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Friday, August 5, 2011

Review - Somerset Maugham's THE RAZOR'S EDGE

I have the classic Penguin cover but try as I might I could not find this! The story set in 1919 has Somerset Maugham as the narrator of the story throughout. I liked this and I think its the first time I have read a book with the author as the narrator (other than a memoir).

Larry a fighter pilot post WWI is dissatisfied with his life - though engaged to Isabel, he wants to "loaf" for two years before he decides to marry. The situation is unacceptable to not just Isabel but also to her family, the engagement is broken amicably and Larry disappears to Paris to find himself. We then have Eliot - Isabel's uncle, Isabel's mother Louisa, the author himself and a few characters to flesh out the story.

The entire story revolves around Larry with others as being almost satellites of him. He is a loner, very much of a peace and love thing long long before it became popular. As a result to those around him, he seems alien almost not quite right in the head as most people cannot understand what he is looking for. Those around him are searching for the material aspects of life - security, love, marriage, property whereas Larry is looking for God and the Infinite.

The style of writing is chatty - almost always the story unravels in a cafe, over dinner or at a lunch on the Riviera. The background is idyllic - Europe at its best and it is a nice background for a story.

I have picked up quite a few Penguins (coming up for Mailbox Monday) and this was a particularly good one. I liked very much the mix of American and European philosophy with a dash of the Eastern - to spice things up.

4 comments:

McGuffy Ann said...

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McGuffyAnn
McGuffy's Reader
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Blodeuedd said...

I do like what I hear :) I think I would enjoy it

mel u said...

I have yet to read one of Maugham's works-I have seen the movie based on this book-I enjoyed your post a lot-thanks for sharing your thoughts

Teacher/Learner said...

This is waiting on my TBR list but I didn't know what it was about. Thanks for your review, it looks like a great read :)