The Moon and Sixpence, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Charles Strickland, a conventional stockbroker, abandons his wife and children for Paris and Tahiti, to live his life as a painter.

Whilst his betrayal of family, duty and honour gives him the freedom to achieve greatness, his decision leads to an obsession which carries severe implications.

Inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin, "The Moon and Sixpence" is at once a satiric caricature of Edwardian conventions and a vivid portrayal of the mentality of a genius.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780099284765

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

This novel is not a biography of Paul Gaugin but was inspired by the life of the French post-impressionist. There are a few similarities in the lives of Gaugin and Charles Strickland, but the story is Maugham's creation. Strickland is a repulsive character and from my limited knowledge of Gauguin, it appears there was a distinct similarity. It's not an attractive or appealing story, but still the reader feels the urge to continue, to see it through, possibly to discover deeper motives. Maugham's writing is a joy to read: beautifully clear and precise while able to depict emotions and traits, many of which we would rather deny. When rating this book I was torn between my enjoyment of the story and the quality of the writing. As one of my favourite writers, Maugham deserves more, but the characters - and they were, after all, created by Maugham - influenced my decision to give this book just 4 stars.

Review by

A fictionalised life based on Gauguin. This is the "good Maugham".Read Samoa Oct 2003

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