Friday, January 18, 2013

Book Review: Red

One of the regular posts I'd like to incorporate into this blog are recaps of the books I read.  I know there are so many amazing current authors, but I've always been drawn to the early to mid-1900s writers.  My favorites include Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad, Ernest Hemingway, and Ayn Rand.  So those are the books I'm going to start with.  Maybe this will create a resurgence in these past greats.

Up first is a story I read from a volume of Somerset Maugham's short stories I found in a book store last year and have been slowly making my way through.  I love his short stories.  They always seem to have some sort of twist at the end that is jaw dropping, even almost 100 years after he wrote those words. 

The story is called Red and opens with a fat, old ship captain exploring an island where his ship landed.  With great effort he makes his way to a house on a hill and encounters the homeowner, a middle-aged man from Europe.  The ship captain is invited inside and is at once struck by the amount of books this man has.  The homeowner then goes on to tell the story of how he came to the island 25 years ago and about a pair of young  lovers who he has immortalized as the epitome of true love. 

I would have to say that this is my all time favorite short story by Maugham.  The way the homeowner goes on and on about the young lovers representing life's highest ideal and then the jaw dropping realization at the end makes this a can't miss.  It isn't very long but packs quite a punch. 

Verdict?  Go read it right now!

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