“An eye-opening book about how people choose to live their lives. All of the characters are flawed and interesting, but my favorite is Larry. His spiritual discovery was so beautiful and a joy to read about!
I love books that make me think about life in a different way. What especially struck me is the morality (or the lack of morality) that these characters display. Sometimes I caught myself wanting to judge them, but to do that would take away from the very human message of the story. It's best to read this book without bringing your own beliefs into it. If you can do that, then you're in for an interesting character study and an authentic look at post-war Europe.”
“I first came across this novel as a plebe at the US Naval Academy, where I had to write a term paper about the English author & playwright Somerset Maugham and his works. Since then, I have read 'The Razor's Edge' several times and find it still to be interesting and relevant. The book deals very much with the search for meaning in life and, in that search, follows the character Larry Darrell, a disillusioned war veteran of WWI, through his travels through the US, Europe, and the East. Experiences of other characters are also significantly intermixed in the plot and the author even plays a minor part. Finally, the razor plays a fateful role as the story comes to its end. While this book has been meaningful to me in my own world view, I am not sure that it will offer the same relevance or interest to the average reader in this century. Nevertheless, I recommend the book--especially to someone searching for their own meaning in life. ”Hayes Randolph wrote this review Tuesday, January 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“For some reason this book reminds me of A Portrait of Dorian Gray in reverse. There is something paracreepy about Larry and his floating / loafing. Great writing and a good story. Word has it that this book was written in the library of the University Club of Chicago, my club.”Tim Mather wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I never really thought about how I was going to spend my life. Each successive step just seemed natural. I have no regrets, but I realize that it was not a very thoughtful approach that got me here.”Jim Robles wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“My youngest daughter came home from college the other day with this book under her arm. I grabbed it and expected it to be great. It almost met my expectations. Maugham's theme is to explore how the things we want most shape our lives. He sums it up in the final paragraph. Elliot valued social standing above all else. Isabel, a rich husband. Gray, to be one of the guys in business. Suzanne, security. Sophie, death. Larry, spiritual happiness. One surprise to me is that none of Maugham's characters chose love. Though, perhaps, Sophie did only to have her husband and young child cruelly snatched away in an accident driving her into self-destruction. All in all, the book is very satisfying and the characters are drawn out thoughtfully and without predictability. When the book was done, my favorite character was Elliott. He is an arch snob and highly affected -- sometimes to the point of absurdity. But I liked him. Among several surprises in the book, this may have been the biggest for me.”Brad Lyerla wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Fantastic fiction. ”Joel G wrote this review Monday, January 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“High existence”Bri wrote this review Monday, December 31, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Impeccably written story about people. The language is so down to earth that it makes any concept, any idea so easy to understand and relate to. ”Masha Ku wrote this review Sunday, December 2, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I enjoyed the authors voice, though his style was a little different (clauses man, how do they work?).
The content was much similar to Austen and Wharton books; all early 1900s society, but this book included some elements I was very pleased with on the higher callings of man.”
“Well written story that should have been a short story instead of a novel. The beginning is rich people luncheon together and making plans for their next party. You might be better off starting at page 100, and if you don't mind missing one or two details you can skip straight to Part Six where Larry's experiences are revealed. ”nina d wrote this review Tuesday, October 30, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No