Brad Lyerla's Reviews > The Razor's Edge

The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
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Oct 06, 10


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
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Mark maybe love is hopeless. Larry studied, Isabel played, Elliot mingled. They all succeeded but Sophie.


Basheer well said


Mark I happened to be awake just now as this came in. My thought is that somebody's "famous author" pedigree doesn't earn them special stature in lecturing everybody about love. It's a complicated thing, and WSM took a hard path in life. So we shouldn't necessarily take his word for it.


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