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The Narrow Corner

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  660 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Filled with adventure, passion, and intrigue, The Narrow Corner is a classic tale of the sea by one of the twentieth-century's finest writers.

Island hoping across the South Pacific, the esteemed Dr. Saunders is offered passage by Captain Nichols and his companion Fred Blake, two men who appear unsavory, yet any means of transportation is hard to resist. The trip turns turb
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 26th 1977 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1932)
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Often a dinner invite by an old chum is the best : you know the host and probably the company. Food will be fine as well as the setting. Why rumble with unknowns, given your mood. Hence, I wanted to read the last unread MOM for me.....Underrated, unread today. MOM at his best.

Inspired by a Malaya state (Indonesia, probably) arrive 3 "outcasts," each w a shady past : captain of the boat, a discredited doctor, and a beautiful rich boy. The heat is killing ; everyone has a stiffy. How t
It is wonderful, as is everything by maughum i've found so far. He seems to write with no regard for what a novel is supposed to look like, and yet at the same time he has the literary equivalent of an interior clock, or perfect pitch. The timing, pacing and scope always seem just right, even when they're not remotely similar to those of any other novelist (I know of). There is natural flow, almost as in a kind "automoatic writing"--which is not to say there is anything incoherent about his nove ...more
Gail Cooke

For me, one of life's pleasures is reading or rereading Somerset Maugham. The luster of his prose never dulls; his ability to capture a character vividly always intrigues. He never does this with anything as prosaic has a physical description or "He Said," but rather by revealing a telling thought or action. Thus, it was with happy anticipation that I opened THE NARROW CORNER.

Once again Maugham carries us to the far corners of the world and introduces rare characters who meet aboard ship, a l
Без изнендади и този път от Моъм - страхотна история, предадена по типичния му увлекателен начин, вплитаща и заплитаща съдби и герои, рамкирана от страхотни умозаключения за човешката природа, за лошия и добрия човек, за избора, за болката, за промяната у хората и разбира се, за липсата й...

Затвърди ми се усещането, че в романите на Моъм рядко се разказва от 1во лице единствено число, но винаги има един герой, който е символичният разказвач - той не участва много-много в самото действие, животъ
Breve, dunque, è la vita dell’uomo, e angusto l’angolo della terra in cui egli dimora

Oltre che raffinato narratore, W. Somerset Maugham è uomo di mondo, inteso nel senso di conoscitore del mondo, ed in ogni suo romanzo la fine ironia, unita a una buona dose di cinismo, sul modo di concepire la vita conferisce piacevolezza alla lettura e profondità a delle storie che a prima vista sono così semplici, quasi banali. Anche in questo romanzo è così: assistiamo alla consumazione ed alle tragiche conse
Nate Harrison
Sultry, shady and sexy. I could ponder it's moral code but the exterior, the backdrop of Southeast Asia in the early twentieth century is engrossing enough. Everyone in this book is guilty of something and no one can be trusted yet three men find themselves in each other's presence all needing something from one another. At the end of the road lies an even more deceptive female who nearly brings all of them to their knees.
Also contains an opium smoking sequence that is so lucid and spiked with
I had not heard of this book by Somerset Maugham but it is as good as all his others. He combines great story tellng, character building and debating moral issues like no other writer I have ever read.
Strana bestia questo Maugham

Letto grazie ad una delle sfide qui su GR, WSM è stata una piacevolissima sorpresa. Detto che non conoscevo nulla del suddetto autore (diciamo che non conoscevo manco l'autore, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea grandissima culpa), l'ho apprezzato per l'eleganza della scrittura. Dal protagonista, il Dr. Saunder, atarassico e distaccato, al Capitano Nicholls, sdentato lupo di mare (il mio preferito!) a tutti gli altri, WSM pennella sulle pagine personaggi come fossero quadri. V

E così colgo l'occasione per leggere finalmente qeusto libro.

