W. Somerset Maugham is one of the best-loved short story writers of the last 100 years. In this collection of his finest short work Maugham takes the listener to the sun-drenched Pacific islands where the Governor mercilessly abuses the inhabitants; to the story "Rain", in which the Reverend and the prostitute play out one of the most famous finales ever written; to the studies of chauvinistic Colonels, and snide conversations in Edwardian drawing rooms, as well as at the gates of heaven. As an introduction to one of the greatest writers in the English language Stephen Crossley's reading is the perfect place to start.
- 2. "The Pacific"
- 3. "Mackintosh"
- 4. "Rain"
- 5. "Envoi"
- 6."The Casuarina Tree"
- 7. "The Letter"
- 9. "Jane"
- 10. "The Judgement Seat"
- 11. "The Colonel’s Lady"
- 12. "The Verger"
What listeners say about Rain and Other Stories
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- W Perry Hall
Rain Down on Me
One of the most potent short stories in the Western Lit canon: Rain, by Somerset Maugham.
A Pacific island quarantined during the tropical wet season. Two couples in the same building as a prostitute. One husband and wife are missionaries. One a mild-mannered doctor and his wife. The doctor is the narrator of this story best illustrating the powerful struggle between a man's religious beliefs and nature (man's natural desires). If you have not read it, I won't spoil for you one of the most dramatic last few pages in literature. Prayers and faith can fortify the spirit, but they cannot stop the rain.
Mr. Crossley does an excellent job narrating Rain and Other Stories, by, in my humble opinion, one of the most underrated writers in Western Literature, W. Somerset Maugham.
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- Pierre Gauthier
The settings for each of the 12 short stories in this compilation vary surprisingly and include Samoa, Singapore, Scotland, London and even Heaven!
Otherwise, there is much in common between them, notably a vigorous exploration of the human soul and its contradictions as well as the fact that they all involve clearly defined, middle-class, white, British, early 20th century characters.
The listener should not be put off by the first two stories which conclude quite darkly. Things do brighten up further on.