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The Razor's Edge (Thinking Classics) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

W. Somerset Maugham , Robbie McCallum
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1. April 2011 Thinking Classics
With this book Maugham skilfully dramatizes a philosophical treatise on the clash of Eastern spirituality and Western culture into one man's relentless journey towards enlightenment and the repercussions of such an action on the loves and lives of others. Hidden beneath the exquisite prose, a lesson in self-determination and self-development slowly unravels and reveals itself amidst a beautifully balanced cast of players and the customs, prejudices, and decadence of the day. Although by no means the first to anticipate the growing influence of Eastern Culture on Europe and America, Maugham-who drifts through the story as a unassuming narrator-produces a work that proved perceptive to the point of prophetic and predated the Beats who were to popularize the phenomenon by over a decade.

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“[Maugham is] a great artist . . . a genius.” –Theodore Dreiser

“[Maugham’s] excessively rare gift of story-telling . . . is almost the equal of imagination itself.” –The Sunday Times (London)

“It is very difficult for a writer of my generation, if he is honest, to pretend indifference to the work of Somerset Maugham. . . . He was always so entirely there.” –Gore Vidal

“Maugham remains the consummate craftsman. . . . [His writing is] so compact, so economical, so closely motivated, so skillfully written, that it rivets attention from the first page to last.” –Saturday Review of Literature -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .


An ambitious novel by the formidable talent, Somerset Maugham -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fantastic Story 11. Mai 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Maugham writes an extremely interesting and thought provoking book, in this story about a young man who takes a drastic change. The book starts off in the early 20's, with World War I veteran Larry engaged to the beautiful Isabella. The future is ripe for him as he has the promise of a lucrative job.
However, Larry having had a life altering experience in the war (a friend saved his life by sacrificing himself), Larry decides that the materialistic way is not the one he wants to pursue. He'd rather loaf. Isabella wants a traditional, American way of life. They split up and Larry indulges himself in taking up various careers throughout Europe, studying with priests and Indian yogis, and reading and learning. Isabella, on the other hand, agrees to marry a wealthy young man. Their marriage is good, but not deep as she always has feelings for Larry.
Maugham writes in the first person and the reader is able to guess that this is a true story, but with the names changed. In some ways, the story is like a soap opera (Isabella tries to keep track of Larry's life and they run into each other periodically. There is also some scheming done when Isabella finds Larry engaged). There are other players in the book, and ultimately each gets what they want: spirituality, material possessions and security, social prominence, or death. The primary focus, though, is on Larry's spiritual growth and his relationship with Isabella. There is also a lengthy discussion into Hinduism versus Christianity.
There was also a well-done movie that does justice to the book. It runs on AMC. The ending differs only slightly and the book goes into a few places the movie doesn't, but both are comparable and worthwhile.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Not Just About Larry 29. Juni 2000
Von Ed
While the writing of this novel strikes my American ear as a bit formal, it is certainly beautiful and clever prose. Maugham writes an interesting portrayal of 6 or 7 very different people as they interact with each other and pursue their differing objectives in their own way. What do you want out of life? How do you think you might attain these goals? Love, happiness, spirituality, money, social standing -- what is important to you? This book won't necessarily help you answer
these questions but it will certainly show you several alternatives to consider.

At some point, each of the characters experiences a devastating loss. In the natural course of their lives, each of them has something that they hold most dear taken from them. In their own way, each of them overcomes this devastating loss and perseveres. But their efforts don't come across as heroic. What we see are very natural but no less inspiring examples of the triumph of the human spirit.

