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The Moon and Sixpence

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  14,532 Ratings  ·  919 Reviews
Based on the life of Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence is W. Somerset Maugham's ode to the powerful forces behind creative genius.
Charles Strickland is a staid banker, a man of wealth and privilege. He is also a man possessed of an unquenchable desire to create art. As Strickland pursues his artistic vision, he leaves London for Paris and Tahiti, and in his quest makes s
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Aegypan (first published 1919)
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Ginger "If you look on the ground in search of a sixpence, you don't look up, and so miss the moon." - Maugham

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Rajat Ubhaykar
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fair warning, this is going to be a long review for this is a book that is close to my heart written by an author whom I deeply admire.

The Right Time

There are some books that walk into your life at an opportune time. I'm talking about the books that send a pleasant shiver down your spine laden with “Man, this is meant to be!” as you flip through its pages cursorily. Or those that upon completion, demand an exclamation from every book-reading fibre of your body to the effect of “There couldn't ha
“Beauty is something wonderful and strange that the artist fashions out of the chaos of the world in the torment of his soul. And when he has made it, it is not given to all to know it. To recognize it you must repeat the adventure of the artist. It is a melody that he sings to you, and to hear it again in your own heart you want knowledge and sensitiveness and imagination.”

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

In addition to plenty of witty bon mots, Maugham dropped several lengthy quotes on t
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, own
"Art is a manifestation of emotion, and emotion speaks a language that all may understand."- W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence

I'd only ever read one Maugham before this ("Of Human Bondage") but even with just that one read I could tell Maugham was a very special writer and destined to be one of my favourites. I picked up this thin book thinking it would be a quick, simple read, but I wasn't prepared for the depth and profundity in it. There is a lot going on in this little book, lots to
Ahmad Sharabiani
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pdf, 20th-century, novel
The Moon and Sixpence, W. Somerset Maugham
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و چهارم دسامبر سال 1970 میلادی؛ خوانش عنوا: قلب زن؛ ماه فوریه سال 1991 میلادی
عنوان: قلب زن؛ نویسنده: ویلیام سامرست موآم؛ مترجم: حسین بدلزاده؛ رشت، انتشارات روزنامه سایبان، 1336، در 220 ص؛
ماه و شش پشیز (پنی) را سامرست موام براساس زندگی پل گوگن نقاش نگاشته و با ترجمه زنده یاد پرویز داریوش به زیور نشر آراسته شده
در کتاب قلب زن؛ پس از مقدمه ها از مترجم و نویسنده؛ فصل نخست کتاب با عنوان: «در محفل ادبی» چنین آغاز میشود: هنگامی که اولین
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2012
We want the world. We want it all. We want the moon. And still it's not enough.

It's my long term goal to read everything Maguham wrote, a goal that I doubt will be very difficult to reach. He writes with such poignant observation and wit and in The Moon and Sixpence he captures the all encompassing, obsessive and brutal nature that perhaps it takes to be an artist.

Told by an unnamed narrator, we are introduced to Charles Strickland, a beastly yet seemingly ordinary man who one day leaves his wif
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Moon and Sixpence, W. Somerset Maugham
The Moon and Sixpence is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham first published in 1919. It is told in episodic form by a first-person narrator, in a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character Charles Strickland, a middle-aged English stockbroker, who abandons his wife and children abruptly to pursue his desire to become an artist. The story is in part based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin.
عنوانها: ماه و شش پشیز (پنی)؛ ماه و شش پ
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
تصور أنك استيقظت اليوم ورأسك تعتريه هذه الأفكار: أنا لا أريد هذه الحياة، لم أعد أطيق هذه الوظيفة، ولا هؤلاء البشر...إنني أكره هذه البلد.... تتقلب ذات اليمين وذات الشمال وهناك هاجس واحد يمسك بتﻻبيب همّتك: أن تستقيل من وظيفتك، تهجر عائلتك، وتبدأ حياة جديدة، في بلد غريبة مهما انتحب من يحبونك، ومهما كان الثمن الذي ستدفعه من فقر وجوع وتشرد.

هذه الرواية مستوحاة من حياة الفنان بول جوجن -وإن كان باسم مختلف ومع الكثير من التصرف- الذي عاش حياة مثيرة للجدل، ولم يعرف العالم أعماله بشكل جيد إلا بعد أن قضى نحب
Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

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I'm working my way through an omnibus edition of Maugham's work, and man, he can write. I'm torn between the impulse to swim leisurely through his prose or just gleefully cannonball into it. Unlike some writers of this time, Maugham is not particularly flowery, but he has an interesting way of presenting ideas and constructing sentences that makes you want to read over them several times, just to appreciate their ideas and form.

Nov 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2010, nostalgia
This novel is by far my favorite account of an artist's life in fiction.

