The Trembling of a Leaf

Little Stories of the South Sea Islands

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Published: 1921
Language: English
Wordcount: 76,577 / 215 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 69.4
LoC Category: PR
Audiobook: librivox.org
Downloads: 5,462
Added to site: 2008.10.10
mnybks.net#: 22315
Origin: gutenberg.org

Also published under the title "Rain, and Other Stories" after one of the stories was made into a movie starring Joan Crawford.

Show Excerpt

s that you won't drink. You wouldn't be a bad sort if you got soused once a week."

The curious thing was that Walker remained perfectly unconscious of the dislike for him which every month increased in the breast of his subordinate. Although he laughed at him, as he grew accustomed to him, he began almost to like him. He had a certain tolerance for the peculiarities of others, and he accepted Mackintosh as a queer fish. Perhaps he liked him, unconsciously, because he could chaff him. His humour consisted of coarse banter and he wanted a butt. Mackintosh's exactness, his morality, his sobriety, were all fruitful subjects; his Scot's name gave an opportunity for the usual jokes about Scotland; he enjoyed himself thoroughly when two or three men were there and he could make them all laugh at the expense of Mackintosh. He would say ridiculous things about him to the natives, and Mackintosh, his knowledge of Samoan still imperfect, would see their unrestrained mirth when Walker had made an obscene reference

Reviews

Average Rating of 4 from 2 reviews: ****
2013.11.24
Paulo Respighi
****.

Well-crafted character-driven stories in which the person's doom is written by the flaws of his character. Set in Samoa and Hawaii, the descriptions are great. The stories are quite different from Jack London's or Joseph Conrad's, written from a cultured Englishman's point of view.

Another wonderful classic by Maughan. Each tale transports the reader to another world and reminds us that while much may change human frailties and motivations endure the passage of time. The short story from which the book derives its title being the best example of this. Maughan's descriptors are terrific and I'll bet you'll learn at least one new word that is no longer part of the modern vernacular.


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