A few weeks ago I wrote a brief post on Sinclair Lewis' Main Street. Since then I have read P.G. Wodehouse's The Inimitable Jeeves, and I began reading W. Somerset Maugham's The Painted Veil.
Wodehouse is the funniest writer that I've encountered, and is widely praised as a brilliant comic. I read Right Ho, Jeeves nearly a year ago and wanted to read a comedy before moving on to some more serious novels. I was not disappointed. I could not possibly recommend Wodehouse highly enough.
I am now approximately half way through reading The Painted Veil. I've had two previous encounters with Maugham. I read The Razor's Edge first and soon followed that up with Of Human Bondage. I enjoyed both books immensely, but haven't read him in more than two years. The Razor's Edge is one of my favorite books, though I found Of Human Bondage more difficult to read--but much more challenging and rewarding.
The Painted Veil deals largely with the results of marital infidelity and the human desires for love and the soul's capacity for evil. There is actually a film version of the novel currently filming, that will star Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, and Liev Schreiber.