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Publisher's Summary

This is the story of Kitty Fane, the adulterous wife of a bacteriologist stationed in Hong Kong. When her husband discovers her deception, he exacts a terrible vengeance: Kitty must accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic in China.
©2006 W. Somerset Maugham (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"[Maugham is] the modern writer who has influenced me the most." (George Orwell)
"An expert craftsman....His style is sharp, quick, subdued, casual."( The New York Times)
" The Painted Veil, with its sadness, its moral tension, its irony and compassion, its building evocations of lust and terror and remorse, is a work of art." ( Spectator)

What listeners say about The Painted Veil

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • RtooDtoo
  • 2010-02-28

Amazing story

This story really took me by surprise. I thought it might be a dated and quaint journey into another time. While parts of it are quaint, its substance is timeless. It has all the major ingredients of a great story: lust, love, betrayal, adventure, pathos, and an anti-hero(ine) central character who transforms in a plausible way. The woman reading it is a little wooden, but her posh accent is actually quite enjoyable and works well with the story.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicole
  • 2009-03-26

WONDERFUL NARRATOR!

After watching the movie, I wanted to read the book. It was obviously a better book. Much more human ending. The narrator brought the book to life in such a way that it truly moved me. Thank you! Great buy!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 2009-02-22

Better than the movie

I was very taken with the movie of "The Painted Veil." While I still think the film very fine, this novella proves itself better precisely in those places where the film-makers altered the story. Kitty never becomes perfect, and the ending is hopeful, not triumphant. The reading, too, is very well done. Good male voices, as well as the female.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Pat Brett
  • 2020-09-08

Magnificent

Now I know why classics are masterpieces.... brilliant and heart wrenching.... wise and magnificent in scope.... this is how art informs and reflects life in all its many mysteries... unforgettably beautiful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mavep
  • 2012-09-13

Great story, moving and satisfying.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Painted Veil to be better than the print version?

Yes. It is so beautifully read, like listening to a play.

What other book might you compare The Painted Veil to and why?

Perhaps Wuthering Heights as it has great characters and an atmospheric quality.

Have you listened to any of Sophie Ward’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't but would certainly do so again.

If you could take any character from The Painted Veil out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Not sure.

Any additional comments?

A beautifully told story of a shallow young woman who learns what is important in life through hardship and the self-giving lives of some French nuns. I thought the ending touching and satisfying, without being sentimental.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ellenaeddy
  • 2012-05-18

Early Imperialism and the flapper

I can't tell you why I love this glimpse into the twenties and early 20th century china. The romance belies romance and kicks the gooey love stuff to the curb. But I came to love the doctor in this book, even if his wife was too shallow to manage that herself. And she in her own way learns to be kind. It's a very interesting book about imperfect lives.

4 people found this helpful

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  • blusegyrl
  • 2021-01-06

Wonderful

He is of course one of the greatest writers of all time. It’s full of human conflict, great detail of a foreign country and last but not least redemption of the human spirit

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  • James G Toole
  • 2020-11-09

Wonderful reading for a masterful work

Not only is this a fabulous book, the reading of it is terrific. I’ve listened to it twice now and may listen to it again.

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  • Becky Pogacar
  • 2020-08-04

Better that the movie version

The principal character grew through reflection on the choices she had made. I enjoyed this very much.

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  • H Boodoosingh
  • 2020-04-09

Beautifully read

The story is gripping as the protagonist grapples with her own mistakes and the consequences of them.
It is beautifully read so that you can truly understand the deepest thoughts of all the characters.
A definite must for anyone who loves historical tragic romances.