Leonie's Reviews > The Razor's Edge

The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
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's review
Nov 07, 2011

it was ok

The misogyny piled up to the stage where it just dragged my opinion of the book right down. The main female character is a very superficial woman whose expression of lust, like a bitch in heat, at one point makes the male narrator feel sick. The main reason the narrator is her friend at all is because he likes looking at her. She's cruel, in contrast to the male characters, about a friend of hers who became an alcoholic nymphomaniac when her husband and child died. And there's several little jokes about how women aren't as good at things at men which always annoy me because they're so gratuitous and never have anything to do with the novel. So I would have felt pretty negatively about this book anyway, but then we get to the big long boring reveal of Larry's amazing spiritual revelation, which turns out to be this thing called Hinduism. And yes, it may have seemed like a brand new discovery to Westerners at the time, but I still think it could have been possible to make it sound less nauseatingly potted and shallow. Also, the narrator kept assuring us that the snobbish uncle was a nice person really, but I didn't feel it. Altogether, I pretty much despised this book once I'd finished it, which is a shame, because I'd liked several of his others and this is possibly his best-known one.
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