• Joan Fernandez

The Razor’s Edge

By W. Somerset Maugham

Classic, charming witty voice

In W. Somerset Maugham’s classic, The Razor’s Edge, it’s the voice. It’s all about the narrator voice. This witty, sophisticated writer-observer voice takes you sturdily by the hand and pulls back the curtain to a cast: The enigmatic wanderer Larry. The lovely sophisticate Isabel. The tragic lost-soul Sophie. The hilarious snob Elliott.


With the golden age of 1920 Chicago, Paris and the Riviera as glittering settings, this classic is just as fresh as the first time I read it decades ago. I picked the book up to read the description of a brash female character—Suzanne Rouvier—she’s inspiration for a character in my book. Ohhhhh, Maugham does not disappoint. If you warmed to the narrator in Amor Towle’s, A Gentleman in Moscow, then The Razor’s Edge will give you another charming, warm friend.

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