I've read this book many times. The first time when, in desperation for something to read, I found it on my grandfather's shelf when I was 11. Elliott was my favorite character and I skipped a lot of the "boring" parts about Larry's travels and philosophy. As I've gotten older, I'm still fond of old Elliott, but find him a bit tiresome. And now I love the parts about Larry, having read a lot about the psychological aftermath of WWI. The only consistency is that I've always disliked Isabel. In a way, it's like these characters have been family and my views of them have changed as I have. Maugham is one of my favorite authors and this, my first book by him, has a special place in my heart.