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4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,144 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
In Theatre, W. Somerset Maugham–the author of the classic novels Of Human Bondage and Up at the Villa–introduces us to Julia Lambert, a woman of breathtaking poise and talent whose looks have stood by her forty-six years. She is one of the greatest actresses England–so good, in fact, that perhaps she never stops acting.

It seems that noting can ruffle her satin feathers, un
Paperback, 304 pages
Published 2001 by Vintage (first published 1937)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 30, 2013 Mikela rated it really liked it
My first introduction to Maugham's work many years ago was with Of Human Bondage and I was so moved by this story of sexual obsession that although the details are fuzzy in my memory, the emotions evoked are still fresh in my mind. I think the ending had me crying for days. In a different way, The Razor's Edge proved itself to be a worthy classic and cemented in my opinion that Maugham is a supreme writer capable of bringing his characters to life with all the pain and passion that love can brin ...more
Oct 10, 2015 Sketchbook rated it really liked it
Critics like to put down Maugham, but readers know you can't
put him down. As the author of hit plays, he knew Ethel Barrymore, Gladys Cooper, among others. The stage is an effective prop as he warmly scopes
the psyche of a plummy star (her set: asexual husby and priggy son, lesby backer, shopboy lover and his thespy sweetie -- ah, theatuuh). A sublime 'recognition' scene missing from 2 film versions: bored to hell, star decides to 'give' herself to Devoted Friend. Imagine her shock when she reali
May 21, 2013 SCARABOOKS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Per chi non lo sapesse, Somerset Maugham è un autore assolutamente delizioso (deliziante, mi verrebbe). Lo è per il tono confidenziale, per l’ironia rarefatta, da alta quota, con cui aggancia il lettore. Poi ha uno stile piano, apparentemente semplice nella costruzione della frase, che è poi la semplicità dell'arte. Nella scelta degli aggettivi non è mai caricaturale, ma nemmeno sbiadito e banale . E’ accurato fino alla pignoleria quando sceglie e arreda il set del racconto.

Dove però dà il massi
Apr 23, 2016 Anicius rated it really liked it
Тук ще ми се наложи да бъда малко по-многословен. Първо, започнах тази книга (и този автор, който подценявах) с идеята, че ще се захвана с някакъв скучен текст между четенето на Хусерл и това ще ме мотивира отново да се (въз)връщам към философската литература. Това обаче не се случи. Дори напротив, още при първия си досега с книгата, неусетно бях въвлечен в историята.
На пръв поглед всичко е много банално: два души, актьори, се запознават в един провинциален театър. Млади са, обичат се и имат меч
Dec 24, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This wonderful novel was published in 1937, when W. Somerset Maugham was already an extremely successful writer – both as a novelist and in the theatre. In fact, much of Maugham’s early success was in the theatre and it was a world he knew extremely well.

The heroine of this book is Julia Lambert, an ageing actress whose husband, Michael Gosselyn, manages the Siddons Theatre and her career. They have one son, Roger, and a marriage which is respectable, but passionless. Julia is flattered when he
Dec 02, 2008 Mickey rated it liked it
Shelves: wsomersetmaugham
It's funny how life works out -- I was at the local library, trying to find a book to cheer myself up when lo, I encounter the one author that has never failed me. Like all the other Maugham novels, I had no trouble with the style, voice, plot, characters, or reflections of this story. I don't agree with his take on love, but I understand what he means. I love that reading Maugham's novels is like reading something that I would write for myself. (Somerset Maugham; 300)
Nov 10, 2013 Jamie rated it really liked it
“The tragedy of life is that sometimes we get what we want.”

(This is a good one, about real-life and make-believe and which one is which. Which one is which? And there you have it, Maugham does it again.)
Jun 03, 2016 (P)Ila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probabilmente è, tra quelli da me letti fino ad ora, il romanzo di Maugham che più stenta ad ingranare. Per tutta la prima metà del libro mi sono chiesta dove volesse andare a parare l'autore, lo stile che amo era sempre lì ma c'era qualcosa che non mi convinceva del tutto.

La vicenda ci è narrata dalla stessa protagonista: Julia è di quelle bellezze particolari, che affascinano un uomo per il portamento elegante e per la personalità stuzzicante piuttosto che per il semplice gusto estetico, ad in
Mar 08, 2013 Lucrezia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maugham non si smentisce mai e questa volta mi ha tenuta incollata alle pagine più che mai.
Non adorare Julia Lambert? Praticamente impossibile...
Non potrete sfuggirle metterà nel sacco anche voi, ha qualche bel trucco appositamente studiato per conquistarvi, provare per credere. ;)
Jul 01, 2015 Efka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanai
W. Somerset'as Maugham'as, nors lyg ir labai pakankamai nemažai žinomas ir populiarus, man ilgą laiką buvo visiška paslaptis, apie kurį žinojau tik tiek, kad turi gan keistą vardą ir, kaip galvojau, yra zanūda - nes aš by default taip galvoju apie visus, kurie save vadina pirmo vardo pirma raide ir antruoju vardu, pvz., J. Edgar Hoover Ai, nesvarbu, ok, užtenka ir Hooverio, kuris buvo zanūdų zanūda ir šiaip nemalonus žmogus.

