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Lo scheletro nell'armadio

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  4,922 Ratings  ·  394 Reviews
Alle vedove dei grandi scrittori tocca spesso in sorte di trasformarsi in vestali, per mantenere la memoria del caro estinto al riparo da scandali e pettegolezzi. Non è mai un compito facile, e la seconda signora Driffield lo sa bene. Se poi al momento di individuare un agiografo affidabile la scelta ricade su un uomo come Alroy Kear, astro nascente della scena letteraria, ...more
Paperback, Biblioteca Adelphi #454, 239 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Adelphi (first published 1930)
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Bill  Kerwin
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Somerset Maugham's Cakes and Ale (“Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?”--Twelfth Night) takes for its theme the doubleness of human character, ranging from the calculated hypocrisy of the “virtuous” (exemplified by literary opportunist and would-be biographer Alroy Kear) to the animal weaknesses of the goodhearted yet unreformable (Rosie, former barmaid and first wife of distinguished novelist Edward Driffield) and finally—and perhaps most interestingl
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

Why oh why have I not read anything by Maugham before? Not having done so is my loss, and one which I must continue to remedy without delay.

I decided to read one of Maugham's novels because I knew from Gordon Bowker's biography of George Orwell that Orwell was a great admirer of his writing. This particular novel suggested itself because of its subject (a satire on literary London in the early 20th century) and because it's apparently the novel for which Maugham himself most wanted to be remem
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vintage, fav-authors
She had the serenity of a summer evening when the light fades slowly from the unclouded sky.

There is something luscious about Maugham's beguiling sentences and vocabulary that had me underlining sentences, journaling through the margins, and circling words. For a Maugham book to overcome the depth and meaning of my favorite ( Of Human Bondage ), will be similar to finding a Cather read that surpasses the intentions within My Ántonia. Still, I tread through a few of his works because one never
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Maugham fans; students of modern English literature
Recommended to Werner by: It was a common read in one of my groups
Shelves: general-fiction
This particular book was adopted as a common read in one of my Goodreads groups, which is how I came to read it (previously, I'd actually never heard of it). My previous exposure to Maugham's work was only through a couple of his short stories. As an introduction to his long fiction, this novella was perhaps not as successful as might have been wished; I didn't rate it as highly as a couple of my Goodreads friends in the group did.

The Goodreads description for the book is reasonably accurate, th
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
This book was a pure delight. Maugham is such an interesting writer and although he did not think himself a great writer, I believe he does have his moments of greatness. I loved Of Human Bondage and this one again uses material from his own life yet again – particularly stuff to do with his childhood spent with his vicar uncle and his aunt in the country.

The book starts off with a bit of a pattern to it. The book is written in first person singular – we will talk a bit more about that later –
At MOMs Villa Mauresque, 1949, he was ordering diaries, letters, personal papers grilled. Someday there'd be bios, he knew, and he wanted control, if possible, of the content. 20 years earlier he pondered his literary status and the problems of bio writing in this semi-satire, which tweaks the idea of A Literary Reputation. Hadnt Dickens, James, Samuel Johnson and Hardy burnt papers that might stain their Fame? Who has it, who doesn't and how some play the promotion game -- literary teas, salons ...more
Description: Cakes and Ale is a satire of London literary society between the Wars. Social climber Alroy Kear is flattered when he is selected by Edward Driffield's wife to pen the official biography of her lionized novelist husband, and determined to write a bestseller. But then Kear discovers the great novelist's voluptuous muse (and unlikely first wife), Rosie. The lively, loving heroine once gave Driffield enough material to last a lifetime, but now her memory casts an embarrissing shadow ov ...more
"The writer of prose can only step aside when the poet passes; he makes the best of us look like a piece of cheese."
(W. Somerset Maugham)

Maugham's novel initially seems to focus on the literary world of England. The main character, Ashenden, is connected through space and time with the social world of an ascending author. At first I thought the novel only was a vehicle used by Maugham to criticize the literary world, i.e. the path to fame, who knows who, etc, but I was pleasantly surprised as t
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given this book by a girl I dated a couple of times last year. On our second meeting she brought it along and dropped it into my lap with a casual “I think you’ll like this”. It was a bit of a surprise, as I don’t recall us having any particularly literary conversation the first time we met – and I’m certain that we never discussed Somerset Maugham. Nothing lasting developed between myself and this young lady, but I am thinking of getting in touch with her again to thank her once more – as ...more
Nov 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, fiction
Random reading. I wanted to read Maugham and I chose this one for no particular reason. I was almost tempted to put the book back on the shelf because of the uninspired Romanian translation - Life's pleasures - which sounds totally cheap, but I congratulate myself for checking the English title; at least it sounds interesting :)

I like a good satire every now and then. And this one was absolutely delicious. English society, mannerism, a writer's life, all these covered in witty, sharp and ironica
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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...
“It's no good trying to keep up old friendships. It's painful for both sides. The fact is, one grows out of people, and the only thing is to face it.” 124 likes
“The Americans, who are the most efficient people on the earth, have carried [phrase-making] to such a height of perfection and have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on an amusing and animated conversation without giving a moment’s reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication.” 23 likes
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