Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Moon and Sixpence” as Want to Read:
The Moon and Sixpence
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

The Moon and Sixpence

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  12,306 Ratings  ·  772 Reviews
Based on the life of Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence is W. Somerset Maugham's ode to the powerful forces behind creative genius.

Charles Strickland is a staid banker, a man of wealth and privilege.  He is also a man possessed of an unquenchable desire to create art.  As Strickland pursues his artistic vision, he leaves London for Paris and Tahiti, and in his quest makes
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 9th 2000 by Vintage (first published 1919)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Moon and Sixpence, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Moon and Sixpence

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Rajat Ubhaykar
Fair warning, this is going to be a long review for this is a book that is close to my heart written by an author whom I deeply admire.

The Right Time

There are some books that walk into your life at an opportune time. I'm talking about the books that send a pleasant shiver down your spine laden with “Man, this is meant to be!” as you flip through its pages cursorily. Or those that upon completion, demand an exclamation from every book-reading fibre of your body to the effect of “There couldn't ha
Oct 03, 2016 Rowena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, own
"Art is a manifestation of emotion, and emotion speaks a language that all may understand."- W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence

I'd only ever read one Maugham before this ("Of Human Bondage") but even with just that one read I could tell Maugham was a very special writer and destined to be one of my favourites. I picked up this thin book thinking it would be a quick, simple read, but I wasn't prepared for the depth and profundity in it. There is a lot going on in this little book, lots to
Jul 28, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2012
We want the world. We want it all. We want the moon. And still it's not enough.

It's my long term goal to read everything Maguham wrote, a goal that I doubt will be very difficult to reach. He writes with such poignant observation and wit and in The Moon and Sixpence he captures the all encompassing, obsessive and brutal nature that perhaps it takes to be an artist.

Told by an unnamed narrator, we are introduced to Charles Strickland, a beastly yet seemingly ordinary man who one day leaves his wif
Sep 12, 2007 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
my affection for this book may, in part, stem from the fact that it was one of those novels that i read at a period in my life when my tastes in both literature and life outlook were taking shape (that is, while playing hooky from high school) but its appeal has endured far more than the other usual suspects in that category (kerouac's meanderings, pirsig's pretentions, etc.)

apart from its romantic appeal to the Quiet and Solitary Youth demographic (of which i was a card-carrying member) i thin
Nov 05, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2010, nostalgia
This novel is by far my favorite account of an artist's life in fiction.

The story of Charles Strickland is based on Paul Gauguin's life. To what extent, I don't know. What I do know is that there is something infinitely irresistible about how artistry is portrayed in this novel. I love the idea that a real artist creates art because he cannot not to. That all other aspects of his life - family, money, acclaim, food even - are secondary to his desire to create. Strickland is remarkable in his dri
Sara Steger
It must be said up front that I am a huge fan of Maugham. I like his writing style, which always makes me feel as if I am sitting with a friend and he is telling me about someone he actually knows. With this conversational tone, Maugham leads you into the depths of the human soul and sometimes leaves you to find your own way out.

Based very loosely on the life of Paul Gauguin, this novel is a study in how much a true artist will do for the sake of his art: not only how much he will endure, but h
Oct 26, 2013 Perry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beguiling Roman à clef of French painter Paul Gauguin and An Artiste's Obsessive Quest for Beauty [4.3 stars]

This rather short novel is Maugham's intriguing, thought-provoking study of the life of the painter Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), and partly his mockery of society's ready willingness to turn sinners into saints, as well as a sobering look at an artist's lifelong pursuit of beauty, at whatever the cost to himself or to loved ones.

