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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric
  • Colorado
  • 01-06-17

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.

4 of 4 people found this review 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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Emrys
  • Alfred, NY, United States
  • 03-27-18

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.

3 of 3 people found this review 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A thin line between good and evil

a very moving and relevant story that nicely bridges the gap between Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby and Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. The balance of life is portrayed well in this novel by Maugham.

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  • Robert
  • GOLDENS BRIDGE, NEW YORK, United States
  • 07-05-18

Good performance can't save this story

I bought this book because I enjoyed Maugham's "Painted Veil". This is a very different book. The story is long and dull, and eventually goes completely off the rails. Maugham's editor must have gone on vacation. The performance is excellent, but can't save a bad book.

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A tale that seems as apt today as ever

one mistake people often make when regarding the razor's Edge is that it is a story of a single man in his journey towards an uncertain perhaps enlightened life. Well it is in part that, but it is just as accurately described as a story of the lives of many people, each of whom took a very different path in life.

what gets me the most about this story, listening to it for the first time, but having read it many times in the past, is that it remains as true now as when it was written. The insight to life in Paris seem as Acura to my life when I live there in 1998, as they were right after the first World War. And as for the view of Americans, well it may be even more accurate today than when it was written.

I highly recommend this book, both to anyone looking for an interesting examination of Life as a whole, and anyone studying language as a particularly as it is written.

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A very thought provoking work!

How many of us desire to lead a life of detachment and to evolve to that point as Larry. It is a very interesting study of the human consciousness vs social consciousnesses. It is no wonder that Paul Twitchell and Sri Harold Klemp mentioned this book in their spiritual studies of Eckankar.

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I love “The Razors Edge!”

I have no clue why I decided to purchase this book..it’s not like I haven’t seen the movie a million times..but it’s NOT the movie..and I’m so grateful it’s not!

Why do we see a movie then, but in the back of your mind you’re comparing it? Maugham write The Razors Edge completely on a first person POV. Since it seemed like a “biography” of a family and a “searcher”, there’s no way, as in the movie, it could have been written from the eyes of Larry. It had to be written from the eyes of the author, with his communication and interaction with Isabelle, Larry, Sophie and Elliott. It makes more sense now!

Here’s another interesting fact..this is the first time I’ve actually listened to a novel by Maugham! All I’ve seen have been movies based on his novels! That is just not good..on my end..because I love his writing! In the day he wrote he certainly was straightforward, brash, and I thought it was excellent! This book should be put into a 21st century remake (movie) because I think taking away from the authors POV harms the book...even though it’s the same story, there’s no comparison now...

As far as Michael Page being the narrator...I adore his narration! I’ve listened to so many of his depiction and he’s in a class by himself, next to Tim Campbell..another story..
He depicts accents remarkably well, and you know when you listen it’s not all blending together. Love it!

So in the end...don’t compare a movie to a novel (me) even when it’s excellent..I highly recommend “The Razors Edge” and I’m more excited about listening to more of the author “Somerset”..brilliant! 5 ⭐️