Bet kuriuo atveju, šita knyga man buvo žiauriai malonus atra
Lee Anne
Sep 23, 2010 Lee Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-author
"When I've seen you go into an empty room I've sometimes wanted to open the door suddenly, but I've been afraid to in case I found nobody there."

That's what Julia Lambert's teenage son tells her. The greatest actress on the London stage, but fast approaching late middle age, her entire life is one grand performance, and she seems to always know what the role calls for. She's the adoring, faithful wife in a sexless marriage to Michael, her stage manager/director husband, who's a former actor of m
Nov 03, 2012 Olga rated it it was amazing
Театр для меня - священное место, где отдают дань Его Величеству Искусству. Он меня манит, прельщает своими радостями и горестями, которым веришь, и одновременно понимаешь, что это все всего лишь игра, но как актеры это делают, выворачивая души зрителей наизнанку!

Я не подозревала этого раньше, но оказывается я всегда мечтала прочитать Настоящую книгу о теарте и актерах. Только эта книга должна быть очень качественной, в противном случае это будет как плохая игра актера - приторно и безвкусно. И
Feb 25, 2011 Katya rated it really liked it
Хороший роман, но не цепляет. Обычно в книге сопереживаешь героям, ставишь себя на их место. А тут - просматриваешь события со стороны, но не погружаешься полностью в книгу. Может быть это потому, что книга не о людях - книга о театре, об актерской игре. Для главной героини театр, игра - это вся ее жизнь, точнее даже то, что жизнь заменяет. Импонирует мне в ней то, что она действительно умная женщина, она умеет побеждать свои эмоции и добиваться того, чего хочет. Больше всего мне понравился диал ...more
May 01, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book. It was such a delicious read. And Julia Lambert is a completely unforgettable character. I could have continued reading her story for another 1000 pages. The story follows the rise of a theatre (stage) star - Julia - and is told from her point of view and it's so fun to watch her 'perform' her way through life, through affairs, through motherhood, and watch (sometimes with shock, sometimes with awe) as she manipulates those around her, and the entire time you have this uneasy fe ...more
C.S. Burrough
Sep 26, 2015 C.S. Burrough rated it really liked it
After relishing Of Human Bondage, penned 22 years before this and adapted into a career-defining Bette Davis movie, I was surprised on several levels by Theatre, whose 2004 screen adaption scored Annette Bening a Best Actress Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for Being Julia.

Firstly, I was surprised by its great readability, of the kind that defies conventional analysis; that literary X-factor distinguishing great writers from good ones, their material striking an artful balance between adequ
Lala Memmedova
May 29, 2015 Lala Memmedova rated it liked it
... и я тебя :)
Aug 17, 2014 VeeDawn rated it really liked it

I always love how Somerset Maugham tells a story, and his characters; and being a play write himself this subject matter is his area of expertise.

Here Maugham writes the story of Julia Lambert, a woman with so much talent she is one of the greatest actresses England–-she is so good, in fact, that perhaps she never stops acting.