Gaugin was a despicable misogynist and a dreadfully negative pe
Ahmad Sharabiani
Dec 24, 2015 Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, 20th-century, pdf
The Moon and Sixpence, W. Somerset Maugham
عنوان: قلب زن؛ نویسنده: ویلیام سامرست موآم؛ مترجم: حسین بدلزاده؛ رشت، انتشارات روزنامه سایبان، 1336، در 220 ص؛
پس از مقدمه ها از مترجم و نویسنده فصل نخست کتاب با عنوان «در محفل ادبی» چنین آغاز میشود: هنگامی که اولین داستان خود «جنون عشق» را که خوشبختانه سر و صدای زیادی در محافل ادبی برانگیخت نوشتم؛ جوان بودم ... ؛
Aug 23, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle

Maugham's fictional biography of an artist whose life is based on that of Paul Gaughin, explores the nature of obsession and the creative urge. The central character, Charles Strickland, is a thoroughly unlikeable man: selfish, lacking in empathy and able to abandon his wife and children without a second thought. And yet, as unsympathetic as Maugham makes Strickland, his compulsive pursuit of beauty is understandable.

This is short, powerful and accessible, written in Maugham's beautifully clear
Jan 24, 2012 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Someone would have had to physically pry this book out of my clutches last night to get me to eat dinner. Finished it in five hours flat without intending anything of the sort. I couldn’t put it down. I know I say this a lot but Maugham, goddamn.

“But who can fathom the subtleties of the human heart? Certainly not those who expect from it only decorous sentiments and normal emotions.”

And this:
I remember saying to him: “Look here, if everyone acted like you, the world couldn’t go on.”

“That’s a da
Mar 08, 2008 Khinna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: artists
Shelves: favourites
It would be a mistake to read this novel as an inspiring tale of the triumph of the spirit. Strickland is an appalling human being--but the world itself, Maugham seems to say, is a cruel, forbidding place. The author toys with theidea that men like Charles Strickland may somehow be closer to the mad pulse of life, and cannot therefore be dismissed as mere egotists. The moralists among us, the book suggests, are simply shrinking violets if not outright hypocrites. It is not a very cheery concepti ...more
Jul 28, 2015 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this 1919 novel was amazing. W. Somerset Maugham’s use of language and his psychological insights fascinated me. Told by an anonymous narrator, a writer, it is the story of the life and personality of one Charles Strickland, a bland, steady, unremarkable London stockbroker who left his career and family, moved to Paris, and became a painter whose paintings were viewed by few people, most of whom thought they were awful. Eventually he moved to and died in Tahiti, achieving great posthum ...more
Henry Avila
Apr 05, 2016 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How much do we forgive a great, talented, artist, who is also a despicable human being? Will his admirers look the other way, thinking since he is no longer around and no more harm can be done by him, it is all right now to forgive, and forget, besides, he didn't do anything to their family, but to other people...Shakespeare said, "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones"... Englishman Charles Strickland, a thinly disguised Paul Gauguin, is one of those m ...more
Maryam Hosseini
Jun 19, 2015 Maryam Hosseini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ایده داستان از زندگی ِ نقاش فرانسوی (پل گوگن) گرفته شده
و خـواسـت یک انسان از زندگی اش و چگونگی رسیدن او به هدف اش رو مطرح کرده
. و این دغدغه رو خیلی خوب به ذهن خواننده منتقل می کنه و به فـکـر وا می داره

روند داستان جذاب و پرکشـش هست و تحلیل شخصیت ها از جوانب مختلف خوب صورت گرفته
اگرچه شخصیتی مثل دیرک استروو و رفتار او برای من دور از ذهن و غیر قابل باور بود.
.بخش های گفتگوی راوی با استریکلند(نقاش) فوق العاده جذاب بود

کتاب "راهی به سوی بهشت"از ماریو بارگاس یوسا هم متاثر از زندگی همین نقاش *
نوشته شده

Since I last read a full-length novel, at the end of August 2012*, I've watched c. 450 films - that's a quarter of the total number of films I've seen in my life. I think this has led to a new set of likes and dislikes in the way a story is communicated, which may be as much about written fiction per se as about this book in particular.

