As booksellers, we often overhear customers lamenting that they've always meant to read “that other Jane Austen novel,” or Graham Greene, or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but just never found the time. We've tried to remedy that with our Classics I Forgot to Read Book Club by providing motivation and a welcoming space to share your thoughts.

In choosing our ‘classics’ over the past few years, we've tried to select titles that had some visibility among readers, but were not necessarily included in the standard high school English class. We've also sampled a range of genres, from mystery (The Long Goodbye) to comedy (Cold Comfort Farm) to stream-of-consciousness (To the Lighthouse). So, whether our picks are already gathering dust on your bookshelves or this is your first encounter with the literary canon, we encourage you to join us on the last Wednesday evening of every month for conversation about the classics.

Monday, January 26, 2009

January 2009--The Razor's Edge

by Somerset Maugham

Novels that ponder the meaning of existence are inherently dangerous for their authors--once you've raised the question, you either have to answer it (not easy) or find some very artful way of evading it. In this tale of a young American whose World War I experiences lead him to reject love and success in favor of spiritual searching, Maugham moves smoothly in and out of his characters' lives, probing their motives and their choices. While there's little overt drama, the gradual unfolding of their full selves makes for an absorbing narrative, and if by the end we haven't learned the meaning of existence, we've at least learned something about the meaning of the search for meaning.

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