Monday, March 17, 2008

Reading The Razor's Edge


I recently finished a 1949 printing of Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge.

I want to tell you all about it. I want to try to somehow share the beauty of Maugham's descriptions of people. I want to take you on the same journey he took me through the characters of Larry Darrell, Elliot Templeton, and the rest. But I can't. I can't steal Maugham's thunder, nor would I even if I had the slightest inkling that I could do him justice by doing so.

I can only repeat myself: Amazing.

There is one thing that I will say about this book, one section that I cannot avoid remarking on because even days after reading it, I still play it again and again in my mind. There is one paragraph in this book that stands out in my mind. In it, Maugham retells the story of the temptation of Christ in the desert. In a book full of evocative ideas, keen observations, and explorations into the nature of truth, destiny, and faith this paragraph left me stunned. To date, it is the best stand alone paragraph I have ever read!

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