Larry's spiritual journey for meaning may be the most interesting thread of the story, and as he grows, he helps several of the others along on their own unique journeys. But, unless you can give it all away and wander the earth in search of answers, the kind of answers Larry comes up with may be instructive, but the stories of the other characters may be more applicable to you.
[This review is based on the 1944 Blakiston Company edition.]
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Life is more than the pursuit of property and position 12. Februar 2000
Von "robfox"
Despite the focus on Larry Durrel, this novel is about many different characters, including Maugham himself. I found his characters very realistic and very human, each with good and bad traits. Although Maugham claims to have not understood Larry's very important tale in chapter 6, he presents these views very well. This chapter is where Larry tells of his journey to India. Maugham tells us it is not important to the actual story line of the novel, but it is the most important part of the whole book. Do not skip it. Actually, I think Maugham was using a bit of reverse psychology there. This is a magnificent novel about people enveloped in society and one who flies above it. As many have said before, an ispiration.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen One man's journey 28. Juli 2000
In our relativistic age it is becoming increasingly hard to find a faith/religion. Society is destroying tradition and has yet to offer a suitable replacement. In The Razor's Edge Larry Darrell is a man seeking a practical way of living. Unable to devote himself to a particular philosopy or religion he continually seeks. The Razor's Edge is that tale.
After reading I was amazed at the reflection I saw between Larry, myself, and my friends. Larry is trying to accomplish what all of us are trying to accomplish. Call it what you want, peace of mind, religion, personal philosophy, we are all searching, trying to live life right. Recommended.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Shows what we are not by holding up a mirror 24. Februar 1999
The Razor's Edge is often described as the story of Larry, a war veteran who forsakes a comfortable life in Chicago "society" for a vague spiritual quest. It is better appreciated as a portrait of his acquaintences, whose conventional lifestyles are starkly contrasted to the path walked by the seeker. Some readers have wished to know more of Larry and criticize the space and attention Maugham lavished upon the "ancillary" characters. The Razor's Edge instead reveals much about the spiritual path by focusing on people more like the typical reader, people who do not give up materialistic Western striving. The best way to see Larry is to look at what he is not.
This narrative technique succeeds wonderfully in the masterful hands of author W. Somerset Maugham, best known for Of Human Bondage. Rather than simply lay out the details of Larry's explorations and development, which, being spiritual and internal, would be rather dull to watch, Maugham illuminates Larry by dissecting the contrasting behavior of his associates.
Maugham lavishes narrative care and attention less on the figure of Larry the seeker, but on his ground, those who embraced the life of conventional society without a thought for spirituality. Maugham shows us several possible outcomes of such an unexamined life, from the indulgent businessman to the fragile social climber to the dissolute substance abuser. The contrasts are presented realistically and without sermon yet are no less stark for their subtlety. These characters are a rare delight: fictional creations with genuine life, who make choices, have unpredictable effects on one another, and grow as the novel develops.
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Die neuesten Kundenrezensionen
1.0 von 5 Sternen Kritik an der Ausgabe
Es geht nicht um die Qualität des Romans, sondern um die Ausgabe. Schon der marktschreierische Einband, der ein gewisses Unwohlsein hervorruft. Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 3 Monaten von Dr. Hans Georg Beckers veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Wundervoll
Einer der besten Romane der Literaturgeschichte! Es weckt Sehnsucht nach den "Roaring Twenties" und einer Zeit als man noch die "Saison" in einer bestimmten Stadt... Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 7 Monaten von DasNinchen veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen A look into another world in another time
Yet the writing is so full that we can feel part of this other world.

I came to this story by the back door. Lesen Sie weiter...
Vor 12 Monaten von bernie veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen A look into another world in another time
Yet the writing is so full that we can feel part of this other world.

I came to this story by the back door. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 26. Juni 2007 von bernie
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Protrait of Life in Words
The Razor's Edge is simply a must-read book. In it, Maugham details the life of Larry (the protagonist of the novel) as a man who is searching for the meaning of life. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 15. Juni 2000 von CHONG EU CHOONG
5.0 von 5 Sternen A very good read with an unexpected bonus,
understanding of one of the funniest inside jokes in television history: the trinity of Larry and his brother Darrell and his other brother Darrell.
Veröffentlicht am 31. März 2000 von Scott Harris
5.0 von 5 Sternen simply a great read
This is one of my all time favorite books. It has everything...interesting, complex characters; fascinating settings, clever story telling device, addresses searching for the... Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 6. Februar 2000 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen profoundly serene
A dreamy-eyed cat finds something in nothing. He finds what many of us are in search of. Along the way he shows his fortitude and clarity of mind. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 6. Februar 2000 von Nathan
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great Book
Simply a great novel. It's a wonderful combination of an easy read and a fine work of art. Just read it, already.
Am 9. Januar 2000 veröffentlicht
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