The book is Collected Short Stories Vol. 2 by W. Somerset Maugham. Yes it is a collection of short stories and I like it immensely and I don't really prefer short stories.
I bought this book on the first ever BBW sale. (Sobs. Kalau ade book sale di obscure places and En. Shamani tiada untuk jadi driver, terpaksa la aku terkulat-kulat GPS-ing the location, walaupon my ability to read map is slightly better than my ability to read Mandarin).
I have no idea why I bought it, but I was intrigued by the picture of the Malay guy in front. I like reading about British life, and more intrigued to know about the British colonial life. Saying that, after I picked it up, I felt the book is going to be a bore. I mean 19th century writer usually used long winding words and were frightfully bored eh.
Therefore imagine my surprise on the first story I was completely engrossed and laughing out loud. I did not expect it, but it is a pleasure to know that I did not waste my money on this book.
Not all writers are able to write witty/gut wrenching write short stories. Maugham manage to do that. His stories range from the laughable to sadness to haunting. Falling in love, murder in the jungle, high society 19th century life, those are just some stories in the book and all of the stories are written well and completely enjoyable.
Googling him I found out that he wrote a lot of short stories during his life and several novels but short stories was his forte. After reading the book, you completely know why. He is now an author that I wish to get to know his work well and will be on the lookout for his works.