Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Collected Short Stories: Volume 2 (Collected Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham, #2)” as Want to Read:
Collected Short Stories: Volume 2 (Collected Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Collected Short Stories: Volume 2

(Collected Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham #2)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  835 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
This final classic collection reveals Somerset Maugham's unique talent for exposing and exploring the bitter realities of human relationships in tales of love, infidelity, passion and prejudice. The stories range from "The Lotus Eater" where a man envisions a life of bliss in the Mediterranean, to the astringent tales of "The Outstation" and "The Back of Beyond" in Malaya ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 28th 1991 by Penguin (Non-Classics) (first published 1951)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Collected Short Stories, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Collected Short Stories

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Kezia
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
This collection, like his previous, includes tales about Brits in the South Sea colonies, plus a few set on the continent and Latin America. Maugham's gift in this book is arranging modern and antique sensibilities side by side, like knickknacks on the mantel, and allowing his reader-guests to observe them without his needing to comment. In lofty titles like "Virtue," "The Creative Impulse," "The Force of Circumstance," and "The Door of Opportunity," Maugham's small moral and ethical dramas invo ...more
umberto
Oct 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story
3.5 stars
I found reading most of W. Somerset Maugham’s 24 stories in his “Collected Short Stories Volume 2” enticingly and unpredictably romantic, thrilling, mysterious, etc. from various characters as set in America, England and Borneo. However, I would recommend only three of my three favorites: 1) The vessel of wrath, 2) The door of opportunity, and, 3) the treasure. In fact, ‘The vessel of wrath’ is the first story whereas ‘The door of opportunity’ is the last one but each has revealed formi
...more
Sketchbook
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Edmund Wilson gained fame for trashing MOM.
He admitted he'd never read Bondage, Cakes & Ale,
Razor. Methinks he was jealous of MOM's life.
Today, only philistines snub MOM. I would urge
GRs to read the review of this vol by Alexander
Arsov.

"The Alien Corn" is a minor masterpiece. A young
Brit scorns family and pursues a career as a pianist.
Told by a famous talent he will only be 2d-rate, he
kills himself. (His family left him no choice.)
Question : if our arts did not have 2d and 3d rate
talents,
...more
Manuel Alfonseca
ENGLISH: 24 short stories by Maugham. The story I liked most was "The vessel of wrath," much better but in the same line as "Rain," followed by "The verger," "The dream" and The creative impulse."

ESPAÑOL: 24 cuentos de Maugham. El que más me gustó fue "La vasija de la ira", que me parece mucho mejor que "Lluvia", aunque escrita en la misma línea. Después me han gustado "El ujier", "El sueño" y "El impulso creativo".
Andy
Nov 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-fiction
The only piece of Maugham's writing I'd read before this collection is his novel, "Cakes and Ale." I enjoyed reading that so much that I went to the library to get whatever Maugham I could find. This was the only book of his they had on the shelf that day, so I grabbed it.

This is a collection of short stories (perhaps twenty or so) that vary in length and most often feature a small cast of characters. The stories are set in the time period and locales of when Great Britain was settling India. Th
...more
Chris
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

On advise of a friend I read the novel Theatre by William Somerset Maugham a few months ago. (see review https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... )

The subject, but more over the style of writing impressed me so much that I started to read more by this author, which I knew but so far not really valued. This time a collection of short stories. After close to a hundred years these stories still speak to us, the style, the understanding of human nature, the unique talent.

Let me pick one from the doz
...more
Emanuella
Разказът „Съкровището“ ми е фаворит :)
Dr.J.G.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
So many favourites in this - most people like Rain more than any other, at any rate it is the most discussed one. My personal favourite however is Virtue, an unforgettable one.

There are many, many others of course - Round Dozen for one, with amusing details of a much married man aggrieved by one of his wives turning him in.

Then there is the heartbreaking one of love and loss that I can't think of the name and it is a rare one for lack of cynical or otherwise bringing the reader down to earth s
...more
Dr.J.G.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So many favourites in this - most people like Rain more than any other, at any rate it is the most discussed one. My personal favourite however is Virtue, an unforgettable one.

There are many, many others of course - Round Dozen for one, with amusing details of a much married man aggrieved by one of his wives turning him in.

Then there is the heartbreaking one of love and loss that I can't think of the name and it is a rare one for lack of cynical or otherwise bringing the reader down to earth s
...more
Katelyn
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've determined to read all of Maugham's short stories because I love them, however, I may now need to take a break from his style so I can appreciate him more later. I love his settings and characters, though when reading one story and another after another, you tend to see his repeating phrases when he describes someone physically (how many times have I read "She must have been a great beauty when she was younger", 7 times? 10?). He sometimes opens a story with a somewhat random philosophical ...more
Fiona
Did not finish. I haven't read Somerset Maugham before and after reading four or five short stories, I never want to read his work again.

