A compelling novel of self-discovery and the search for meaning from the author of The Painted Veil.
The Great War changed everything and everyone, and Larry Darrell is no exception. Though his physical wounds from the war heal, his spirit is changed almost beyond recognition. He leaves his betrothed, the beautiful and devoted Isabel; studies philosophy and religion in Paris; lives as a monk, and witnesses the exotic hardships of Spanish life. All of life that he can find - from an Indian Ashrama to labor in a coal mine - becomes Larry's spiritual experiment as he spurns the comfort and privilege of the Roaring 20s.
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©1944 W. Somerset Maugham and renewed in 1971 by Elizabeth Mary, Baroness Glendevon (P)1994 Brilliance Audio
Good character study. An in depth look at several different personalities and what they represent. Entertaining and well written. However, each character seems to lack dimension. For instance, Larry seems near perfect. Isabelle is skin deep. Grey is kind but simple. Real folks are a tad more complicated. Often times just one human could take on all the traits mentioned above. For the purpose of telling the story however, it works fine. I'd recommend it.
I watched the movie a few months ago and decide to listen to the classic book by Somerset Maugham. I found the performance to be excellent and the story to be tragic yet well written. All of the characters in the Razor's Edge are searching for something and in the end they all achieve their desired end (the author's words not mine). This is not an exceptionally happy novel because most of the characters aren't sympathetic heroes or heroines. However, while most of the characters search for something to make them happy, Larry is probably the only one that truly finds happiness. This is a great novel for those who believe that there might be something to life other than work or accumulating lots of stuff. And, in the case of Larry this novel shows the traumatic effects of war and how it can affect people deeply.
Maugham's classic about a man's search for spiritual understanding is worth revisiting, even if the social setting and characters seem dated. And it's hard to see how Michael Page's reading could be any better, as he faithfully channel's the narrator's (i.e. Maugham's) prejudices, attitudes and values.
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