Brian's Reviews > The Moon and Sixpence

The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham
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's review
Mar 20, 2011

really liked it

After ranting and raving about Maugham's genius Of Human Bondage to anyone who would listen, a friend of mine recommended The Moon and Sixpence a fictional memoir of a tortured genius painter, whose life is based off of Paul Gauguin. This short text rises with no small amount of quickness to a white-hot level of tension - particularly the large middle section that takes place in Paris. Seriously, I couldn't put it down.

The novel is divided into three major sections, each primarily characterized by their settings: It begins in London, moves to Paris, and concludes in Tahiti. Oddly enough, there was something of a narrative shift that happens during the third and final section of book, which I didn't quite enjoy as much as the earlier writing, but it may have been the simple fact that I knew the story was coming to a close, and I wanted it to continue. All in all, this is an excellent story excellently written about the chaos and single-mindedness of a genius, and the relationships he must sustain in order to occupy such a position.

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