It is told in episodic form by a first-person narrator, in a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character Charles Strickland, a middle-aged English stockbroker, who abandons his wife and children abruptly to pursue his desire to become an artist.
The story is in part based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin.
I’ve long been a fan of Maugham who became the leading British author of his day by mocking traditional old, rich, white Brit literature starting with his first famous novel, Liza of Lambeth (1897).
Maugham is an excellent writer, of course. Very cynical with insights into the worst of humankind.
Strickland is the worst. All he cares about is art. Nothing else matters.
This is a great book which you won’t soon forget.