Books: Old Master Maugham

AH KING—Somerset Maugham—Doubleday, Doran ($2.50).

Somerset Maugham is the fiction editor's Santa Claus. His stones are intelligent but not highbrow, well-made but not wooden, readable but not offensively scandalous. They are like the quiet but compelling conversation of a man who has seen the world and not missed much to the point. Sentimentalists find Maugham cynical, but in fact he is a psychological realist. Even sentimentalists find his common-sense melodramas refreshing after a surfeit of romance. This collection of stories is dedicated to one Ah King, a Onetime Chinese servant of Author...

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