Her teenage son tells her, “You see, I’ve lived all my life in an atmosphere of make-believe. … You never stop acting. It’s second nature to you. You act when there’s a
Il romanzo è ambientato a Londra alla fine degli anni '30.
La "Diva Julia" è un'attrice di teatro, bellissima e bravissima, quasi cinquantenne, idolatrata dal pubblico. Con il marito Michael, attore mediocre e agente di Julia, conduce una vita abbastanza apatica ed abitudinaria (tra prove a teatro, riposini pomeridiani, massaggi, rappresentazioni). Julia e Michael hanno anche un figlio adolescente, Roger, che studia al college ed è praticamente assente dalle loro vite.
Come un fulmine a ciel seren
Päivi Kettunen
Jun 19, 2016 Päivi Kettunen rated it it was amazing
Luin tämän uudestaan monen vuoden jälkeen lukupiiriä varten. Tämän voi lukea huoletta monta kertaa: loistavaa kerrontaa ja henkilöiden kuvausta. Jokaisella lukukerralla kiinnittää huomiota vähän eri asioihin, mutta parasta minun mielestäni kirjassa on ollut naispäähenkilö, jota ei yritetä kouluttaa tai laiteta nöyrtymään, vaan hän saa olla oma kusipäinen itsensä.
Nov 17, 2014 Petya rated it really liked it
"Театър" на Съмърсет Моъм ми хареса много. Оценката ми е по-скоро 4,5. Изключително хубаво изграждане на образите. Интересно заиграване с представата за реално и илюзия, в зависимост от гледната точка. Темата ме вълнува, намирам я за много актуална по отношение на ежедневните роли, в които влизат хората около нас, а може би и самите ние. След като затворих последната й страница, продължавам да мисля за нея, за скритите й послания, изненадващи, почти колкото сина на Джулия. За смисъла между думит ...more
Jan 19, 2013 Doroti rated it it was amazing
Един безкраен спектакъл, който така те увлича, че към края почти се объркваш кое е пиесата и кое реалността... Но само почти.
Гениален майстор на човешките отношения е Моъм и на тяхната проекция в мозъка на хората. Или обратно...
Да се чете внимателно и да се прилага в everyday life situations! ... :)
Gina Dalfonzo
Mar 18, 2014 Gina Dalfonzo rated it really liked it
This book is essentially a character study of a very great, very selfish actress. It's insightfully and cleverly done -- so much so, that being in this woman's mind can be a rather suffocating experience! But it also offers great food for thought. Maugham has a trick of portraying a character negatively, and then slowly making you realize that the character isn't really so bad, it's just Julia's own warped way of seeing that person that's affecting the reader's perception. It's quite striking an ...more
Iryna Khomchuk
Jun 29, 2016 Iryna Khomchuk rated it it was amazing
Якщо Шекспір вважав театром весь світ, то головна героїня цього роману перетворила на театр все своє життя. Геніальна, на думку багатьох, актриса, вона була такою не лише на сцені, а завжди — і грала насправді так геніально, що сама щиро собі вірила. Хоча в іншому щирості у неї, здається, ніколи й не було: ані в почуттях до чоловіка, ані в любові до сина. Що ж дивного, що й світське товариство та найближчих, здавалося, друзів вона також сприймала як елементи мізансцен, котрі можна просто викори ...more
Dec 13, 2010 Sandhya rated it really liked it
Somerset Maugham before he turned a full fledged novelist was an illustrious playwright. And even though he never got too involved in the workings of the theatre, was a close observer. It is some of this experience that eventually made its way into the novel he wrote later on in 1937.
Theatre or/and its 2004 literary adaptation, Being Julia (directed by director István Szabó), is the story of an exquisitely talented and alluring stage actress Julia Lambert, and her trysts with various men.

So con
Feb 23, 2012 Jean rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who would enjoy an easy and entertaining novel, and who has an interest in the theatre.
Recommended to Jean by: I found the book in the library when I was 14 or 15. From then on I was hooked on the writing of Somerset Maugham.
I read this book when I was a teenager, so although I remembered the main thrust of it, I didn't remember the finer details of the novel. Having read it so long ago, it is like a new story to me. I'm enjoying it very much as Somerset Maugham's style is straightforward and entertaining. I know very much more about the theatre now than I did when I was a schoolgirl, so this book is more meaningful to me now than it was all those years ago.

23 February

I finished reading the book recently and found i
Amy Burton
Jun 10, 2015 Amy Burton rated it it was amazing
So delightful....and the first book on paper that I have finished in I don't know HOW long. It held my attention the entire time. A humorous and accurate portrayal of theatre people in the 1930s. I love Maugham's genuine writing concerning the human condition.
Jul 15, 2015 Ranim rated it really liked it
Annoyingly real. Love it
Feb 22, 2016 Anastassiya rated it it was amazing
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”
Моэм по праву считается одним из выдающихся английских писателей XX столетия. «Театр» обнажает мир лондонских подмостков. Кто есть актеры?
Неужели их мир реальней, чем окружающая действительность? Джулия считает простых людей «сырьем, материалом» для искусства. «We are the meaning of their lives. We take their silly little emotions and turn them into art, out of them we create beauty, and their significance is that they form the
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it really liked it
Long ago, someone well rounded in education and interest in much of arts and other spheres, had once said reflectively, that of all the fine arts painting was comparatively most suitable for someone not interested in (or unable to) sell oneself; any performance art in giving one any success does take into account one's own looks, and while one might be extremely accomplished, if the audience does not like to see one that is the end of it, while anyone with good looks has his or her - especially ...more
Oct 24, 2014 Piperitapitta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non avevo letto mai niente prima di Maugham, avevo solo visto la riduzione cinematografica con Edward Norton e Naomi Watts di "Il velo dipinto", e sono tuttavia convinta di non aver letto "il vero" Maugham.
A questo proposito, la scorsa domenica, mi ero portata in spiaggia "Schiavo d'amore", intenzionata a leggere uno dei suoi romanzi pi famosi: peccato per che trattandosi di un'edizione in due volumi io abbia incautamente portato con me il numero due anzich il numero uno e che me ne sia accorta
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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 almost l
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“Never pause unless you have a reason for it, but when you pause, pause as long as you can.” 47 likes
“You don't know the difference between truth and make-believe. You never stop acting. It's second nature to you. You act when there's a party here. You act to the servants, you act to father, you act to me. To me you act the part of the fond, indulgent, celebrated mother. You don't exist, you're only the innumerable parts you've played. I've often wondered if there was ever a you or if you were never anything more than a vehicle for all these other people that you've pretended to be. When I've seen you go into an empty room I've sometimes wanted to open the door suddenly, but I've been afraid to in case I found nobody there.” 18 likes
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