the top to be believable. I can't imagine a person with a personality like his surviving let alone having such an artistic soul. The two don't match. He (the artist) makes his point that the only thing in life worth living for is to be creative no matter who he hurts or offends. He has no respect for women or anyone of another race or even for his fellow artists. He's altogether a despicable person but that's part of the reason this is such a great story.

patienceandfortitude Jun 04, 2013

I feel conflicted about giving this a "very good" rating. The writing and story are both superb, but the themes are very hard to take. 1. Good guys finish last and are buffoons. 2. Women can only love men who physically and psychologically abuse them, and other than housekeeping and romance have no real value. 3. The genius of the artist is an excuse for horrendous behavior. 4. Beauty and Truth are more valuable than love. Then there is a dash of racism to make sure that every possible reader can find a way to be offended. Are these the author's beliefs or is he just yanking our chains? I don't know, but it makes for some interesting and disturbing reading.

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