Maugham è come sempre ineguagliabile. Come riesce a farti entrare nelle persone, nei momenti e nei luoghi nessuno ne è capace. Anche in questo libro la sua bravura si conferma. Purtroppo però la trama personalmente l'ho trovata noiosia fino a metà più o meno del libro, per questo le tre stelle. L'ho addirittutra spospeo per alcuni giorni.Questo dottore che gira per le isole incontrando persone e filosofeggiando..m
Anna [Floanne]
Diffidate, gente, della sinossi che lo definisce "il romanzo perfetto". Se non avete mai letto nulla di Somerset Maugham non iniziate da qui o vi ritrovereste tra le mani una storia lenta (molto lenta!), con personaggi piuttosto sconclusionati e pieni di incongruenze che dall'inizio alla fine si trascinano da un'isola all'altra del sud est asiatico senza sapere dove andare a parare. Salvo solo le descrizioni dei paesaggi e l'ambientazione tropicale che per un attimo mi ha riportato col pensiero ...more
Fantastic! once more with this little known gem the reader is knocked back with the reality that is the illusion of our existence. Somerset spins words into worlds that remain timeless for their reflection of humanities search for purpose.
Сюжетът е съвсем елементарен – трима напълно непознати и съвсем различни мъже предприемат кратко пътуване заедно из островите между Австралия и Азия. Срещат се случайно и после се разделят – всеки да продължи живота си както намери за добре. Но въпреки това характерите им са много добре представени, мотивите им са перфектно описани и анализирани. Това може би изглежда досадно, ако Моъм проповядваше някакъв негов морал, ако делеше нещата на „черно” и „бяло” и настояваше, че това деление е единств ...more
I don't know why this book made such an impression on me. I wanted to read something by Somerset Maugham, purely out of curiosity, or I guess to fulfill a personal cultural requirement. When I started reading, I was disappointed at first, because of the setting. It's in a native village in China, and then on a boat and other ports, and I'm not usually interested in travel/adventure kind of things. But I got completely drawn in. It wasn't the characters themselves that I was attracted to, certain ...more
Maugham never fails to delight me and The Narrow Corner is yet another thoroughly enjoyable and edifying work from him. I have always admired the way Maugham brings out the human element in his characters. This novel draws together three interesting personalities: Nichols, a puckish captain of a lugger who would throw you to the lions if he could make a penny in the bargain; Fred, a handsome young lad of uncertain temperament, and the ever detached and amused Dr. Saunders. The captain provides a ...more
What a curious, unassuming little tale. I'd not heard of it before, and having now read it, I'm still not quite sure what to make of it. It's a meandering tale that you've never quite sure where it's going to take you. I did like the ending as well; although ultimately it didn't really have very many positive things to say about love and marriage!

Set in the islands of the Pacific - all over the place, Malay islands, Singapore, Indonesia.... Dr Saunders, a British ex pat, is persuaded to leave hi
I love Maughm, his observations, ascerbic wit and devil-may-care protagonist, that is usually the one who makes all the observations that pull all the threads together. His other character's are no less appealing. I also love his colonialist themes, that transport me to sights, and scents that are totally alien to one who is mystified, but love the tales about the orient and the isles there. This book however, bogged down in character depictions that were both repetitious, and over sentamentalis ...more
Un noir indolente, ambientato in luoghi esotici ed affascinanti, dove le persone vivono immerse in una lentezza e in una futilità che avvincono e annebbiano il lettore. C'è un dottore ormai radiato dall'albo nonostante la sua bravura, a causa della dipendenza dall'oppio. C'è un furfante che ha accettato senza domande né remore un incarico "particolare" giusto per sfuggire alla moglie (e qui abbiamo anche la nota comica). C'è un ragazzo di buona famiglia che fugge da qualcosa di orribile e molti ...more
Kaloyana Slavova
Отново много интересна история от Моъм. Единствената ми забележка е, че в тази книга нямаше толкова ярък образ, както в другите му книги. Защото в неговите герои има нещо много специално, което тук го нямаше - аз ги запомням като истински хора и ги помня, все едно сме се срещали и сме си говорили и аз им се възхищавам. Тук донякъде се беше получило с капитан Никълъс (той се появява и в "Луна и грош"), но все пак нямаше го онзи най-ярък образ, който аз чакам от Моъм и който да преживявам. Въпреки ...more
Palla Di
Leggere Maugham è come bere un costoso bicchiere di champagne. All'inizio, ti riscalda poi ti inebria. I suoi romanzi sono tutti belli fino ad adesso. Io odio le storie di avventure marittime, ma per Maugham ho fatto un'eccezione e mi sono ritrovato un ottimo libro tra le mani. Piccolo, ma bello.
There's something in Maugham and his writing. In spite of all these years since I first read him, Maugham is one of those rare authors with that power of narration one seldom comes across. In a 'Narrow Corner', we have a doctor, a crooked captain of a steamer and a enigmatic Australian on the run from some dark kept secret travelling together on a steamer in the Pacific. Their eventual halt at a plantation in one of the Dutch islands and the resulting tragedy that arises out of the indiscretion ...more
Eden Thompson
Short, therefore, is a man's life,
and narrow is the corner of the earth wherein he dwells.

