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The boy and the book

It was August, we were holidaying in Lisbon. That summer I discovered Maugham's subtle prose-and love between men

By CAR Hills   July 1998

Just now I looked at The Summing Up by W. Somerset Maugham, which I bought in Lisbon when I was twelve or thirteen. I had spent today in despair. But once again I gained the necessary strength from Maugham’s plain, sincere sentences, expressing those unsurprising, just emotions. Like many people who read, I had a passion for Maugham in my teenage years. The result is that, while I can never return to him fully, I can still always return.

The book, which is an American paperback, was issued in 1967-which would place my age as at least twelve. It would…

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