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Férias de Natal

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  764 ratings  ·  76 reviews
For Christmas, Charley Mason's father granted him a trip to Paris, all expenses paid. It should have been a lark, but on his first night Charley meets a woman whose story will forever change his life.

For Lydia has seen tragedy. The Russian Revolution displaced her family, left her homeless, fatherless. And for reasons that elude Charley, Lydia pines for a man half a world
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Paperback, 302 pages
Published by Livros do Brasil (first published 1939)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,394)
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Chrissie
Oct 28, 2014 Chrissie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: Petra
Three stars because I liked this book. It takes a while to get into. The beginning is a rapid summary of Charley's respectable, well-off, bourgeois English family. Not snobbish, but proud of what they have attained. Intellectual and well-versed in the arts. His parents had raised Charley and his sister insuring that they had read what should be read, had viewed those paintings one should see and gone to concerts so they were well acquainted with the famous classical composers. All was in order. ...more
Doroti
Моъм си е Моъм - гениален разказвач от и до дъното на душата си. Много харесвам такива книги - история, рамкирана от друга история. Кара те да се замислиш за смисъла на почти всичко, което правим в живота си, а също и за липсата на такъв. Заслужава си.
Leslie
Interesting story of a young man (22? 23?) first coming to realize that people (and the world) are more complex than he had thought whilst on his first Christmas holiday apart from his family.

Although Charlie is the "main character", much of the book is taken up with the story of Lydia -- a young Russian woman he meets through his friend Simon. Both Lydia and Simon think and live so differently from Charlie's family, he begins to awaken to the fact that he has only experienced a small part of th
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Petya
Много ми хареса книгата. Дълбока и дори разтърсваща. Философски написана и поставяща много въпроси, все сериозни. Откровено казано нямах големи очаквания, тъй като тази не е сред най-известните книги на автора. И вероятно точно поради тази причина останах силно впечатлена. Блестящо се е справил с изграждането на образите и тезите. И освен всичко останало, показва и много дълбоко познаване на руската душевност. Най-силните думи са поставени в устата на Саймън, а цинизмът им е смегчен посредством ...more
Gail
Maugham was clearly still finding his style in this early book, but it is nonetheless a very enjoyable read. His cutting and concise character descriptions are just as brilliant as in his later works. He paints a glimpse of a world that enthralls Charley and the reader, despite the fact, or perhaps because of the fact, that the inhabitants of this world are doomed to a life of oppression and despair. The story is so rich that it is hard to remember that the entire book only covers about a week: ...more
Kaloyana
Книгата ми хареса повече, от колкото очаквах. Моъм е умел разказвач и има страхотна философия за живота и определено отношение към хората. Разбира и чудесно описва тяхната същност, характер, както и - страховете, които ги мъчат и низостите, на които са способни. Майсторството тук се състои в това, че разказът започва леко и нищо не подозиращият читател си мисли, че ще се сблъска с още една не особено затрогваща историйка, но - нищо подобно. Има силна психология, тежки думи, но на място и всичко ...more
Frederick
Jun 19, 2007 Frederick rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who aren't upset at a lack of plot.
Shelves: novels, maugham
This is a short novel about time spent between a man who's life will go well and a woman who's life will not. The last sentence is the best last sentence I've ever read.
Petra
A young man goes to Paris for a week of "freedom" before settling down to a career. Charley comes from an idealic family and a solid, stable financial background. Everything is perfect. (so perfect that the first bit of the book becomes rather slow reading)
In Paris he meets with an old school friend and is introduced to a woman who is the wife of a convicted murderer. Over the week, he learns about lifestyles and life circumstances that were previously invisible to him. These situations show hi
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Carol
I just love Maugham's work. The characters in the story -- Charley Mason: 24-year old comfortably born Englishman goes to Paris for a week. Simon Fenimore: Charley's schoolboy friend, cynic, anarchist, manipulator. Ignores Charley except to set him up with "Princess Olga." Lydia: Russian prostitute who Charley meets at the Serail and is introduced as "Princess Olga." She is married to Robert Berger the rake, she atones for his sins by debasing herself. Robert Berger: Imprisoned husband of Lydia, ...more
Cooper Cooper
Written just before the outbreak of World War II, this story warns the British middle class about the hazards of being compacent and naïve in a dangerous world. The story is simple: a young Cambridge-educated Englishman, Charles, is rewarded for entering the family business (initially he had wanted to be a painter) with a holiday trip to Paris “to see some pictures.” There he is met by a lifelong friend Simon, now a journalist, who has become a fanatic who is preparing himself through rigorous ...more
Sheri
This is a very well done philosophical expository. I picked this up because I have been meaning to read more Maugham, but also because it is December (and while not yet Christmas), I am sitting at a posh, exclusive resort in Fiji looking out at the calm waters of the bay (on holiday). I am not hoping to have quite the wake up call that Charley gets in Paris, but it is nice to remind oneself at times (or more importantly, remind the children) of just how comfortable our lives are and appreciate t ...more
David Marquet
W. Somerset Maugham
Christmas Holiday
Published 1939.

