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Summary The Razor's Edge

Free read The Razor's Edge ë PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Þ ❴EPUB❵ ✺ The Razor's Edge Author W. Somerset Maugham – Larry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute The progress of this spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham's most brillant charaLarry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute The progress of this spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham's most brillant characters his fiancee Is. In all big cities there are self contained groups that exist without intercommunication small worlds within a greater world that lead their lives their members dependent upon one another for companionship as though they inhabited islands separated from each other by an unnavigable strait Of no city in my experience is this true than of Paris 4 ½ stars I liked this book a lot Much than Maugham's Of Human Bondage but not uite as much as The Painted Veil The first person minor perspective works really well here Maugham inserts himself into the story but mostly exists as an observer and messenger retelling the tales passed to him by Elliott Larry Isabel and others I think this is one of the most interesting narrative structures we are still a part of the story not looking down on it but we are also an outsider peering in It seems to be exactly the right amount of proximity and distance to suit meI also like Maugham best when he is fondly mocking human nature Elliott has to be the most lovable snob I've ever had the pleasure of encountering It is he that introduces the narrator to young couple Larry and Isabel and he isn't shy about his views on their impending marriage In France the only civilized country Elliott says Isabel would have the sense to marry Gray instead and take Larry as a lover Who could deny that Elliott that arch snob was also the kindest most considerate and generous of men The story is about the journey of all these characters as they each pursue their own personal goals Elliott's goal being social eminence Isabel's wealth and comfort and Larry's perhaps most interesting of all enlightenment and self understanding Larry is a fascinating character; a First World War veteran who comes back changed but instead of responding to his brush with death by breaking down he becomes curious about the world and people He begins to care little for money and possessions much to the chagrin of the affluent Americans around him His need for understanding takes him across the world finally landing him in India Non Western philosophy features a lot in Maugham's work and here Brahmanism offers Larry a new perspectiveMaugham's narration is chock full of witty remarks that are genuinely very funny and have withstood the test of time As usual art and literature feature heavily as do snobbery social interactions and character drama It's almost soapy except it's a little too sophisticated for that But only a little “And you call yourself an English gentlemen” she exclaimed savagely“No that’s a thing I’ve never done in all my life” I think I like Maugham so much because he's not particularly moralistic and any character presenting themselves as holier than thou often gets a dressing down His characters are alcoholics and prostitutes; they behave jealously and uestion religion This is another reason I like Larry For all his pursuit of understanding and rejection of material things he remains non judgmental of other characters I'll be back for of Maugham I've heard The Moon and Sixpence is another good oneBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

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Maugham's novels this is also one in which Maugham himself plays a considerable part as he wanders in and out of the story to observe his characters struggling with their fat. Tracing the intimate lives of representative British and American upper class The Razor's Edge set in Chicago largely in Paris and also India was one of the first Western novels to explore non Western solutions to society’s ills Larry Darrell maybe seen as the protagonist but Maugham who is himself a character in the book only focuses on Larry occasionally and provides little insight to this man who early on declares he simply wants to loaf until it becomes clear to him what he wants out of life I would even go as far as to say he is completely overshadowed by the other characters Maugham as the partially omniscient narrator clearly interested in other people's relationships than his own the rich Chicago matron Bradley the sharp witted daughter Isabel the old financier Maturin and his dull witted son Gray Yet it's Larry who remained strongest in my mind after the closing pages Whilst parts of the novel especially in Paris had me thinking of Fitzgerald and Hemingway in terms of the drinks flowing the cocktail parties the restaurants and the scintillating conversations Maugham's novel I found to be much deeper and far profoundThe novel opens with Maugham admitting his apprehension at writing a novel that doesn't have a clear ending but regardless what readers read into that in the end The Razor's Edge delivers a compelling and thoroughly engaging narrativeLarry who is a sensitive intelligent young man refuses to conform to the prevailing social norms of America after the Great War and instead of wedding a rich pretty Chicago girl he starts a vagabond uest searching for answers to uestions about man God and the meaning of life This would first involve travelling to Paris which would eventually lead to stops in Germany Spain and importantly India With the latter destination finally answering some of his uestions through the teachings of Eastern spiritual men in particular an influential holy man Larry discovers who is clearly Ramana Maharshi as described by Maugham he himself visited Ramana's ashram on a journey to India in 1938His former fiancée Isabel marries Gray for financial security rather than love and still holds Larry close to her heart but is completely baffled by the way he chooses to now with little money live his life They would meet up again but as completely different people Long conversations that drive the novel's narrative is clearly one of Maugham's greatest assets here and with his elitist friend Elliott the opportunistic French artist Suzanne Rouvier and tragic addict Sophie with whom Larry would fall in love Maugham gives the lesser characters that drop in and out of the novel important roles that do in fact shape the story Unsurprising to me The Razor's Edge became one of the biggest selling books of Maugham's career and I doubt I'd read a better one I only wish I got to read at least fifty pages at a time as reading in smaller chunks which ultimately I had to it was difficult to find a suitable place to stop sometimes making it a bummer to pick up again right in the middle of a conversation It's a novel that would fully benefit being read with the least amount of breaks possible Other than that The Razor's Edge was one of the best novels I've read in 2019 Off the top of my head I can't think of anything negative to say so it's two big thumbs up to Maugham