The Narrow Corner is a South Seas novel by W. Somerset Maugham written in 1932. It's a character driven tale of a Dr. Saunders of Fu-Chou. Fully integrated into Chinese society, he speaks the dialect fluently and was revered as the finest eye doctor. Asked to travel to the Malay Archipelago to treat a rich Chinese merchant, he left for the Philippines, via New Guinea and finally to Takana, where the citizen
Started this book while drinking in an Edinburgh pub two years ago; forgot about it; then picked it up again States-side. Maugham stories always seduce me. His exotic settings, his gray morality, his melodrama, his insights. This one was no different. I wouldn't consider it top-tier Maugham (i.e., Razor's Edge, Of Human Bondage, Up at the Villa) but it's a step above middle-tier Maugham (Cakes and Ale, The Magician). So it's a definite second-tier Maugham entry. A sad story; a solid read.
"When some incident has shattered the career you've mapped out for yourself, a folly, a crime or a misfortune, you mustn't think you're down and out. It may be a stroke of luck, and when you look back years later you may say to yourself that you wouldn't for anything in the world exchange the new life disaster has forced upon you for the dull, humdrum existence you would have led if circumstances hadn't intervened."
The characters of fiction are strange fish. They come into you mind. They grow. They aquire suitable characteristics. An environment surrounds them.….. Thus begins the preface to The Narrow Corner and the reader is taken once again into the rather paternalistic confidence of the author. Here we are privileged, the great man is telling us how it is done, how the story came into being........
I think it will be a sad day when I finally close the back cover to the last of Maugham's novels. His Edwardian sensibilities create a wonderful taspestry of Old World charm and easy sophistication. This work is no exception. Yes, some of the plot twists may be a bit contrived but who cares. The prose is elegent, the story romantically told, and this reader is once again satisfied.
John Harder
No one writes like Maugham. His characters are about average people, but the way he develops the personalities we come to believe no one is average. Of course this is not true – most people, myself included, are pretty boring, but all his stories give one the feeling that everyone, if we did deep enough, is interesting.

The protagonist, Dr. Saunders, is an opium smoking doctor (he handles it really well – it makes me want to take up the pipe and have a little soma holiday) is a perfect observer.
I have always loved Somerset Maugham. The Narrow Corner was a joy to read, rather like visiting with an old uncle who tells great stories and lets you have a little hit of opium as well. Maugham is a part of my family lore. Also, he makes me laugh.
From http://confessionsofanenglishliteratu...

The last time this blog looked at a book from W. Somerset Maugham, it turned this reader into a veritable superfan of the author, determined to one day complete his bibliography. That book was the sublime The Moon and Sixpence, and, by complete coincidence, the next Maugham book I somewhat randomly chose happened to be technically a spin-off. As the author explains himself in his short introduction, the genesis for The Narrow Corner came from his nagg
Toula Vass
I truly could not put this book down - deep, thought provoking and full of adventure, Somerset Maugham has to be one of the greatest writers of his time.
Yosh Han
I freaking loved this! The characters, the plot, the setting, the prose. I felt swept away!
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The Narrow Corner 1 9 Jan 05, 2013 12:08AM  
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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 about W. Somerset Maugham...

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“Малко здрав разум, малко търпимост, малко чувство за хумор и ти ще откриеш, че се чувстваш много удобно на тази планета.” 2 likes
“When some incident has shattered the career you’ve mapped out for yourself, a folly, a crime or a misfortune, you mustn’t think you’re down and out. It may be a stroke of luck, and when you look back years later you may say to yourself that you wouldn’t for anything in the world exchange the new life disaster has forced upon you for the dull, humdrum existence you would have led if circumstances hadn’t intervened.” 1 likes
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