Wednesday, December 04, 2002

The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham ( REVIEW CONTINUED . . . )
I had earlier written - a classic book about the duality in life and everything else. If there is good why is there evil - a moving first person narrative describing both sides of life in a character running through the medley of characters their lifes and vanities from early 20th century Paris and London and a bit of America and India too.

At a later stage, the book accepts certain aspects of the Indian spiritual knowledge as the most pure and ideal form. It emphasizes in terms of the main character of focus, Larry who is being described by the author himself in first person; about the universal truth that ideal life should be detached from everything - there should be no attachments to anything in life. It also describes the amoral and disreputable side of the social structure prevalent then in Europe and France(Paris) in particular. It depicts, merrily or boisterously at times, the wrong facets of life , but the underlying message is I guess to illuminate their obnoxious aspects and consequences on the society at large. Though, some of the examples portrayed harped a bit too much on the distasteful or misleading, atleast in my view. The characters and certain paradoxical circumstances and effects in their life are very well dished out. A very good book though. Enlightening? Tries to be, Yes ! A classic, certainly !
One of the best novels I have read in the mould of 'A Farewell to Arms' by Hemingway, though the two cannot be entirely compared, probably the genre is same, though Hemingway never attempts to be an idealist which Maugham attempts. I'll give the later more marks, because according to my belief systems moral values are the foundation on which life rests else it collapses of utter disillusionment. That got a bit too serious I guess - no problem, blog it out they say . . . Who says? Again a paradox ???

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