Larry Darrel is a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of this spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham's most brilliant characters - his fiancee Isabel, whose choice between love and wealth have lifelong repercussions, and Elliot Templeton, her uncle, a classic expatriate American snob.
The most ambitious of Maugham's novels, this is also one in which Maugham himself plays a considerable part as he wanders in and out of the story, to observe his characters struggling with their fates.
This book changed my life
My personal favourite of all the Maugham classics, you can't read The Razor's Edge without taking a good hard look at your life. I was lucky enough to read it as a teenager and it gave me a huge sense of wanderlust. It's a book that's hard to define but which follows some fascinating characters through their lives and loves. It's an easy read with some deep themes and a great present for someone trying to figure life out.