Quite my favourite thing was Maugham's authorial voice: wise, certain and given to bold idiosyncratic statements which not all will agree with, and not all of whi
I admire Maugham’s writing - & I loved The Razor’s Edge. But I didn’t enjoy this book. The extreme misogyny of most of the characters really bothered me - & don’t tell me it’s an accurate depiction of social mores of the time – else I shall have to throw some other books from 1919 at you!

In this book, Charles Strickland leaves his wife & children after 17 years of a conventional life & passionately pursues his art through starvation & being an utter prick in Paris; then goes
Nov 07, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book about genius and the artistic process. The story is told by a man who knew Strickland, years after the artist's death. (The format of the novel reminded me of Citizen Kane.) The narrator relates both first and second hand info about Strickland's life.

The novel is sort of divided into two parts, with the first part portraying Strickland from society's view (his behavior towards people, more than his painting), and the last part showing Strickland's psychology and artistic process (from th
Don’t repeat my mistake. I chose this book because I thought it would give me a better understanding of Paul Gauguin’s life and inner thoughts. This is instead a book of fiction. Maugham creates a new story from a few of the well known facts about Paul Gauguin. Gauguin was a stockbroker who left his wife and family to paint. Maugham creates the fictional character Charles Strickland. He too is a stockbroker who leaves his family. Both go to Tahiti. Neither receives recognition for their artistic ...more
Jul 26, 2015 kaelan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought The Moon and Sixpence years ago. But looking back on it now, I'm not sure what first attracted me to the book. I've never been an especially ardent admirer of visual art, nor do I recall ever having heard the name "W. Somerset Maugham" brought up in conversion. Maybe I just liked the cover design: Penguin Black Classics standard, featuring a detail from Gauguin's Self-Portrait with Christ. Or maybe I was intrigued by the quaint and enigmatic and vaguely antiquated Englishness of the tit ...more
Oct 09, 2012 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maugham
I can't imagine ever disliking a Maugham book. I may just like some more than I like others. I feel that he has to be the most quotable author of all time. When I read his work, I highlight so much that stands out for me. The enormity of this man's talent just leaves me in awe. His words flow like fluid from the pages. He gives you so much to reflect on.

This book is great, but I don't think I liked it quite as much as The Razor's Edge or Of Human Bondage, which I really thought were brilliant. B
Pawan Mishra
Dec 31, 2015 Pawan Mishra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No prizes for guessing that the story is in part based on the life of the famous painter Paul Gauguin. I couldn't get this book out of my mind at least for a couple of years after I had read it. Like you always do, push an opportunity to talk about a book you liked beyond normal everywhere you could! And the reason was the strong character, full of life, that Mr. Maugham was able to paint for us. The book is one of the best examples on how authors can keep a simple language and yet create a mast ...more
Prendere e andare.
Senza certezze, senza destinazione.
Lasciare parenti e pareti e partire, alla ricerca di qualcosa che possa placare l'inquietudine, l'angoscia inspiegabile che prende alla bocca dello stomaco.
E cos'è quest'agitazione se non la consapevolezza di condurre una vita che non ci appartiene?

Prendere e andare.
Una ricorsa affannosa verso un obiettivo che non riusciamo ancora a distinguere.
Un pensiero per lo più, il dubbio che qualcos'altro ci stia aspettando al di là dell'abitudine.
Mar 16, 2013 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an excellent story! My first experience with Somerset Maugham was The Razor's Edge, a book I had great difficulty putting down. The Moon and Sixpence is my second experience and I found this story much the same. It is based somewhat on the life of Paul Gauguin and follows one Charles Strickland, a London businessman, who in his '40s decides to leave his family, move to Paris and become a painter. The author of the tale meets up with Strickland throughout his time in Paris and follows him ul ...more
Feb 10, 2009 Jonatron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jonatron by: Alaina
"What makes you think you have any talent?"

He did not answer for a minute. His gaze rested on the passing throng, but I do not think he saw it. His answer was no answer.

"I've got to paint."

