Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
The Razor's Edge
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
The Great War changed everything and the years following it were tumultuous - most of all for those who lived the war first-hand. Maugham himself is a character in this novel of self-discovery and search for meaning, but the protagonist is a character named Larry. Battered physically and spiritually by the war, Larry's physical wounds heal, but his spirit is changed almost beyond recognition. He leaves his betrothed, the beautiful and devoted Isabel. He studies philosophy and religion in Paris. He lives as a monk. He witnesses the exotic hardships of Spanish life. All of life that he can find - from an Indian Ashrama to labor in a coal mine - becomes Larry's spiritual experiment as he spurns the comfort and privilege of the Roaring '20s. Maugham's theme is the contrast of spiritual content between Larry and the growing materialism and sophistication of those he left behind - and the surprising irony of where both of those paths lead.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
blurb
merelybookish
Razor's Edge | W Somerset Maugham
post image

My meagre haul from this year's library sale. In a short story mood, I guess, and couldn't resist the garish cover on The Razor's Edge. I picked up The Professor in hopes we might have another Bronte readalong in the new year.

andrew61 I would definitely like to join another Bronte readalong! 3mo
merelybookish @andrew61 Oh good! Maybe @LeahBergen @batsy @blaire @saresmoore might be interested too. 🙂 3mo
LeahBergen I‘ve read The Professor but it was years ago. I might be ready for a reread! 3mo
See All 8 Comments
saresmoore I‘m always up for a Brontë readalong! 3mo
Blaire I would love to do another readalong! 3mo
readordierachel That Razor's Edge cover is awesome 😍 3mo
batsy I haven't read The Professor, so yes please! Would love to join a group read :) 3mo
batsy Great haul and the Mansfield cover is gorgeous. 3mo
65 likes8 comments
blurb
gradcat
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image

#LilithJuly

(Day 12 - #Possession)

“The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard.” -Katha Upanishad
The above quote is the epigraph (translated) for “The Razor‘s Edge”; to my mind one of the best novels to illustrate and contrast materialism and spiritualism. The main character, Larry Darrell, wanders in search of a spiritual philosophy to help him find meaning after his experience in WWI.

Spillmrj Did you see the movie as well? I did and it was quite disappointing. 6mo
gradcat @Spillmrj I‘ve only seen the 1946 version, which I quite liked. Are you referring to that one, or the 1984 version with Bill Murray? I know that the 1984 one got terrible reviews, so if you saw that one, I get you. I think after the earlier version, with Tyrone Power & Gene Tierney, it would be hard to measure up to that. 6mo
50 likes2 comments
blurb
Eggs
Razor's Edge | W Somerset Maugham
post image

The book‘s title is based on the Katha Upanishad, and Maugham does a good job of outlining some of the basic enigmas inherent in the protagonist's pursuit of life's fundamental mysteries.
#puzzlebooks #riotgrams @bookriot

Cathythoughts Sounds really good. I remember reading him years ago ... I don‘t think I ever read this one 👍🏻❤️stacked 1y
59 likes1 comment
blurb
AppuNthebooks
Razor's Edge | W Somerset Maugham
post image

Larry was all I wanted to be when I discovered him in college. But what a far cry my life is from the vagabond in search of enlightenment. What I want has changed. But I‘ve also come to realise to travel is a privilege. To seek a deeper meaning is privilege. In retrospect now, Larry‘s life arc seems idealistic. The joy of reading too, is a privilege and I am thankful for it. #Classics #Riotgram #Day12

review
mauveandrosysky
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image
Mehso-so

There were several points at which I thought I might really enjoy this. I was down with Larry wanting to do nothing but "loaf." I like the idea of a character rejecting modern life to pursue deeper meaning. It's where Larry's journey took him that lost me. The Razor's Edge delves deep into eastern philosophy, which has always underwhelmed me. I think a reader drawn to Hinduism, Buddhism and Eastern thought would appreciate Larry more than I did.

26 likes1 stack add
review
monalyisha
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image
Pickpick

I didn‘t love this book but I liked it more than I thought I would. When I got to this gem on page 7: “Thus relieved of material cares he gave himself over to the ruling passion of his life, which was social relationships”, I thought I was done for. 🤢 It reminded me of all the Henry James & Proust I hated in college. But I was won over by the language & wit; it more than made up for the insufferable mansplaining & ALL of the terrible people.

monalyisha Elliot‘s final moment, his biting rsvp to the last party invitation of his life, was just perfect. 😆🙌🏻 2y
45 likes2 stack adds1 comment
quote
monalyisha
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image

“I enjoyed the splendor of the services, but the one I liked best of all was the Matins. It was at four in the morning. It was wonderfully moving to sit in the church with the night all around you while the monks, mysterious in their habits, their cowls drawn over their heads, sang with their strong voices the plain-song of the liturgy.”

