QUARTET by W. Somerset Maugham


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Probably the release of the four panelled English film of this title has placed it in the public mind for what it is, -- a collection of four unrelated episodes, stories written- and published- by Mr. Maugham over a good many years. The Facts of Life is a semi-ironic tale of a boy who disproved all his father's warnings, by getting away with gambling at Monte Carlo, and getting the better of the woman in the case; The Alien Corn, while the outline of the plot is the story of an English youth who aspires to be a professional musician and kills himself when a professional tells him it is no go, actually is interesting chiefly for its undercurrent commentary on anti-semitism among Jews; The Kite is an odd bit about an adult who clings to a boyhood passion for kites and is astonished when his marriage is wrecked on that fact; The Colonel's Lady -- in my opinion- the best story of the four, is a story of still waters running deep, as the inconspicuous wife of a Colonel Blimp publishes a book of verse which presumably reveals facts her cocky husband never suspected in her. The book includes these four stories, and the screen scripts. Particularly interesting to people who would like to see how the shift over is made. Notices of the screen release, so far as I've seen them, are not wholly enthusiastic, but the Maugham name carries a definite sales value for the book.

Pub Date: May 6th, 1949
Publisher: Doubleday