The story of Charles Strickland is based on Paul Gauguin's life. To what extent, I don't know. What I do know is that there is something infinitely irresistible about how artistry is portrayed in this novel. I love the idea that a real artist creates art because he cannot not to. That all other aspects of his life - family, money, acclaim, food even - are secondary to his desire to create. Strickland is remarkable in his dri
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
my affection for this book may, in part, stem from the fact that it was one of those novels that i read at a period in my life when my tastes in both literature and life outlook were taking shape (that is, while playing hooky from high school) but its appeal has endured far more than the other usual suspects in that category (kerouac's meanderings, pirsig's pretentions, etc.)

apart from its romantic appeal to the Quiet and Solitary Youth demographic (of which i was a card-carrying member) i thin
Sarah Booth
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes classic Dramas
I read this right after I read the Painted Veil. I guess I am on a Somerset Maugham kick. His characters are richly developed and yet hard to know. I imagine that he may find them and humanity that way, though he does his best in bringing you along on his journey of discovery. I am never quite sure what he thinks about women. Sometimes, such as in the Painted Veil, he finds them redeemable and then in other instances trifling and slow-witted.
The Moon and Sixpence was the story based upon the pa
Rebecca Foster
This was a perfect follow-up to Fabrizio Dori’s Gauguin, a graphic novel I reviewed earlier in the month. Maugham’s short novel functioned like a prequel for me because, whereas Dori focuses on the artist Paul Gauguin’s later life in the South Pacific, Maugham concentrates on his similar character Charles Strickland’s attempt to make a living as a painter in Paris.

The Moon and Sixpence – the unusual title comes from the TLS reviewer’s description of the protagonist in Of Human Bondage as so abso
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
It must be said up front that I am a huge fan of Maugham. I like his writing style, which always makes me feel as if I am sitting with a friend and he is telling me about someone he actually knows. With this conversational tone, Maugham leads you into the depths of the human soul and sometimes leaves you to find your own way out.

Based very loosely on the life of Paul Gauguin, this novel is a study in how much a true artist will do for the sake of his art: not only how much he will endure, but h
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stela-eða-láni
Beguiling Roman à clef of French painter Paul Gauguin: An Artist's Obsessive Quest for Beauty

This rather short novel is Maugham's intriguing, thought-provoking study of the life of the painter Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), and partly his mockery of society's ready willingness to turn sinners into saints, as well as a sobering look at an artist's lifelong pursuit of beauty, at whatever the cost to himself or to loved ones.

Gaugin was a despicable misogynist and a dreadfully negative person who left h
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Someone would have had to physically pry this book out of my clutches last night to get me to eat dinner. Finished it in five hours flat without intending anything of the sort. I couldn’t put it down. I know I say this a lot but Maugham, goddamn.

“But who can fathom the subtleties of the human heart? Certainly not those who expect from it only decorous sentiments and normal emotions.”

And this:
I remember saying to him: “Look here, if everyone acted like you, the world couldn’t go on.”

“That’s a da
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle

Maugham's fictional biography of an artist whose life is based on that of Paul Gaughin, explores the nature of obsession and the creative urge. The central character, Charles Strickland, is a thoroughly unlikeable man: selfish, lacking in empathy and able to abandon his wife and children without a second thought. And yet, as unsympathetic as Maugham makes Strickland, his compulsive pursuit of beauty is understandable.

This is short, powerful and accessible, written in Maugham's beautifully clear
Henry Avila
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How much do we forgive a great, talented, artist, who is also a despicable human being? Will his admirers look the other way, thinking since he is no longer around and no more harm can be done by him, it is all right now to forgive, and forget, besides, he didn't do anything to their family, but to other people...Shakespeare said, "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones"... Englishman Charles Strickland, a thinly disguised Paul Gauguin, is one of those m ...more
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought this 1919 novel was amazing. W. Somerset Maugham’s use of language and his psychological insights fascinated me. Told by an anonymous narrator, a writer, it is the story of the life and personality of one Charles Strickland, a bland, steady, unremarkable London stockbroker who left his career and family, moved to Paris, and became a painter whose paintings were viewed by few people, most of whom thought they were awful. Eventually he moved to and died in Tahiti, achieving great posthum ...more
I admire Maugham’s writing - & I loved The Razor’s Edge. But I didn’t enjoy this book. The extreme misogyny of most of the characters really bothered me - & don’t tell me it’s an accurate depiction of social mores of the time – else I shall have to throw some other books from 1919 at you!

