The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm giving this five stars. I don't know if it's exactly perfect, but I liked a bit better than Maugham's other most famous works which I highly enjoyed, Of Human Bondage and The Painted Veil, so that's saying something!
Looking at it, The Razor's Edge appears to be a sort of family saga. Maugham places himself into the center of the story, the author of some repute who gets invited into society for being the interesting, up-and-coming artist of the day. This gives him the opportunity to peek into the lives of the family members and relay the details to the reader.
The actual central figure is Larry Darrell, a WWI pilot suffering from PTSD. Larry turns away from society life to seek the meaning of his own life. This afford Maugham the opportunity to Herman Hesse-up his book with transcendentalism.
Actually, that was probably the whole point of The Razor's Edge. The family saga is a mere backdrop. However, I liked and appreciated Maugham's couching his religious pondering in a story. You might even call it a parable, for Larry is a very Jesus like figure, a loving and caring man who seems to be able to perform miracles amongst the sinful masses.
This may not be five stars for everyone, but I'll freely recommend it to everyone.
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