The Razor's Edge

Narrated by: Michael Page
Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (520 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

This novel is part of Brilliance Audio's extensive Classic Collection, bringing you timeless masterpieces that you and your family are sure to love.

©1944 W. Somerset Maugham and renewed in 1971 by Elizabeth Mary, Baroness Glendevon (P)1994 Brilliance Audio
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An Classic of Love and the Desire for Meaning

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.

13 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and easy to read

I enjoyed listening to this book. Both the story and the performance are brilliant. Lovely experience.

10 people found this helpful

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Good ol Larry.

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.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Fine writing-story and characters a bit lacking

Maugham is a fine writer. He uses language to describe people and circumstances with precision and subtlety. I enjoyed the book, but I can't say I found the characters very interesting. As with Henry James, Edith Wharton and co., most of them belong to the upper crust who don't need to work for a living. And they don't do much else either. I liked the occasional bits of dry humor. The narration was very good.

4 people found this helpful

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The path to salvation is hard, and a bit hokey

W. Somerset Maugham has written some magnificent books. This, in my opinion, is not one of them. I imagine the narrative might have been revolutionary when first published in 1944, but the "westerner going to India in search of enlightenment" trope has been worn pretty thin over the last 75 years, giving a somewhat hokey feel to (some of) the proceedings. That said, Maugham is still a gifted writer, and the audio performance is excellent. There is definitely value here, but I'd recommend listeners start with "Of Human Bondage" or "The Moon and Sixpence" and work their way on from there. #SearchforEnlightenment #WorldWarOne #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

3 people found this helpful

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FAITHFUL RENDERING OF A CLASSIC

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.

2 people found this helpful

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Didn't care for it

I only got through about the first hour of this book before I quit. I have no interest in listening to hoyghty, toyghty upper crust thinking they are so much better than the rest of us underlings.

1 person found this helpful

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Forgotten Loves

I read this in college; listening to it again reminded me how I fell in love with all 3 women as the story progressed. This is such a wonderful novel; Maugham' s observations on America and Americans are a delight.

1 person found this helpful

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More treatise than novel.

The philosophy is good. Suits well people who are searching for meaning. Ending is anti-climactic.

1 person found this helpful

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A tale of the searching soul

Beautiful narration for an equally beautiful tale of the searchers that some of us may be lucky enough to be acquainted with..

1 person found this helpful