View Full Version : Newbie and wanting to discuss OF HUMAN BONDAGE

08-04-2007, 04:13 PM
Hello all! Im a newbie here so first off my brief introduction: I'm Meesh and I live in Los Angeles. Ive never joined a book discussion group and thought it would be a lot of fun and I always love getting insight from others.

I wasn't quite sure where to post this, so thought this would be my best bet. I started reading Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham and my only regret is that I didn't start it sooner! I'm only in the first few pages and I've read the warnings of how it could be slow sometimes, but don't have a problem with it...yet. Is anyone else reading this book? If not, I highly recommend it... let me know!:D

08-04-2007, 04:27 PM
EDIT: I forgot one thing... please NO SPOILERS! thanks... i think i accidentally read one spoiler, and now im trying to put it aside.

08-13-2007, 03:09 AM
I knew "Human Bondage" when I in Senior high school. I impressed the brief introduction of this novel and the characters, Phillip, Mildred...I was annoyed by Phillip's behavior when he can not help himself fell in love with Mildred. I found myself characters sometimes were the same as Phillip...I eager to be my own life master ! So I am looking forward to read this novel. Till 2003 in University. I have chance to read the Chinese edition. In this March. I found online-literature has the English edition. Though I need look up dictionary when reading. I still appreciated my passion...the passion of slipping the bondage of human being !

08-13-2007, 12:08 PM
Welcome to the LNF, Meesh. I'm sorta of new myself. But
be careful -- this website is addictive.
Re: Somerset Maugham: Some critics think he was deprived of the Nobel Prize, possibly because of his reputation as a "popular" novelist. My favorite Maugham work of all time is his short story: "The Facts of Life."

There have been fine movie versions of his short stories: "Trio" and "Quartet," which are occasionally shown
on AMC and TCM. There are two film versions of "Of Human Bondage" -- the first starring Bette Davis as Mildred is more popular, but I actually prefer the later one with Kim Novak and Laurence Harvey as the Doctor. Kim was
a much-maligned actress, extremely under-rated. The critics dismissed her as a sexpot like Marilyn Monroe. But Kim was a very good, subtle actress in Of Human Bondage,
Vertigo, and Man with the Golden Arm.

11-27-2008, 01:31 AM
I read this years ago and enjoyed it so much I went through it again a couple years ago. Of course it's a long story but for me the compelling idea is the self destructive obsession Philip has for Mildred. Everything about her is repulsive but the more she shuns him the more he must have her. I also thought Maughm's leaving so much unsaid at the end was brilliant. Is Philip happy, are there children, does he sometimes look into the fire and dream of Mildred. I wrote a last chapter trying to tie things up the way I thought they should have been and then realized how foolish it was.

In my opinion the work is outstanding in so many ways.

06-01-2009, 07:39 AM
I noticed that the first entry under this thread was in Feb 2007 and the latest in June 2008. Given the interval, I then concluded that my entry today, 01 June 2009, was still relevant to the discussion.

Well, I have just finished reading the novel. It is a masterpiece no doubt! A wonderful masterpiece, throwing questions at all aspects of life, raising questions about the definition of morality. There are several aspects begging answers that are relayed in the masterpiece. Of course Philip's obsession and powerlessness and helplessness regarding Mildred is one such question.

Its a novel to be read with an open non-judgemental mind to be enjoyed. I wish there were people willing to revive the discussion on the novel. I will happily engage with them on this masterpiece. Let me stop before I say too much.........

07-29-2012, 11:08 PM
I just finished reading Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage and I am wondering what readers trained in art and art history think of Maugham's writing on art and artists—especially you, St. Luke! While I am at it, I would ask the same of any artist, art historian, etc. who has read The Recognitions by William Gaddis. Both novels are packed with such writing.

Daisy Ann
06-03-2013, 01:25 AM
Of Human Bondage is my all time favorite book. Phillip's character is so completely relatable; his vulnerability due to his handicap, his obsession with Mildred, his youthful desire to become cultured through travel and adventure, and his indecisiveness in regards to a future profession. I've read 4 times already and will probably read it again soon. In your opinion, how does the title support the content of the book?