Beer & Skittles—
CAKES AND ALE—W. Somerset Maugham—Doubleday, Dor an ($2).
Somerset Maugham writes a workman-like novel; easy to read, witty, sardonic, realistic, far from the borderline of boredom. He does not believe in "great" books; has never written, will never write one. His habitual bitterness, whether natural or acquired, has become part of his stock-in-trade. He now uses it effectively, usually cloaks it in brusque but polite irony.
Cakes and Ale: or The Skeleton in the Clipboard is a novel without a hero. Narrator is William...