*(Cont‘d in comments👇🏻)

monalyisha In high school, my best friend Matt & I often used to wake up early (or stay awake all night) & go to morning Matins at a nearby abbey before heading to class. Not the most normal activity for teenagers (it totally bewildered my parents, who weren‘t even religious & who knew I wasn‘t either 😅) but Maugham is right; it *was* moving. And peaceful. And those sunrises! 😍 (edited) 2y
53 likes1 comment
blurb
monalyisha
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image

I had early New Year‘s plans tonight. We were on our way to a party. I had my Secret Santa gift in my lap & a bottle of Cabernet in my backpack - but my husband suffered an anxiety attack en route. So, we‘re back home. I responded kindly & gently... but I‘m honestly pretty bummed. I was looking forward to seeing friends who don‘t live close & who I don‘t see often. 😪 On the upside, he‘s feeling better & maybe now I‘ll finish my book before 2018!

LectricSheep As someone who has anxiety with a (sweet and gentle) partner who doesn‘t: thank you so much for being understanding. ❤️ 2y
monalyisha @LectricSheep I mean, he‘s the best. And it‘s not like he planned it. I try. He tries. We‘ll have a good night, anyway. 💗 2y
Jabberwocky And I second that! @LectricSheep 2y
See All 10 Comments
AmyG ❤️ We all are there for each other...just in different ways. I so understand this. 2y
Eyelit 💜💙💚 2y
Alfoster Yes, you have such a great attitude! It‘s all good❤️! 2y
Jas16 💙 2y
Ashley_Morgan My husband has anxiety as well and I have been in your shoes. I‘m sorry you missed out on connecting with friends, that stinks even if it is the right thing to do! I‘m certain he appreciates it! I hope you guys can still have a wonderful night! 2y
Tamra 💜 2y
47 likes10 comments
blurb
monalyisha
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image

This book was published in the early 1940‘s & some of the expressions are just *not* okay... but for some reason, I‘m tickled to death! One of the characters (whose wife is stuck at home taking care of his headache instead of going out to dinner) just exclaimed, with terrible affection, “Poor slut, I think she loves me.” I asked Adam (my husband) if he‘d try to work this into his vocabulary - especially in company. 😂😆

Christine11 😂🤣😂 2y
rubyslippersreads I'm not sure slut always had the meaning it does now. I've seen the expression "slut's wool" in old books, so I think it also meant a poor housekeeper (though it's still pretty derogatory. ?) 2y
Kaye If we were standing on a mountaintop with not even a bird for company, and my husband called me that, he‘d have a quick slide down to the bottom on the seat of his pants. 2y
See All 8 Comments
monalyisha @kaye 😆🙌🏻💪🏻 It‘s just so completely absurd! 2y
monalyisha @rubyslippersreads Interesting! I‘ll have to read up. 2y
emilyhaldi Lolol @Kaye 😂😂👍🏻 2y
BookMaven407 😂😂😂 2y
Eggs 😂😂 2y
50 likes1 stack add8 comments
quote
monalyisha
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image

“There are few things so pleasant as a picnic lunch eaten in perfect company.”

(old photo of me & my husband enjoying a sun-ripened raspberry picnic.☀️)

Centique You two are super cute! 😁 2y
SassyPants617 You guys are adorable! 🤗 2y
64 likes2 comments
quote
monalyisha
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image

“Let us go,” he said. “I never spend more than one hour in a gallery. That‘s as long as one‘s power of appreciation persists.”

blurb
monalyisha
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image

Uh-oh. A nod from Theodore Dreiser? This doesn‘t bode well...🙈

#requiredreading #bookclubbook

Nebklvr Oh, I enjoyed this one. 2y
Nebklvr Haven‘t read Dreiser. 2y
monalyisha @Nebklvr Thanks! That‘s heartening. 2y
See All 7 Comments
Nebklvr Good luck! Whenever I HAVE to read anything it isn‘t as much fun. This is a slow mover. Good characters. Lots of study of class. Interesting time period 2y
Billypar I never read it, but the nice part of having a classic novel with a film adaptation starring Bill Murray is you can picture him in the lead and that could help with any dry sections 😃 2y
monalyisha @Billypar 😅 Thanks for the motivation! 2y
sprainedbrain I‘ve only read one other Maugham, but I really loved it. Planning to read this one in 2018, so I look forward to seeing your thoughts! 😃 2y
42 likes7 comments
review
Spiderfelt
Razor's Edge | W Somerset Maugham
post image
Pickpick

