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An Official Position

William Somerset Maugham, British playwright and novelist, was one of the most reputed and well-known writers of his era, and one of the highest-paid authors of his time. His work was popular for his simple style of writing, as well as his sharp and accurate understanding and judgment of human nature. An Official Position is a short story about crime and justice. Louis Remire, convicted of killing his wife, is serving a twelve-year sentence in the remote penal colony of Saint Laurent de Maroni in French Guiana. His is not, however, the miserable existence endured by less fortunate prisoners, for Louis Remire occupies an official position: He is the colony’s executioner, a privileged station accorded him not only because of his exemplary behaviour toward prison officials but also because of his experience as a police officer in his native Lyons, France. Though he considers himself an agent of justice, however, a sort of police officer on special assignment, Louis Remire is really nothing more than a common criminal himself. He has in a fit of passion killed a woman whose grievances against him were fully justified; worse, he has never felt the slightest twinge of guilt over his crime. Through a complex process of rationalization, Louis Remire has come to accept and even revel in the way his life has turned out. Enjoy free online English audiobook “An Official Position”, the breathtaking short story by William Somerset Maugham.

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