W. Somerset Maugham ↠ 5 Free read

The Razor's EdgeAbel whose choice between love The Razor's Epuband wealth have lifelong repercussions and Elliot Templeton her uncle a classic expatriate American snob The most ambitious of. Books like this that I’ve read so long ago in my past come back even now to haunt me like the lilting plaintive refrain of an old Beatles Love songBut I only started it in the mid seventies Even back then working in soulless offices I needed to replenish my heart in long lingering draughts So how did I do thatIf you guessed by hanging around bookstores you nailed it There was a Centretown bookshop of irregular modern architectural design right at the hub of the nearby city my wonderful Dad used to cuss and call it Confusion Suare a hub which would have been ironically termed the heart of the cityCause it wasn’t Postmodern cities are uite heartless as their great refabricator Henri Lefebvre used to sayNo the heart of the city was its bookstores this one Classics my fave chain back then and WH Smith Coles Prospero and later Chapters all within that two or three block epicentreBooks as I say replenish my heart Always have ever since that halcyon summer’s day in 1956 when I took up Jules Verne after digesting my Dick Jane book in Grade One and finally discovering readingSince that time books always seem to remind me of my Grandmother whose literary spending habits were downright prodigal And she got it from her hubby my bibliophile Viennese GranddadAnd of course they both passed that on to Mom the village librarian and her beloved childrenMom and Dad had obliuely introduced me to Maugham in 1957 I remember and it was in the form of the then popular Mr Maugham Himself a late life anthology in bite sized chunks of reading Mom was a great admirer of his booksAnd no of course I didn’t actually Read Maugham back then though my parents extolled his sophistication to the skiesAnd THIS book the Razor’s Edge I never finished until I was 56 I had just finished The Moon and Sixpence which had left a foul taste on my mouth but no I wasn’t about to give up so easily because my parents swore by Maugham’s geniusAnd I remembered The Razor’s Edge GLARING down at me from the top of my piano unfinished in ‘76“Read me Read me” it had seemed to scream outAnd so now 30 years after that having been burnt out in retirement and being now browned off by my own disaster summed up in The Moon and Sixpence I picked it upAnd I remembered then that in my twenties I had thought its hero Larry was me Larry the Good self I had almost lost along the way At least that self was burned by years of passive though conscientious objection to the Fire at the centre of our timesAnd I remembered that I DESPISED myself in my naive twenties for my passive betrayal of that selfWell THIS time I loved the book It was so ME it wasn’t funnyFor I was by now relearning my own version of the razor’s edge my own straight and narrow path through the fire and had been learning it since the nineties Just like LarryNow looking back 15 years later I see the book started an amazing process of Platonic recollection in my soulRemembering all my lost beginnings and roads not taken and straight paths discarded out of hand early on And Virtues shrugged off as uncoolA process that made me come to gradually understand through Larry my OWN SPIRITUAL ODYSSEY Its shaky conception; andIts happy Peace filled conclusionWhere I am NOWThank Heaven and many thanks to you Larry also