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Film / The Razor's Edge

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The Razor's Edge is a 1944 novel by W. Somerset Maugham, about a man's journey from shallow youth, through war and depression, to self-discovery and spiritual redemption. It was adapted for the screen twice, once in a 1946 film starring Tyrone Power and again in a 1984 film starring Bill Murray.

The protagonist, Larry Darrell, starts as a materialistic and idealistic young man who volunteers for service in World War One. There, he witnesses the death of his friends and comrades. It changes him. Larry comes back home with a damaged spirit, and no longer able to enjoy the party life his friends indulge in, he travels to Europe, taking it easy in Paris for a while and later becoming a coal miner in Lens, going to a Benedictine monastery in Bonn, and eventually ending up at a monastery in India, where he has a spiritual epiphany. The remainder of the story explores his return home and the effect his spiritual insight has with his previous relationships.

The book was one of the first to introduce western readers to the Advaita Vedanta philosophy, a part of Hinduism.

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Alternative Title(s): The Razors Edge