Christine's Reviews > The Painted Veil

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
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's review
Sep 18, 07

really liked it
Read in September, 2007

It's rare I find a book that's actually well-written, but I still like the movie better. In the novel, Walter's love is always unrequited, and it made his quote about the Byron poem (the dog that did it died) more painful. SPOILER alert:(For those of you who have read that part, the line is from a poem about a man who was bitten by a dog, and where everyone thought the man would die, he in fact recovered, whilst the dog did not. The reference is an analogy to how Kitty is cruel and survives, the final irony of Walter's intended punishment for her infidelity. The other part I like how the movie addressed better than the novel was Kitty's encounter with Charlie before she went home. In the movie, Kitty is a self-possessed person, but in the novel you want to slap her upside the face for being such a slut. (Her words, not mine.))
Regardless of this poor example of a woman, Maugham's language and style is crisp and clear and I appreciate how the narrative plays out and how the story is laid out (again a little different from the novel). It reminded me of the Forsyte Saga where the author doesn't directly tell you the story, but you are shown parts of the interactions and a clear picture forms depicting what's going on.

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Ally The brand new group - Bright Young Things - is discussing The Painted Veil throughout December. Its the perfect place to discuss your favourite books and authors from the early 20th Century, why not take a look...

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