Five words from the blurb: orphan, London, study, relationships, life
It took me nearly 18 months to read this book, but I loved every page. It is so rich and detailed that I found myself regularly re-reading sections; enjoying the feeling of being immersed in a world which no longer exists.
Of Human Bondage was published in 1915 and follows Philip Carey, an orphan, as he makes his difficult journey through life. It begins with his torturous time at boarding school and progresses through his adulthood; showing us both the joy and the pain of his complex life. The plot is so wide-ranging that I won’t even attempt to summarise it – it’s easier to state that it contains snippets of all humanity.
Philip Carey is one of the most vivid characters in literature. I loved the honesty of his experiences – his love, work, and friendship were all written with an insight that is rarely seen.
The writing is outstanding throughout, with insightful passages on almost every page:
My only criticism is that some of the art sections did nothing for me. I’m afraid that his time in Paris bored me – I much preferred hearing about his relationships and his time spent studying medicine. I’m sure I’m being harsh in only rating this book 4.5 stars – with time I will probably forget the dull sections and it will grow to become an all-time favourite.
This 700-page tome isn’t a quick read, but I highly recommend it to anyone willing to put the effort into this rich, detailed book.