The first thing you need to know about W. Somerset Maugham’s Christmas Holiday is that it has nothing to do with Christmas.

The book was written in 1939 when Maugham was 63. It is one of his last major pieces.

Christmas Holiday tells the story of Charley Mason, a comfortably-born 24-year old, who spends a week-long holiday in Paris. (Yes, it is at Christmas.)

Charley’s father has given him the vacation and is expecting him to sow his oats a bit b
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Nigeyb
A clever, readable and entertaining book. Deceptively simple. W Somerset Maugham uses the contrasting personalities of Charley and Simon to highlight some of the profound and disturbing changes taking place in mainland Europe during the late 1930s (when he wrote the story). W Somerset Maugham was remarkably prescient about the horrors and inhumanity that was about to unfold. And, despite this, the book is very readable - giving the reader insights into Russian refugees living in Paris, convicts, ...more
Elizabeth Moffat
This is the first of W.Somerset Maugham's books that I have read for a book club and I absolutely loved it. The writing was beautiful and the characters so intriguing. The ending, (which I won't spoil) was left slightly up in the air, but I loved it. I'll definitely be checking out more of this author's work.
Lorna
I loved this book. My daughter bought me a copy for my birthday and I opened it just as I was leaving her at university for the first time. It couldn't have been more appropriate. The main character Charley is a likeable young man who has led a rather sheltered existence, carefully educated by his parents in the arts and culture who would nevertheless be most mortified if their son was to become bohemian and hedonistic like the artists they encourage him to appreciate.

Charley decides to spend h
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dara
Originally read: 10/16/08
Re-read: 12/25/11

I liked Simon as a character the first time I read this, but now... not so much. I suppose all this empathy and compassion shit has changed me some. Oh well. I still think the novel has one of the best ending lines ever.
Karen
If there was ever an example of "Don't judge a book by the covers" this was it. I picked it up and regarded the elegant lovely figures on the illustration and with the title, imagined a relaxed and comfortable exposition on a festive family get together. The early chapters did nothing to alter this notion.
This book is so much more than this though; the account of Lydia's current situation and the history of her family, the presentation of the character's of Simon, of Lydia's mother-in-Law and o
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Terry
Jan 23, 2015 Terry marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Saving this one for next Christmas -
Jon
To say this is an unusual coming of an age tale would be an understatement.

A thoroughly British young man travels to Paris where he encounters an underworld of non-Britishness, so to speak. Brothels, Russian intellectuals down on their luck, and seedy cafes populated by criminals constitute this space. It is here that the tidy world that has been presented so neatly to the young subject unravels and reveals itself as a patchwork of vice and unpredictability.

Internally, the same process occurs
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David
I've now read three novels by Maugham and quite like what I've read. 'The Razor's Edge' is quite good and 'Of Human Bondage' is probably in the top 10 books I've ever read. I decided to read 'Christmas Holiday' after revisiting the H'wood film version from the '40s. I liked the movie but something didn't sit quite well; something seemed missing. That's not unusual in a film version, of course. Much was off merely due to the fact that the setting had been changed from Paris to California (SF?). L ...more
Nancy
This has been on my tbr list for a long time. When book club still read a holiday book in December, I suggested this one, but was vetoed. This is not a typical, feel good holiday book. There is very little reference to Christmas, except for when the story takes place.

Charley Mason, a lower/upper class Englishman, has been given a holiday trip to Paris by his father. Charley has just completed his first year in his father's business, after forgoing a career as an artist. Charley is excited to be
...more
LemonLinda
I chose to read this book in December because of the title, but it really had very little to do with the holiday. It was about a young professional Englishman in the late 30s, Charley, who is somewhat culturally inclined having a fondness for music and art which had been encouraged by his parents. He leaves England for a short trip to Paris over Christmas. An old boarding school buddy whom he remembers fondly takes him to a bordello where he meets a young Russian, Lydia, who left her homeland as ...more
Paul Bartusiak
Maugham is one of my favorite authors. I have not read all of his works, but from his novel, “Of Human Bondage” alone the author has garnered my great admiration. Upon reading some of his other works, (The Razor’s edge, The Moon and Sixpence, Cakes And Ale), my fondness is firmly cemented.

