Briynne's Reviews > The Razor's Edge

The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
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Jan 06, 09

Read in January, 2009

I think I’d be tempted to give this one six stars if I could. I adored this book, and I regret not reading it when I was sixteen or so; even though you can’t properly understand much at that age, books that merely impress you later on “change your life” as a junior in high school. I believe this one would have done so, but I’m happy enough with the experience of having now read it at the ripe old age of 24.

I’m a sucker for books of the Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and now Maugham mold, where rather glamorous people spend their lives being filthy rich and frequently maudlin on the French Riviera or other places far more intriguing than where I am. There is a wonderfully effortless quality to Maugham’s writing, and his characters are perfect. The narrator is both removed from and integral to the action of the story, and I really enjoyed his judgments of the events and people around him. Larry is, I suppose, the principle character, but he is so saintly and untouchable that I admired him more than I loved him. I did love Isabel, and loved her all the more for her bouts of jealousy and manipulation. Elliott was a constant laugh, even though he was really a very sad character, and Maugham’s minor characters are wonderfully rounded and developed even when they only get a few pages in which to be known.

A gorgeous, thoughtful, amusing book – read it!
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Edwin Arnaudin Now you should watch the 1984 film adaptation starring (and co-written by!) Bill Murray. It's an odd thing to watch, but quite enjoyable.


Briynne Edwin wrote: "Now you should watch the 1984 film adaptation starring (and co-written by!) Bill Murray. It's an odd thing to watch, but quite enjoyable."

I added it to my Netflix queue - thanks for the recommendation :)




Edwin Arnaudin You got it!

We're going to be in Raleigh at the end of the month for my birthday. Are you and James free for supper with some other folks the night of the 30th and up for watching the State/UNC game at a sports bar the next afternoon?



Briynne Edwin wrote: "You got it!

We're going to be in Raleigh at the end of the month for my birthday. Are you and James free for supper with some other folks the night of the 30th and up for watching the State/UNC g..."


That would be great - I'm excited to see you both and I'm sure James is game as well. Just let me know the details!


message 5: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle I'm relatively new to Somerset's publications (he is but one of the great many writers that I've been meaning to "get around to reading"), and I've been struggling to decide where I should begin. I've spent most of tonight sifting through paragraphs upon pages of opinions, and after reading countless reviews (good and bad), yours was the one that sold me on this read as my starting point. (Your comparison / mention of Fitzgerald sealed the deal!)


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