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Reading Notes

I haven’t posted a review for over a week because Selina Hastings packs such voluminous details in The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham in regard to his travels, his relationships, and the origins of fictional works. I’m reaching the final chapter of the daunting volume of Maugham’s biography. I’m glad I haven’t read the entire oeuvre of his, as the biographer is imbuing new insights on the correlation between Maugham’s multiple relationships—flames, affairs, intimate companionships, and (un)requited love—and his works. One novel that I mandate to re-read is The Razor’s Edge upon completion of the biography. Cakes and Ale, which I haven’t read, sees the personification of his first loves Sue Jones and Harry Philips. Silhouette of the self-promoting author Hugh Walpole in this novel also caused their fallout upon its release.

Recently, partially owing to the joining of Book Blogs Ning (joined the Dedicated Book Review group and a few others), the blog has seen a dramatic increase in readership. To my utmost joy and inspiration are several comments and e-mails, which, in coincidence, that readers find the blog is welcome mixture of different genres in literature. One commentator says it is “the best blog by a gay man I have hitherto seen: gay stuff and mainstream lit- all together.” Another mentions “this blog reviews books that you can’t just read into without reflecting on the deeper level.” These are momentums and driving force to writing. I acknowledge that I don’t attend to your comments in a timely manner, but I do appreciate them and I read all of them.

5 Responses

  1. You do have a gift for getting to that deeper level and I really appreciate it.

  2. congrats on your uptick in readership!

  3. I love author biographies but I never know whether to read them before I read the author’s work or after as I hate the idea the biographer might give plot details away and spoil things. Maugham is yet another author whose work I want to read more of. And I must check out Ning–I’d not heard of it. It’s been very quiet in my corner of the blogosphere–I wonder if I’ve just become boring to read or everyone is out enjoying the summer weather! 🙂

  4. I’ve been meaning to read some Somerset Maugham again for a little while now. Part of my revisiting the classics reading I am slowly entering. I remember reading Of Human Bondage in junior college and being one of the only students to read the whole book. I enjoyed it, though I don’t think I understood all of it, not at age 19! I do want to get to The Razor’s Edge for the first time. Lovely review of this biography!

  5. Congratulations on the lovely comments you have received about your blog, they are well deserved!

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