A classic hero's journey if ever there was one, I enjoyed dipping into another time. There's a difference between reading a book set in another time and reading a book written in another time. Initially, the dated attitudes regarding women set my teeth on edge. However, by the time I finished it, I still found some of the characters frustrating, yet I see they were foils for the larger theme.

blurb
Sarah83
The Razor's Edge: A Novel | (William Somerset), . Maugham
post image
quote
ChrisBohjalian
The Razor's Edge: A Novel | (William Somerset), . Maugham
post image

"Nothing in the world is permanent, and we‘re foolish when we ask anything to last." -- Somerset Maugham. Sunset in Vermont. #Whyilovethe802

review
Gittelbooks
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
Pickpick

Stellar storytelling. Young American Larry Darrell talks his way into fighting in WWI - at age 17 - & emerges a changed person with no use for the expectations of others. Narrated by Maugham who anchors the plot, it's not for everyone but I enjoyed it immensely. Off to catch the 1946 film with Tyrone Power to see how it compares.

blurb
ValerieAndBooks
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image

Yesterday went into the used bookstore with daughter. She was looking for the last 2 books in the Traveling Pants series (found them). Of course I had to get these ☝️for myself 😊. The Maugham is a #blameitonLauraBeth purchase. @LauraBeth did you read this title (the only one of his there)?

Jess_Read_This I love Maugham's writing. Cakes and Ale had me hooked! 2y
DivineDiana @ValerieAndBooks Love these! Was it a local used bookstore? 2y
LauraBeth I haven't read this one but want to! I've read Cakes and Ale and like @Jess_Read_This said - it had me hooked 😀 2y
See All 18 Comments
Dragon Razor 's Edge is a good book. Bill Murray did a rather terrible movie based on the book. The book is better. 🐉 2y
Jinjer I love the covers of the two on the right!!!! 2y
LeahBergen I liked The Razor's Edge. 👍🏻 2y
andrew61 Christadora is one i want to try, and Maughan I've not read for years and want to revisit - great choices 2y
ValerieAndBooks @Jess_Read_This @LauraBeth that title, Cakes and Ale, has me hungry (and thirsty)! 2y
ValerieAndBooks @DivineDiana yes, a local used bookstore -- in West Chester. Second Reading II on High Street (in a strip mall). FYI for the month of August all trade paperbacks are 50% off. I think they normally go for $3 each. And on Th, F, Sat every week they have a fill-a-bag for $17 (they supply the bags but I'm usually able to carefully pack about 12-15 books in it)! 2y
ValerieAndBooks @Dragon hmm, now I wonder if I saw that movie 🤔. If I'm not sure, it probably was forgettable 😂. And we know books are always better ! 2y
ValerieAndBooks @Jinjer so do I! I'm a sucker for almost anything Penguin (the lower right) 😊 2y
ValerieAndBooks @LeahBergen good to know! I think this will be high in my TBR (depending on my mood, of course 😂)! 2y
ValerieAndBooks @andrew61 Christodora was on my radar because of Litsy. I'm starting to think I might have read at least one short story by Maugham but if so, it was long ago! 2y
andrew61 @ValerieAndBooks i think in my teens/20's i read of human bondage and cakes and ale - i looked at the first a few weeks ago and the print ws so small and book so big i doubted id read it and put it back 😞 may try again ☺ 2y
DivineDiana @ValerieAndBooks Thank you! I was actually in West Chester today! 😉 2y
ValerieAndBooks @andrew61 I know what you mean about the ever-shrinking print!! Maybe you can find a copy in an edition that's easier on the eyes 👀 . 2y
ValerieAndBooks @DivineDiana 😄. Oh! Do you know that Chester County Book Company (on Paoli Pike) is now an book outlet-type store? Pretty much all remainders. No atmosphere but good prices. 2y
DivineDiana @ValerieAndBooks I forgot that! Need to visit! I loved the old store! 😕 2y
78 likes1 stack add18 comments
review
Nebklvr
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image
Pickpick

I loved the time period WWI through Great depression era. Interesting narration from perspective of an English author entangled with an eccentric American family. Materialism vs Spirituality is a big theme. Author/narrator dwells on aesthetics of female characters but writes them as strong, interesting, and witty. Still stewing on this one.

Mamashep For some reason I keep forgetting about this book. Have you ever seen the movie adaptation? If I'm not mistaken, I think Bill Murray was in it. 2y
Nebklvr @Mamashep I haven't watched the film. Actually I was not aware of this Author until quite recently....😰 2y
SaraBeagle I love Maugham!! Check out 2y
See All 7 Comments
Nebklvr @SaraBeagle The library has On Human Bondage...will have to check it out 2y
SaraBeagle @Nebklvr That's the first of his I read and it sent me looking for more. 2y
monalyisha That‘s a good point about the female characters! Though they‘re both SO intensely flawed - beyond hope. Hmm... 2y
44 likes1 stack add7 comments
quote
Nebklvr
The Razor's Edge: A Novel | (William Somerset), . Maugham
post image

I love Louisa!

