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The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
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The Painted Veil (original 1933; edition 2006)

by W. Somerset Maugham

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2,131None3,060 (3.9)155
Member:Moomin2009
Title:The Painted Veil
Authors:W. Somerset Maugham
Info:Vintage (2006), Edition: Movie Tie-In, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham (1933)

1920s (25) 20th century (47) adultery (46) Asia (16) audiobook (13) British (39) British literature (31) China (145) cholera (63) classic (57) classics (48) colonialism (19) disease (16) England (21) English (22) English literature (39) fiction (331) historical fiction (23) Hong Kong (56) infidelity (14) literature (41) love (21) marriage (35) novel (54) own (14) read (25) romance (23) Somerset Maugham (14) to-read (56) unread (13)

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» See also 155 mentions

English (84)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (87)
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
I'm really torn about the rating for this one. It's a 3.5 for me. It's a good story. In this case, it's unfortunate that I'd already seen a film version before reading the book. The film version I saw (Garbo, of course!), as is often the case, doesn't include all of the nuance of the book. Still, I wish I'd had no real idea of what happens before reading it.

Kitty ends the book in a burst of what almost sounds like feminism. Her emotional journey, the journey of her soul, is the most affecting part of the novel.

Though I realize the racism in the book may have been common to the time, place, class, etc., I still found it distracting.

I think I've set the bar pretty high for Maugham, which probably also affects my evaluation of this book. ( )
  tercat | Nov 19, 2013 |
The whole story is about a man who takes his wife into a place where she is likely to die because she had been unfaithful. Maugham tells us that this story is different than all his others which are character driven where this was in story driven. The author was also sued because of the name of the characters, thus their name was changed from Lane to Fane and another law suit forced the change in the territory in China. This may have been a story driven story but the characters were still great. I enjoyed this quick read very much.

There is a 2006 film and I wonder if anyone has seen it and whether it is worth watching? ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 16, 2013 |
great story. i wish the library had more recorded maugham books. great narrator ( )
  mahallett | Oct 28, 2013 |
Ho visto anni fa la trasposizione cinematografica del libro con Naomi Watts, e ricordo che mi piacque molto. La storia non la ricordavo più bene, se non vagamente. Oggi ho finito il libro e devo dire che Kitty, la protagonista, è stata descritta molto bene da Maugham, soprattutto sul lato dei sentimenti, dei pensieri della protagonista. La scrittura è "antica", inerente al periodo dello scrittore, ma comunque nella totalità è stata una lettura piacevole. ( )
  Emanuela.Booklove | Oct 6, 2013 |
WTF is up with the ending? People never fucking learn.

I was expecting a moral fable and this is a different beast entirely. ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
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"...the painted veil which those who live call Life."
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She gave a startled cry.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Painted Veil was mistakenly combined with The Narrow Corner and thus the non-English titles may be incorrectly combined. If you identify an incorrectly combined book please "separate" it and combine it with the correct work. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307277771, Paperback)

Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, The Painted Veil is the story of the beautiful but love-starved Kitty Fane. When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic. Stripped of the British society of her youth and the small but effective society she fought so hard to attain in Hong Kong, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life and learn how to love.

The Painted Veil is a beautifully written affirmation of the human capacity to grow, to change, and to forgive.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:10 -0400)

This is the story of Kitty Fane, the adulterous wife of a bacteriologist stationed in Hong Kong. When her husband discovers her deception, he exacts a terrible vengeance: Kitty must accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic in China.

(summary from another edition)

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