Ten Novels and Their Authors
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Ten Novels and Their Authors

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  112 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Maugham’s studies of the lives and masterpieces of ten great novelists are outstanding examples of literary criticism at its finest. Afforded here are some of the formulae of greatness in the genre, as well as the flaws and heresies which enfeeble it. Written by a master of fiction, Ten Novels and Their Authors is a unique and invaluable guide.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Vintage Classics (first published 1955)
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Love this book! Maugham writes about every author's life and how their life influenced their novels. Maugham writes as if he is writing directly to you. Excellent book published in 1948.
The ten best novels/novelists are Tolstoy's War and Peace; Balzac's Old Man Goriot; Fielding's Tom Jones; Austen's Pride and Prejudice; Stendhal's The Red and the Black; Bronte's Wuthering Heights; Flaubert's Madame Bovary; Dicken's David Copperfield; Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov; and Melville's Moby Dick...more
هالةْ أمين

عندما قرأت المقدمة ظننت أن الكاتب سيقوم باختزال الروايات إلى أهم فصولها واستغربت كيف سيقوم بهذا الاختزال مع روايات كموبي ديك والإخوة كارمازوف والحرب والسلام وغيرها وعدد صفحات الكاتب لا تتجاوز 220 صفحة!!

ومع القراءة وجدت أن محتوى الكتاب تركّز على تلخيص سيرة حياة كل كاتب وذكر أهم عمل يظن أن يعتبر من الروايات الخالدة والظروف التي دعت لكتابة هذا العمل وذكر جوانب الضعف والنقد فبه

سومرست موم كناقد موضوعي جدا خصوصا إن كنت على اطلاع مسبق بالروايات ستفهم وجهة نظره فيما يقول

مما يدعو للأسف أن ترى تلك الروا
P.J. Sullivan
Somerset Maugham had his priorities right. “A novel is to be read with enjoyment. If it does not give that it is worthless. There is no obligation to read fiction.” He defends the “art of skipping” over tedious sections, because no novel is perfect. Even the best contain dead wood. These ten best novels are all flawed, but their authors had vigor and vitality, imagination and creative force, knowledge of human nature and sympathy for it.

In these essays he provides insightful accounts of the aut...more
Masoomeh Tavakoli
Jul 08, 2013 Masoomeh Tavakoli rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: نرگس پورمحمدیان رودسری
این کتاب جزء اوّلین تجربه های من در کتاب جدّی خواندن است
در هشت-نه سالگی خواندمش
در سنّی که معنی کلماتی چون سرف، نقطه ی ثقل، مازوخیسم و مثل این ها را نمی دانستم
(همه شان را اوّلین بار در این کتاب دیدم)
و هیچ یک از ده رمانی که موآم در این کتاب انتخاب کرده و به تفصیل دلایلش را برای انتخابشان توضیح داده را هم نخوانده بودم
امّا جدای از آشنایی گران بها با خود موآم (بعدها «لبه تیغ» و «خادم کلیسا»یش را خواندم. هر دو را دوست داشتم و دومی هنوز و همچنان یکی از بهترین داستان کوتاه هایی است که خوانده ام)، این کت...more
Lauren Prye

Maugham is an excellent storyteller. He takes a subject I never thought was interesting before -the lives of ten great authors- and writes of the lives of ten outrageous people who are as different from each other as the novels they wrote. There’s lots of sex too.

The one aspect, among others, that draws one to Somerset Maugham's writing is the elegant simplicity and clear-headedness in them. He can be a very compassionate writer, as The Painted Veil reveals and with Ten Novels And Their Authors, it is his analytical abilities as a scholar and critic that come to the fore. And all of it laid out with such eloquence!
This particular book is especially illuminating, as Maugham expounds on the various aspect of fiction writing, giving a fairly detailed analys...more
أعتقد أن الكاتب تحدث عن الروائيين أكثر مما تحدث عن الروايات نفسها،
ولذا أفضّل لو أن الكتاب تُرجِم إلى العربية بعنوان آخر مثل "عشر روائيين خالدين ورواياتهم" أو "عشر روايات لروائيين خالدين" ..

أحببت إصراره على إثبات أن الرواية تُقرأ للمتعة والتسلية العقلية، وأن من الصعب أن تحدد أي عدد من الروايات لتكون هي الأفضل على مر العصور.
واستمتعت بالأجزاء التي تحدث بها عن روائيين وروايات أعرفها مثل تولستوي، و وفلوبير وجين أوستين وديكنز..
وصُدِمت ببعض ما أورده عنهم. خاصّة في الاتهام الذي اتُهِم به ديستوفيسكي...more
Alexander Arsov
W. Somerset Maugham

Ten Novels and Their Authors

Heinemann, Hardback, 1954.

