Om Of Human Bondage
Of Human Bondage is W. Somerset Maugham's 1915 masterpiece featuring the young Philip Carey. The work is considered autobiographical, though Maugham claims that most was "pure invention." The novel is set during the end of the 19th century, and Philip, an orphan, has to maneuver a life as a young apprentice in art and medicine. Philip moves on to Paris to live in a commune of sorts with other artists, which is contrasted with squalor of London. Philip becomes entangled in a love affair so viscous and compulsive it threatens to do him in. Of Human Bondage is a long work, but it allows Maugham to build up an incredible array of memorable characters. You won't forget Mildred Rogers, the torrid love interest, though she is shallow and unfaithful. You'll find that their twisted relationship is the almost a character itself, as Maugham demonstrates that love is itself a form of bondage. Knowing it to be one of the greats, Modern Library ranked Of Human Bondage 66 on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.