Razor sharp

30 12 2008

The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham

razor-edge

Larry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of this spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham’s most brilliant characters – his fiancee Isabel, whose choice between love and wealth have lifelong repercussions, and Elliot Templeton, her uncle, a classic expatriate American snob. The most ambitious of Maugham’s novels, this is also one in which Maugham himself plays a considerable part as he wanders in and out of the story, to observe his characters struggling with their fates.

Slower-paced than some other Maugham works but extremely well-written and well-realised characters as always. However, Larry and Isabel are difficult to feel huge sympathy for and Elliot’s snobbery really is quite sad all told. Still, great stuff.

4 star

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