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On A Chinese Screen
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Group Reads Archive > On a Chinese Screen by W. Somerset Maugham (2013 Reading Challenge)

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message 1: by Ally (new) - added it

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
Please use this thread to discuss:

On a Chinese Screen by W. Somerset Maugham On a Chinese Screen by W. Somerset Maugham


Janice (JG) I've only just begun this book of reflections, but it is wonderful to spend some time again with Maugham.

This is a collection of observations as he travels through Asia. It is as if we are reading his travel diary (perhaps we are)... some sections are just descriptions of an area, some are observations of events and interactions, but it's all done with Maugham's wonderful insight and perceptiveness.


message 3: by Ally (new) - added it

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 1653 comments Mod
I'm really looking forward to this one...I love Maugham too and find his writing simple but totally captivating.


message 4: by Val (new) - rated it 4 stars

Val I think this is like the written equivalent of holiday snaps. Something or someone catches his attention and he writes a few words about it. As Janice says, some of them are straight descriptions, others are more reflective and include more of his thoughts about the place or person. They are reproduced as he wrote them at the time, rather than arranged and rewritten into a formal narrative.
I found that when I read several they started to blur into a confusing jumble. That may be the effect Maugham intended, like arriving in a busy foreign city for the first time. I enjoyed them more if I read just a few at a time, so that the clarity of his observation and writing was more obvious.


Janice (JG) Val wrote: "I enjoyed them more if I read just a few at a time, so that the clarity of his observation and writing was more obvious. ..."

Yes, this is just right for a lunchtime reading, or for a few minutes in the morning or before bedtime... I like the idea of savoring it slowly, just like a good journey.


message 6: by Lara (new)

Lara Biyuts (larabiyuts) | 3 comments W. S. Maugham is one of my favorite authors. Unlike some readers, I love both his works and his life, his style and views, his look and photos. On my Facebook page, I created an album with his photos. Thanks.


message 7: by Val (new) - rated it 4 stars

Val On a Chinese Screen is very good for showing his views because these are his thoughts, observations and insights written down at the time, before he has organised them into a story.


message 8: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 2 comments Oh,I am a Chinese, Maugham have a novel about china? I knew it just now. Actually, I heart of the writer recently, I am reading the moon and six pence. I love his writing style. There I find the group...


message 9: by Val (new) - rated it 4 stars

Val China and Hong Kong are the setting for most of Maugham's novel The Painted Veil Maggie.


Janice (JG) Val wrote: "China and Hong Kong are the setting for most of Maugham's novel The Painted Veil Maggie."


This is one of my very favorite of Maugham's works... and the movie is also done very well.


message 11: by Lara (new)

Lara Biyuts (larabiyuts) | 3 comments Notes about China, we can read in Maugham's book of Notes (non-fiction.)


message 12: by Val (new) - rated it 4 stars

Val Janice George wrote: "Val wrote: "China and Hong Kong are the setting for most of Maugham's novel The Painted Veil Maggie."


This is one of my very favorite of Maugham's works... and the movie is also done very well."


I haven't seen the movie, but I love the book. I think this group had already read it before I joined. I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it though.


message 13: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 2 comments Val wrote: "China and Hong Kong are the setting for most of Maugham's novel The Painted Veil Maggie."

Oh,that is amazing. I will read it after the moon and six pences.
Thank you...:)


message 14: by Jan C (new) - added it

Jan C (woeisme) | 1525 comments I liked both Seventh Veil and Moon and Sixpence. I haven't located this one yet.


message 15: by Gary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary Smith (gary622) | 17 comments This is on Kindle and probably other e-platforms for next to nothing. I think I paid $.99.

This is good bedside reading - I'm probably going to start Remains of the Day along with it, because each vignette is 1-3 traditional pages long, and no "plot" continues between them. They feel like true stories or observations, or at least heavily based on observation.


Susan | 774 comments Just finished this - had not read it before and thought it was a charming collection of portraits. You can see him choosing characters for his short stories, he had such a sharp eye. I loved his discussion of Ibsen and his trying to make books last longer of an evening, as he was limited to three...


Beth (bibliobeth) | 27 comments Oh dear, looks like I'm in the minority! I loved his book Christmas Holiday but didn't really get on with this. Maybe I was expecting something different, I'm not sure. Sorry guys!


Susan | 774 comments Don't be sorry, it is unlike anything you would find written now, I think. In a way, it's quite indulgent. I really kick started my love of literature with Maugham and Waugh, so they are the two authors I adore the most, but I can see why you didn't get on with it.


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