"Each one of us is alone in the world. He is shut in a tower of brass, and can communicate with his fellows only by signs, and the signs have no common value, so that their sense is vague and uncertain. We seek pitifully to convey to others the treasures of our heart, but they have not the power to accept them
Dec 07, 2012 Kaloyana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Най-накрая разбрах защо толкова много ми харесва С. У. Моъм. Голям разказвач на ужасно интересни истории, от чиито герои има какво да научиш за изкуството, за живота и най-вече за низостта и величието на човешката душа. Но най-много ни учи на това да живеем, без да се прекланяме сляпо на живота. Няма нужда да го възхваляваме и да се привързваме към него толкова, а просто да го живеем според собственото си верую. Страхотни прозрения, написани толкова лекичко, че чак се чудиш защо сам не си се сет ...more
Hà Nguyễn
May 11, 2016 Hà Nguyễn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Một cuốn sách tuyệt vời về con người với đầy đủ những mặt đối lập và xung đột nội tâm. Cái vĩ đại, hào nhoáng, tài năng luôn đi liền bên cái nhỏ mọn, tệ hại, xấu xí. Chúng ta phải biết và cần phải chấp nhận sự thật này, trong một chừng mực nào đấy, để không cảm thấy thất vọng hay bất ngờ chóang váng trước những con người, những hình tượng gặp ngoài đời. Cũng là để có cái nhìn toàn cảnh và sự đánh giá xác đáng hơn...
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Moon and Sixpence, W. Somerset Maugham
ماه و شش پشیز (پنی) را سامرست موام براساس زندگی پل گوگن نقاش نگاشته و با ترجمه زنده یاد پرویز داریوش به زیور نشر آراسته شده

عنوان: قلب زن؛ نویسنده: ویلیام سامرست موآم؛ مترجم: حسین بدلزاده؛ رشت، انتشارات روزنامه سایبان، 1336، در 220 ص؛

بسیار خواندنی ست
Sep 14, 2012 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Se guardi a terra in cerca di una moneta da sei pence, non puoi guardare in alto, e così non vedi la luna"

Ecco spiegato, dalle parole di Maugham stesso, il significato del titolo del romanzo. In esse è riassunto il senso del racconto della vita di Charles Strickland, che di punto in bianco abbandona la vita agiata in una famiglia alto borghese londinese per seguire il demone che fino ad allora era stato in agguato dentro di lui e all’improvviso è esploso con la violenza di un uragano che travol
Mar 23, 2011 F.R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What’s happened to Somerset Maugham’s reputation? In his lifetime he was a massively popular, bestselling author, and what’s more a critical darling. But now, nearly fifty years after his death, his books remain in print but he’s hardly a writer in fashion. Why is that? As although I’m fairly new to his fiction (this is only my second Maugham), I have to say that I’m deeply impressed by his work. These are sharp and observant novels with strong characters and excellent narrative. And yet their a ...more
Mar 10, 2008 King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A DJ acquaintance of mine recommended this book to me saying it better captured than anything else the artist's need to create art at any cost. Maybe there was something to it; said acquaintance has gone on to forge a successful DJ career.

Story is based on the life of painter Gauguin, but Maugham invents a lot of dramatic flourishes to make his artist character a bit more extreme than the real Gauguin was (not to say that Gauguin wasn't plenty extreme).

I always get suspicious when writers base t
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Lights Out
  • The Crater
  • Common Carnage
  • The Illusionist
  • Family Values
  • Joe Hill
  • The Dick Gibson Show
  • In the Night Season: A Novel
  • Survivor
  • Furnace
  • The Devil's Own Work
  • Men in Black
  • Good Enough to Dream
  • Waiting
  • Latitude Zero
  • The Intruder
  • The Speed Queen
  • A Firing Offense
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 almost l
More about W. Somerset Maugham...

Share This Book

“Impropriety is the soul of wit.” 996 likes
“As lovers, the difference between men and women is that women can love all day long, but men only at times.” 784 likes
More quotes…