Saturday, November 28, 2020

261. Of Human Bondage

Of Human Bondage
William Somerset Maugham
1915
Around 600 pages 







There are some characters you just instantly connect with, and for me, Philip Carey is on the top of the list. I've probably mentioned this before, but I have a bone disease that comes with its own unique set of baggage. Of course, Philip does not have what I have; he has a club foot. But there have been many moments in my life where I have been the resentful outsider with a limp. 

Nine-year-old Philip Carey becomes an orphan and is sent to live with his aunt and uncle. Eventually, he is sent to boarding school and he struggles to find a profession that can make him happy. He also falls in love with Mildred, a waitress who is a bit...withholding in her affections. 

I love that the book spans such a long period of time. You really become close to Philip and his way of thinking and seeing the world. His style is reminiscent of Balzac or Dickens, but there is something more personal in his writing. 

I think the experience of reading Of Human Bondage is life changing, and I can't praise it highly enough. The ultimate comfort novel.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

The novel is largely autobiographical, only Maugham had a stutter rather than a club foot. 

Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

UP NEXT: The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf. We are in a good streak of novels lately.

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