Somerset Maugham has nothing kind or positive to say about humanity; his short stories present isolation, misery, cruelty and hopelessness without balance or meaning. The stories which I read deal entirely with the misfortunes of characters beyond any chance of redemption or hope of finding life fulfilment.

Having understood him to be a famous and thus relativel
...more
Nikoleta
After finishing this, Maugham has become one of my favorite writers. This is the best short-story collection I've read.
Bonnie
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He builds worlds that are absorbing, entertaining, devastating, and memorable. Highly recommended.
Jose Moch
Jul 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection is made up of what I would call three facets. The first one takes place in the British Colonial South Sea Islands. The anti-heroe is always a man that although lacks a college- trained mind is self taught in selected literature, has a pragmatic view of life in the jungle like siring half castes with the native women.Drinking and dispatching problems in the best possible way.
The second one is a gay knowledgable confidant,escort of women of society, namely writers, intellectuals an
...more
Robert Palmer
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reading any of Maughan's short stories is like traveling to another time and place. You can take your time reading ,an hour now,15 minutes at another time. Some stories are very short,some much longer.It would be difficult to pick a favorite but if I had to it would be the " the verger" a mere six pages as a Verger in the Church of England is let go from his job of seventeen years because it is found out by the new Vicar that can not read or write. This story has a very amusing ending. Other of ...more
Shruty Sikhamani
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
"The 'I' who writes is just as much a character in the story as the other person with whom it is concerned.He may be the hero or he may be an onlooker or a confidant. But he is a character. The writer who uses this device is writing fiction and he makes the 'I' of his story a little quicker on the uptake, a little more ingenious, a little wittier, a little wiser than he, the writer. really is, the reader must show indulgence. She must remember that the author is not drawing a faithful portrait o ...more
Taranum
I read this one long time back. The table of contents mentioned by one of the readers struck within me a chord of familiarity. It was a resonation that went deep. It would have been so; when i had read this one, it was a complete treat for the heart. I had devoured it thoroughly.

Coming across this one, I feel like going through it again.This book had generated in me the love for literature.

Lovely! :)
Jesse
May 28, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
I'd like to believe that Maugham is critical of the colonial culture he describes, but it's hard to be sure. At any rate, his storytelling mastery is fairly effortless here but frequently too much so-- the stories in this volume get a little too formulaic in a way that the stories in the first volume never seemed to (except the absurd WWII propaganda story). Yet comforting in some weird way, like listening to old radio-dramas or something.
Manish
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
With the setting shifting from Malay, China and Britain, the stories in this collection just reiterate the reasons for Maugham's greatness. Wonder if there's a more sharper and sympathetic oberver of men and women who end up on the wrong side of social norms.
Annabelle
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Intoxicating stories! But he must be a bit of a misogynist. Most of his women characters start off as infallible and unbendingly moral. Which makes the impending train wreck he has in store for them all the more interesting.
Nicholas George Setford
Fantastic - each well crafted story is like a ticket to travel to places not only distant in location but also in time!
Phil
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read about 3/4 of the shorts
James
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
More fine stories. I love Maugham.
Henry
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed these short stories, all of which had an acute focus on character development. His characters are unique and original, with their personalities driving the plots. Highly recommended.
Alan
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost as good as the first collection. A bit more sober and less light hearted.
Olive
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The policeman's words in the end of Footprints in the Jungle left me puzzled. Can anyone explain why???
Leif Kjetil
rated it really liked it
Oct 12, 2013
Cecily Cogsworth
rated it it was amazing
Feb 02, 2016
Brian
rated it it was amazing
Oct 11, 2015
Tripti Dayal
rated it really liked it
Sep 11, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Men God Forgot
  • The Year After
  • A Collection of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories
  • Tales of Unrest
  • Borderlands 2
  • The Best of Saki
  • Selected Short Stories (Modern Classics)
  • A Ripple from the Storm
  • Strange Travelers: New Selected Stories
  • The Romans
  • An Outline of European Architecture
  • ایران از آغاز تا اسلام
  • The Vikings
  • A Bit Of Singing And Dancing
  • Has Man a Future?
  • When the Going Was Good
  • A Century of Great Suspense Stories
  • Night-Side: 18 Tales
3,333 followers
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

Other books in the series

Collected Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham (4 books)
  • Collected Short Stories: Volume 1
  • Collected Short Stories: Volume 3 (Collected Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham, #3)
  • Collected Short Stories: Volume 4 (Collected Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham, #4)
“In the week I promised myself I should naturally read, for to the habitual reader reading is a drug of which he is the slave; deprive him of printed matter and he grows nervous, moody, and restless; then, like the alcoholic bereft of brandy who will drink shellac or methylated spirit, he will make do with the advertisements of a paper five years old; he will make do with a telephone directory.” 3 likes
“A virtue that only causes havoc and unhappiness is worth nothing. You can call it virtue if you like. I call it cowardice.” 2 likes
More quotes…