One of the things most remarkable about Maugham’s writings, besides the straightforward yet extremely elegant writing style, is how they delve into the inner workings and thoughts of the human soul. Maugham the
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Val
Charley Mason goes to Paris for his Christmas holiday, intending to meet his best friend from school and have a pleasant time. On his first night out with Simon, the friend, they visit a nightclub / brothel where he meets Lydia, a Russian emigree married to a murderer. He ends up spending his entire holiday with her, while she tells her unusual story.
Simon has become a fanatic since leaving school and regales Charley with his totalitarian politics. Simon doesn't seem to see much difference betwe
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Sandhya
Among all his works, Christmas Holiday published in 1939 counts as Maugham's most political novel. It still has all the central themes of love and coming-of-age which the author engaged with, but certainly, here, Maugham was keener to make a political point.


Written just before the outbreak of World War 2, the entire novel can be seen as an allegory of the situation that was unfolding in Europe, post the Russian revolution. The novel gives you an overview of the history of the time, and acquaints
...more
Ria
A really great idea for a novel, the story revolves around Charley Mason who goes away to Paris for Christmas to "see a bit of life." He originally goes to meet up with his friend Simon Fenimore but his friend has changed a lot and is bitter and cynical and seems to be plotting some scheme to become a dictator and his way of life is very unusual. Simon takes Charley to a whorehouse where he meets Lydia and becomes enmeshed with her life and in so doing the whole idea of a Christmas holiday goes ...more
Alex Sarll
It's interesting occasionally to read a minor novel whose era has passed. Some would suggest I'm doing that when I read Cabell, Machen and suchlike greats, of course, but I'm talking here about the grandfathers of the novels which receive enthusiastic reviews in the weekend broadsheets, and prize nominations, and are discussed as addressing Issues Of The Day, and which within five years have left not a trace. Though that's not quite true here; Maugham's characters in the Paris underworld include ...more
Мария Шикова
Силна книга! Чудесно изградени герои - един спокоен, благовъзпитан Чарли, един безкрайно циничен Саймън и една нежна душа в образа на Лидия. Много философски разговори и достатъчно психологизъм. Всичко това прави тази книга да ровичка в съзнанието и да се замисляш за живота, който те бута, живота, който ти буташ и живота, който разглеждаш като предначертана линия... , как самата ти представа за този живот може да загуби устоите си само за няколко дни.
Nicholas Beck
Maugham wrestles with the big social issues of the day, communism versus democracy, what does it mean to atone for sinful behavior while using Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment as a template for his characters. Works for the most part especially with Lydia a strong female character but the rest of his cast veer uncomfortably close to archetypes. I agree with another reviewer re: the last sentence, absolutely masterful! Good read but not great.
Helen Cranberry
Сильный писатель, который создает нужную атмосферу в совершенстве. Не вдаваясь в излишний анализ, книга мне отчасти понравилась, но очень она меня грузила, чтение приходилось сопровождать совершенно легкомысленной музыкой :) Главный вопрос, который у меня остался после нее - зачем людям усложнять себе жизнь надуманными принципами и отталкиванием всего хорошего?
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Bright Young Things: December 2012- Christmas Holiday by W. Somerset Maugham 23 45 Oct 11, 2013 02:54AM  
  • The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham: A Biography
  • All Passion Spent
  • To the North
  • At Home for the Holidays
  • Shadows on the Grass
  • Happy Holidays (2-in-1)
  • Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky
  • Ways Of Escape
  • Henrietta Sees It Through: More News from the Home Front 1942-1945
  • Loving / Living / Party Going
  • A Midnight Clear: Family Christmas Stories
  • The Flight from the Enchanter
  • Westwood
  • A Modern Comedy
  • The Artist of the Beautiful
  • All the Conspirators
  • A Small Miracle
  • Unplug the Christmas Machine: A Complete Guide to Putting Love and Warmth Back into the Season
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William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in 1874. He spoke French even before he spoke a word of English, a fact to which some critics attribute the purity of his style.

His parents died early and, after an unhappy boyhood, which he recorded poignantly in 'Of Human Bondage' , Maugham became a qualified physician. But writing was his true vocation. For ten years before his first success, he alm
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More about W. Somerset Maugham...
Of Human Bondage The Razor's Edge The Painted Veil The Moon and Sixpence Theatre

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“In the first place it's not true that people improve as you know them better: they don't. That's why one should only have acquaintances and never make friends. An acquaintance shows you only the best of himself, he's considerate and polite, he conceals his defects behind a mask of social convention; but we grow so intimate with him that he throws the mask aside, get to know him so well that he doesn't trouble any longer to pretend; then you'll discover a being of such meanness, of such trivial nature, of such weakness, of such corruption, that you'd be aghast if you didn't realize that that was his nature and it was just as stupid to condemn him as to condemn the wolf because he ravens or the cobra because he strikes.” 75 likes
“I'd sooner be smashed into a mangled pulp by a bus when we cross the street than look forward to a life like yours.” 23 likes
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