In this book, Charles Strickland leaves his wife & children after 17 years of a conventional life & passionately pursues his art through starvation & being an utter prick in Paris; then goes
Mar 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: artists
Shelves: favourites
It would be a mistake to read this novel as an inspiring tale of the triumph of the spirit. Strickland is an appalling human being--but the world itself, Maugham seems to say, is a cruel, forbidding place. The author toys with theidea that men like Charles Strickland may somehow be closer to the mad pulse of life, and cannot therefore be dismissed as mere egotists. The moralists among us, the book suggests, are simply shrinking violets if not outright hypocrites. It is not a very cheery concepti ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gran bel libro.
I primi 3-4 capitoli sono molto lenti e quasi scoraggiano il lettore, ma poi la storia decolla e seguiamo la trasformazione di Strikland da impiegato londinese a pittore nei bassifondi di Parigi e a Tahiti.
È un personaggio strano: freddo, determinato a vivere per l'arte, anaffettivo. Non esita a travolgere quello che si frappone tra lui e il suo destino (emblematico quello che succede con Stroeve e sua moglie) fino al finale agghiacciante, ma per certi aspetti anche catartico.
اللقاء الثاني مع سومرست موم .. وكان لقاء رائعا
الا انه لم يكن قراءة ، كان استماعا .. ويمكنني القول ان تقييمي للعمل تأثر كثيرا بجمال الاستماع للرواية التي علمت انها قد بنيت علي قصة حقيقية لرسام مشهور
اعتقد ان موم صار من الادباء المفضلين لي كثيرا خاصة مع الادب المسموع
اما عن الرواية ، فالريفيو الجميل الذي قدمه اخي محمد يفي ما اريد قوله وأكثر
Maryam Hosseini
ایده داستان از زندگی ِ نقاش فرانسوی (پل گوگن) گرفته شده
و خـواسـت یک انسان از زندگی اش و چگونگی رسیدن او به هدف اش رو مطرح کرده
. و این دغدغه رو خیلی خوب به ذهن خواننده منتقل می کنه و به فـکـر وا می داره

روند داستان جذاب و پرکشـش هست و تحلیل شخصیت ها از جوانب مختلف خوب صورت گرفته
اگرچه شخصیتی مثل دیرک استروو و رفتار او برای من دور از ذهن و غیر قابل باور بود.
.بخش های گفتگوی راوی با استریکلند(نقاش) فوق العاده جذاب بود

کتاب "راهی به سوی بهشت"از ماریو بارگاس یوسا هم متاثر از زندگی همین نقاش *
نوشته شده

John Farebrother
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome. It's about a middle-aged English stockbroker who gives up his family, job and everything and moves to Paris to live his dream of being a poverty-stricken painter. Still not satisfied, after he has learned the basics he works his way by sea to Tahiti and goes native, living only to paint, and ultimately dying in the midst of his ultimate creation and his new family. Selfish? Yes. Irresponsible? Yes. But you only live once. If you have a dream don't let conventions and routin ...more
Don’t repeat my mistake. I chose this book because I thought it would give me a better understanding of Paul Gauguin’s life and inner thoughts. This is instead a book of fiction. Maugham creates a new story from a few of the well known facts about Paul Gauguin. Gauguin was a stockbroker who left his wife and family to paint. Maugham creates the fictional character Charles Strickland. He too is a stockbroker who leaves his family. Both go to Tahiti. Neither receives recognition for their artistic ...more
Since I last read a full-length novel, at the end of August 2012*, I've watched c. 450 films - that's a quarter of the total number of films I've seen in my life. I think this has led to a new set of likes and dislikes in the way a story is communicated, which may be as much about written fiction per se as about this book in particular.

Quite my favourite thing was Maugham's authorial voice: wise, certain and given to bold idiosyncratic statements which not all will agree with, and not all of whi
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
A book about genius and the artistic process. The story is told by a man who knew Strickland, years after the artist's death. (The format of the novel reminded me of Citizen Kane.) The narrator relates both first and second hand info about Strickland's life.

The novel is sort of divided into two parts, with the first part portraying Strickland from society's view (his behavior towards people, more than his painting), and the last part showing Strickland's psychology and artistic process (from th
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pantless-fun
"Which way do you go?" I inquired.
"Your way," he smiled.
"I'm going home."
"I'll come along with you and smoke a pipe."
"You might wait for an invitation," I retorted frigidly.
"I would if I thought there was any chance of getting one."
"Do you see that wall in front of you?" I said, pointing.
"In that case I should have though you could see also that I don't want your company"
"I vaguely suspected it, I confess."

Both the narrator and the subject are despicable characters. I rather hoped that the
Pradnya K.
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, classics
Quite an insightful read into the behaviours of men! (and women, of course) I picked it up sooner due a recommendation from a friend and I say, it surpassed my expectations. Though it's not very long book, the description never seemed lacking and one can easily picture and feel the surroundings. And the paintings too. The characters, though make short and fleeting appearances, are unforgettable. The events and the situations they face are intricately unfolded that I was marvelled how a few parag ...more
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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 almost l
More about W. Somerset Maugham
“Impropriety is the soul of wit.” 1028 likes
“As lovers, the difference between men and women is that women can love all day long, but men only at times.” 800 likes
More quotes…