Good Book

  • Ive just finished what, for all accounts, has been my favorite book ever. Ive thorougly enjoyed reading it, and while i enjoyed the story immensely, i enjoyed the thought provoking message of the story that much more. What’s interesting to me is that Ive found myself in the position of having to rethink many important beliefs and opinions i currently hold. Im not sure whether to be glad about this or not. On the one hand, I have sincerely taken another look at my ideology (for lack of a better word) and am sincerely rethinking several important areas, but on the other, I feel a bit shaken that a novel could have such an impact on the way I think, particularly when in the past Ive been so inclined to regard those who are affected similarly as I am now with scorn, not so much with actual malice, but more a slight lack of respect, as though they didnt really have strong convictions, and were somewhat sheep, following the latest idea theyve heard. Im not going to go out and start bantying this book about as a sort of “Bible” and change my overall demeanor or temperment, but the book has impacted me in what seems to be a meaningful way, and before reading it, I would never have thought it possible. So I dont know how to feel about it.

    The book is The Razor’s Edge, by W. Somerset Maugham, and in spite of (or perhaps because of) everything I have written about it, I would highly reccomend it to anyone at all. Even if the description on the back doesnt quite peak your interest (as it didn’t mine), I would suggest to you to give the book a try, and stick with it at least through the 2nd part (about a hundred pages in) as the book shifts someone into a more interesting area. The earlier part of the story is a quick and easy read, and not without its own merit and interest, but I really got into the book after the 2nd part, so if you find its not particularly to your interest, I would reccomend sticking it out a bit longer.

    Interestingly enough (or not), the book was assigned reading for one of my classes.

  • How did it challenge your beliefs/perception?  I may read this, I’m just curious the process that urged you to reevaluate your thoughts (as we know how hard it is to convince someone to change their minds).

  • Hard to say. A large part was that I identified so much with one of the main characters, Larry. Not so much in his appearance, personality, or relationships with people (though one relationship he had in particular I saw as very similar to one of mine), but more in his character, his interests, his motivations, and his mannerisms. I saw a lot of myself in that (and I make that evaluation without considering it either inherently good or bad), so a lot of his experiences and choices in the book resonated with me, and made me consider my own. Additionally, the manner in which much that happened in the book was regarded by the author (who is, incidentally, the narrator), I found very appealing, and agreed with it to a substantial degree. It wasnt even that this led to an outright challenge to my previously held beliefs, just that they offered such a fresh new way of looking at things (from my perspective anyway), that I was struck with how simple and reasonable these opposing ideas seemed.

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