The author of The Razor's Edge explores the longing for love and freedom in this coming-of-age story"a novel of the utmost importance" (Theodore Dreiser).
Born with a clubfoot and orphaned at an early age, Philip Carey has long felt set apart from others. In the care of his doting aunt and dismissive uncle, he finds solace and escape in reading. But when he is sent to boarding school, he finds himself once again alone in heart and spirit. It is these cold beginnings that set him on a search for true happiness.
Philip's quest will take him around the world: from Germany, where he finds cheer in the company of kindred outsiders; and London, where his upper-class heritage earns him undeserved scorn; to Paris, where the world of art initially entrances him, then leaves him frustrated. Returning to London, he enters a torturous and self-destructive affair with a cold-hearted waitress, experiences loss and betrayal, and ultimately learns that the search for predetermined happiness often ends in disappointment and disillusionment.
Drawing on his own experiences, W. Somerset Maugham paints an unforgettable portrait of the agony of desire in what is considered his greatest masterpiece.
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