The Razor's Edge, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


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 brillant 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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780099284864

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I picked this up for loose change in a little bookshop in Vienna, and finally got around to reading it when I hit Brussels, back in 2003 when I was touring Europe by rail. It has since become one of my favourite books, and it is the book I first think of when recommending literature to friends.It's a spiritual book, much though I loathe the term, following a young American, Larry, through the first world war and into the twenties, up to the Wall Street Crash. It places his life in the context of the narrator, and his circle of friends; as always, Maugham is quick to move away from the topic that most authors would stick with, and instead takes in everything around him, which I find one of his most delightful habits.

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