Ben's Reviews > The Moon and Sixpence

The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham
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's review
Apr 04, 10

bookshelves: fiction
Read from March 26 to April 01, 2010

I had high hopes for this book, mainly because I enjoyed the Razor's Edge so much, which only increased my disappointment. The Moon and Sixpence wasn't as good as Razor's Edge, and there was an alarming number of similarities between the two. Both stories were told the same way. They progressed the same way. Both had an enigmatic main character who doesn't follow social norms. Both main characters travel in an attempt to find what they're looking for. Both main characters hurt the ones they love. Maugham is meant to be the narrator of each and I'm pretty sure they both include him moving from London to Paris. The list goes on and on. I'm a little worried that this book will lower my esteem for Razor's Edge which has consistently spent time in my Top 5 books since finishing it.

Maybe I'm being too hard on the Moon and Sixpence because of my expectations but it just didn't do it for me. And one thing that really turned me off and dropped the rating from three stars to two was just before the end when a woman who had been married twice mentioned that she knew the first husband loved her because he beat her often. I know it was a different time, but this still didn't sit right with me. I wonder if Maugham really understood the dynamics of a heterosexual couple because he was never really a part of one. Who knows?
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