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Is there any writer better than W Somerset Maugham at getting to the heart of his subject, leading you along his thought process then throwing you completely off the trail by saying the exact opposite thing and justifying he reasoning after all.
Some parts of this collection of essays are a little hard going for a many years ago O level English student, but even those are so beautifully written and with such wit that you expect to be delighted again on the very next page and so you continue reading.
And his digressions sprinkled throughout make any Somerset Maugham book a treasure
First of all, it is written in Maugham's impeccable English and unique style. Then, essays cover topics of interest - the one on Goethe's three novels alone is worth the the book and the essay on the short story presents insights on the subject that are to be found nowhere else.