The Lotus Eater – William Somerset Maugham

William Somerset Maugham is a famous British writer. He was born in Paris in 1874. his first book, Lisa of Lambeth, was published in 1896. it was successful and many copies were sold. He wrote a great number of books and play. Many of his stories were about the people he met on his travels all over the world.

Maugham became a rich man. 80 million copies of his books were sold while he was alive. He died in Cape Ferrat, France, on 16 December 1965. He was 91 years old.

Opening lines:

In 1913, I visited a friend who lived on the island of Capri. Capri is a most beautiful island in the Bay of Naples. From the island, you can see across the water to Mount Vesuvius on the mainland of Italy.

One day, I went for a walk with my friend. On the way, we passed a man sitting on the hillside looking out at the sea.

Last line:

He died looking out over the beautiful bay of Naples that he loved so much.

Most intriguing line:

”He’s going to die when he’s sixty.”

Most unsettling lines:

He did not say exactly what he was going to do when the money was finished. But I understood what he planned to do. I felt a cold shiver running through me.

The layman’s plot: Protagonist meets Man during his holiday in Capri. Man is very interesting to Protagonist: Man plans to die when he turns sixty. Why does he plan so? Will he really die then? (You’re probably thinking, “The last line kind of gave it away, heh,” but are you sure it’s referring to the same character?)

Verdict: A simple but disturbing read.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. wes
    Mar 02, 2009 @ 12:47:55

    i stumbled upon this page when i was searching for The lotus eater. I know its kinda late, but yeah. Your version of Lotus eater is an abridged version, not original somerset work. Just thought you might want to know.

    nylusmilk: is it? i only know that this is what i learnt as a student under the literature component for malaysian secondary schools. i wouldn’t be surprised if it’s abridged.


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