JanuarieTimewalker13 I loved his writing and I liked this book, but I can't remember it! I think I even saw the film! 2y
Nebklvr @JanuarieTimewalker13 This is my first but most likely not my last! Did you read The Painted Veil? 2y
bitterbear I love this book... Have you read 2y
See All 11 Comments
bitterbear Did you know Bill Murray was in the movie version of razor's edge.... 2y
JanuarieTimewalker13 No, but I own On Human Bondage, and I want to get to that hopefully next year. 2y
Nebklvr @bitterbear I have not read this. Is it great? 2y
Nebklvr @JanuarieTimewalker13 They have that at my library but it is huge so I wanted to start one that sounded and looked a little more accessible 2y
bitterbear @Nebklvr I read razor's edge and Siddhartha around the same time... Different stories... Same theme. So good. 2y
bitterbear @JanuarieTimewalker13 I didn't care for human bondage... BUT I loved the Bettie Davis film! 💖💖💖 I kinda felt it was whinny. 2y
Nebklvr @bitterbear Sounds like a good casting job. The perfect Bette Davis part... 2y
JanuarieTimewalker13 @bitterbear Interesting!! I just love his writing style! (edited) 2y
35 likes1 stack add11 comments
blurb
Seshat
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image
Cinfhen Well played 😍 3y
33 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
tnorris
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image
Pickpick

Not my usual pick, but was highly recommended. I really enjoyed it!

29 likes1 stack add
blurb
FoldedPagesDistillery
Razor's Edge | W Somerset Maugham
post image

Name one book that is important to you.

Vbrrgirl A Confederacy of Dunces 3y
Vbrrgirl Days of Abandonment 3y
Theresa Beautiful picture! 3y
See All 11 Comments
JDHawkins The Last Unicorn. 3y
samharnold The Book Thief 📚🐛 3y
magictoyshop The Prophet by Khalil Gibran 💗 3y
lamaman2boys A Wrinkle in Time. 3y
kym1 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 3y
74 likes1 stack add11 comments
blurb
CKtheLibrarian
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image

Strep and Maugham.

TheLibrarian Oh no. Hope you start feeling better soon. 3y
5 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Moray_Reads
The Razor's Edge: A Novel | (William Somerset), . Maugham
post image
Mehso-so

This was so terribly dull that I struggled to finish. While the writing is excellent it lacked the beautiful flow of The Painted Veil and my interest in the characters quickly waned. It's been on my tbr forever so at least I can cross another off. #TacklingTheTBR #LRC11

quote
pinkash3
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image

"Sometimes a very small thing will have an effect on you out of all proportion to the event. It depends on the circumstances and your mood at the time."

2 likes1 stack add
quote
jdtchicago
Razor's Edge | W Somerset Maugham

For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these...you can't come to know by hearsay...

mrsh62010 I absolutely love this. Thanks for sharing :) 3y
KarinWestbrook Beautiful... 3y
LeahBergen Great book. 3y
36 likes4 stack adds3 comments
review
jengalocke
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
Bailedbailed

Perhaps it simply doesn't age well? The prose was sharp; the plot was painfully dull.

MrBook It happens, unfortunately 😕. Well, welcome to @Litsy ! We hope you enjoy your stay, I think you'll like it here 😎👍🏻. 3y
2 likes1 comment
quote
Oblomov26
Razor's Edge | W Somerset Maugham
post image

Loved this book and really need to revisit it. And like Larry, I acknowledge that the acquisition of knowledge on esoteric subjects may not be practical but it can be a lot of fun

50 likes2 stack adds
blurb
Beckys_Books
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image

A nearby library has a used book sale twice a year. The books are either donated or taken out of circulation. I buy my father a huge box of them for Christmas each year. I usually pick up a few for myself as well. #augustofpages #day18 #usedbooks

BookBabe You're a wonderful daughter! 😊👍🏻 3y
26 likes1 comment
blurb
Shemac77
Razor's Edge | W Somerset Maugham
post image

Photo 2 of book haul today. #bookstorefinds
#readeverydayeverywhere

22 likes1 stack add
blurb
[DELETED] 586715006
The Razor's Edge | W. Somerset Maugham
post image

Slowly but surely moving books from my old bookshelf at my father's house to my current bookshelf at home. Can't wait to get these shelved.

quote
mleawhatley
Razor's Edge | W Somerset Maugham
post image

"In all cities there are self-contained groups that exist without intercommunication, small worlds within a greater world that lead their lives, their members dependent upon one another for companionship, as though they inhabited islands separated from each other by an unnavigable strait."