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The Explorer af W. Somerset Maugham
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The Explorer (original 1907; udgave 2008)

af W. Somerset Maugham (Forfatter)

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"The Explorer" is a story of the proud Allertons whose fortune has been squandered, and whose three-hundred-year estate Hamlyn's Purlieu stands to be lost to the family. Lucy and George Allerton, brother and sister, are resolved to overcome the mistakes of their father, Fred Allerton. A powerful exploration of relationships and familial bonds by a true master of the human psyche.… (mere)
Medlem:deiphibaya11
Titel:The Explorer
Forfattere:W. Somerset Maugham (Forfatter)
Info:Norilana Books (2008), 264 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
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Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Explorer [novel] af W. Somerset Maugham (1907)

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[From the Preface to Liza of Lambeth, Heinemann, The Collected Edition, 1934:]

I have left out of this edition two novels I wrote because I wanted a certain amount of money by a certain time. They were made out of plays which I had been unable to place, and I wrote them because with the story and the dialogue to hand I could turn them out in a few weeks. One was called The Bishop's Apron. […] The other was called The Explorer. It was the novelisation of a play that was afterwards produced. The chief character was suggested by H. M. Stanley, whose exploits had long fascinated my young fancy, and the strong, silent man, owing to Mr Kipling's vogue, was then very much the fashion. But the story depended on the hero's refusal to clear himself of abominable accusations at the cost of betraying to his betrothed that her brother was not the gallant creature she fondly believed but a worthless scamp. No audience would accept this quixotic behaviour as probable and the play failed. I turned it into a novel because another, The Magician, was returned to me by the publishers, when already set up, owing to one of the partners reading it in proof and being shocked by it. I have always thought that publishers should never learn to read; it is enough if they can sign their names. But this mishap left me without money to support myself during the rest of the year. I wrote The Explorer in a month and very tedious work I found it. On this account I have a great dislike for it and if it were possible would willingly suppress it. At one time it irked my conscience like the recollection of a discreditable action, but I know now that this is foolishness; the public can be trusted to forget far more completely than the author the books he would prefer not to have written.
1 stem WSMaugham | Jun 13, 2015 |
I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book. It's cut from the same cloth as [b:Mrs Craddock|879162|Mrs Craddock (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)|W. Somerset Maugham|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1179130280s/879162.jpg|864483] and Maugham's other pre-[b:Of Human Bondage|31548|Of Human Bondage|W. Somerset Maugham|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/519t8Gj28bL._SL75_.jpg|2547187] novels in that the prose is a bit on the flowery side and the tone somewhat melodramatic compared to his later work. If anything it feels even more like a 19th Century novel than Mrs. Craddock does, with so much of the plot centered on marriage proposals and such. It's also unusual for a Maugham book in that it becomes obvious pretty early on what the main conflict is going to be, so early on that it's almost tedious waiting for it to come. Or would be tedious, if the book weren't so well-written.

Having said that, though, the book is far more enjoyable than I fear I make it sound. The crisis of honesty and honor at the center of the plot, while a little precious-seeming to my 2011 sensibilities, certainly makes for some heart-wrenching moments. Also, surprisingly for such an earnest novel, the book is a lot of fun. A high point is the constant banter between supporting characters Dick and Julia, which deftly dances along the line between plausible and hilarious. The two of them make a comic relief/"perfect match" pair that would be at home in any modern romantic comedy, and their presence leavens the proceedings like a breath of fresh air. Thanks to their dialogue, this is the first Maugham novel that made me realize why he was such a successful playwright. It was also interesting to see the continuities between this novel and some of his others: familiar places such as Blackstable, Tercanbury, and Court Leys all make appearances, and Mrs. Craddock is even mentioned in passing.

In other words, another fine early work by Somerset Maugham. I wouldn't recommend it as a first Maugham, but as a tenth or eleventh, I enjoyed it quite a lot. ( )
1 stem benjamin.duffy | Jul 28, 2013 |
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Please do not combine Maugham's novel ''The Explorer'' (1908) with his play of the same name (a melodrama in four acts; written in 1899, first produced in 1908). It is true that the former was firmly based on the latter, but prose and drama are still very different mediums, not to mention that the novel is widely available today in numerous cheap reprints whereas the play is all but unbotainable. Also avoid merging copies that contain only ''The Explorer'' with the Heron edition which combines the novel with Maugham's early travel book ''The Land of the Blessed Virgin'' (1905) in one volume.
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"The Explorer" is a story of the proud Allertons whose fortune has been squandered, and whose three-hundred-year estate Hamlyn's Purlieu stands to be lost to the family. Lucy and George Allerton, brother and sister, are resolved to overcome the mistakes of their father, Fred Allerton. A powerful exploration of relationships and familial bonds by a true master of the human psyche.

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