Of Human Bondage - Book Review

Title: Of Human Bondage

Author: W Somerset Maughn

Page count: 700

Read dates: 19/08/2020 - 19/09/2020


Synopsis - Philip Carey, a tormented orphan with a club foot travels to Paris at the age of 18 to become an artist, only to then find himself back in London studying medicine, unable to sate his nagging hunger for experience.


My thoughts - I had wanted to read Of Human Bondage ever since it was mentioned in a season four episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. If a college student from my favorite TV show carries this chunk of a book around a security blanket, I need to know what it's about.


It really is quite a hefty book, I did have to listen to quite a bit of an audiobook to get through it.


Realistically, I can't see this being anyone's security blanket, although I suppose it does back up the thought that the world is a weird and difficult place and that we are all really searching for a higher purpose. Philip wants to do something, he wants to be somewhere, he wants to be someone but he doesn't really know where he fits in in this life.


In many areas, it's quite painful to read. I felt sorry for Philip a lot of the time and hated the majority of the characters. I think that was the point though.


I very much enjoyed the ending, and I am pleased I read it. I likely wouldn't read it again, I felt that there were a few "waffley" passages that we didn't need, and that did make it a bit difficult to read at times.


For the time its set and written, I did find that there a few shocking points, such as Fanny Price committing suicide, Mildred turning up pregnant, running off with Harry, and returning again later as a prostitute, only to then return again much later and reveal that her baby died - let's face it, most of Mildred's storylines are shocking.


My review - 3/5


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