8vo. 306 pp.

First published as Great Novelists and Their Novels, 1949.
Revised and expanded as Ten Novels and Their Authors, 1954.


1. The Art of Fiction
2. Henry Fielding and Tom Jones
3. Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice
4. Stendhal and Le Rouge et le Noir
5. Balzac and La Pere Goriot
6. Charles Dickens and David Copperfield
7. Flaubert and Madame Bovary
8. Herman Melville and Moby Dick
9. Emily Bronte and Wuthering Heigh...more
This is a book my husband brought back for me from the library one day, and when I had read the introduction I almost dismissed it. Maugham had been asked to write the introduction to a series of abridged versions of classic novels, (which then were compiled into this book) and my first though was "How dare you endorse vandalizing a classic novel!" Then I remembered how tedious some of those books are, and how editing and the practice of writing was different then, and how maybe more people woul...more
Marianna Beadles
This is such a fun little book. I got it as a library cast-off years ago, and just recently started reading it. Maugham is one of my favorite authors, and it's great fun to read about his favorite books! He gives little histories on each of the authors, which are insightful to understanding where the author was coming from, or who inspired certain characters in their novels. It explained a lot to me about Wuthering Heights, but left me perhaps more baffled with Moby Dick.
Something I particularl...more
This book came about when the editor of a magazine asked Maugham to make a list of the ten best novels in his opinion. This was then extended into prologues for new editions of the novels and, later, combined into this collection of essays. Maugham makes many relevant points in this work, the most important being that a sensible person reads as a diversion and not a task. A novel is to be read for enjoyment and the reader is, therefore, their own best critic and they know what they enjoy and wha...more
When I first picked up this book, I thought I'd learn some answers from why those ten best authors wrote the best novels since history. It's very interesting to know what kind of methods to follow along in English literature and some good examples of why they write great novels.
I was at a Writers' Group meeting at the White Rock library near the city hall as I came across a brilliant journalist (who is retired, of course) has reccommended me to read this book by W. Somerset Maugham called "Ten N...more
Rachel C.
Clearly a thoughtful and attentive reader, Maugham has achieved a (paradoxically) casual familiarity with these classics and their authors, a most desirable state. Each chapter goes into some detail on the author's life and his/her writing process, and then a general consideration of the selected work in the context of world literature. Maugham eventually comes to the conclusion that, while there are many paths to greatness, its occurrence is utterly unpredictable.

"Novelists are, of course, muta
Paul Jellinek
Whether you agree with his choices or not, this is Maugham at his opinionated best.
I will come back to this book, but of the books Maugham reviewed, I had only read 4 and didn't remember the details enough to appreciate the reviews. He does give interesting and not always flattering background info. on the authors. Dickens is one of my favorite authors and since Maugham points out "David Copperfield" is autobiographical, I'll probably read it again. He also appreciates Jane Austin's humor and wit. So eventually I want to read all ten novels and then revisit this book.
Mahdi Nosrati
خواندن این کتاب برای تمام کسانی که حتی سودای نوشتن در سر ندارند خوب است دست کم معیار های تشخیص داستان خوب و بد، تفاوت های اساسی داستان کوتاه و رمان سوای طولشان و برترین رمانها را میتوانند بشناسند هرچند که سالهاست از هنگام خواندن آن میگذرد اما اثری که کتاب بر من گذاشته همچنان باقی است.خواندن این کتاب را از دست ندهید هرچند داستان نیست اما موآم بلد است چطوری بنویسد که حوصله خواننده حتی از این متن تحقیقی سر نرود.
Portia S
The very first book of Maugham's I ever read, I immediately fell in love with his sardonic and satirical manner of writing. the way he made great fun of the most revered of classical writers, tore me up so much
Thats it - read the lot of them now over half a liftime - it was worth all the effort.
a bit interesting but did not like authors thoughts and do not think very highly of him
ماده ای که رمان نویس در اختیار دارد طبیعت بشر است
Nov 29, 2008 Matt marked it as owned-but-not-read  ·  review of another edition
War and Peace D;
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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...more
More about W. Somerset Maugham...
Of Human Bondage The Razor's Edge The Painted Veil The Moon and Sixpence Cakes and Ale

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