Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Penguin Books Edition - 1984

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Another edition with a fairly generic cover, though the subject seems more Larry Darrell-ish to me than some of the others.

The back cover description mentions more of the book's characters than any other edition: Gray and Suzanne Rouvier, for instance.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pan Books Edition - 1976

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An interesting take for the cover this time around; it gives the reader a vague sense of the theme of the book without being too explicit. I wonder if this was shot for the book or was a piece of stock photography?

Interesting on the back cover that the book is described as being about three characters--Isabel, Elliott, and Larry--making it sound like they are of equal importance to the story. Sure, Isabel and Elliott probably get just as much (if not more) "screen time" as Larry, but anyone who's read The Razor's Edge knows this is the story of Larry Darrell.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Penguin Books Edition - 1963

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Another paperback Penguin edition of The Razor's Edge, this time with a generic cover but one that nevertheless is fairly handsome--I especially like the distressed effect.

The back cover features one of the less flattering author portraits I've seen, but since most of the photos of Mr. Maugham seem to make him look like a total sourpuss, I guess this artist's rendering shouldn't be too big of a surprise.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Blaikston Book Club Edition - 1945

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This 1945 edition of The Razor's Edge is virtually identical the the original 1944 Book Club Edition released by Doubleday. The only differences are on the front, where "The Story of A Man Who Found A Faith" has been replaced by the quote from Time seen above, and on the spine, where the company name Blaikston has been added at the very bottom. The back cover is exactly the same.

Blaikston was a publishing house based in Philadelphia, which must be how it ended up in the collection of my girlfriend's mother, who affixed a personalized sticker to its inside front cover (with the admonishment, "Ahoy! Don't sail away with this book!"). After she passed away, we had to go through her massive collection of books, and here was an edition of The Razor's Edge I didn't yet own. What were the odds?


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pocket Books Edition - 1955

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This 1955 edition of The Razor's Edge takes a moment right from the book (when Isabel visits Larry in his tiny apartment in France) for the cover. Its a fine painting, but isn't all that representative of the book's themes.

In addition, the Larry Darrell seen here looks way older than the character in the book. For most of the novel, Larry is in his twenties; here he looks much older--even older than Tyrone Power, who was 32 when played Larry in the 1946 film version.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Penguin Movie Tie-In Edition - 1984

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Since The Razor's Edge was re-released as a movie tie-in on the occasion of the 1946 film, it only makes sense that it would be published again to mark the release of the 1984 film version, this time with star Bill Murray on the cover.

The back features a pretty decent description of the book's plot, with the emphasis being on the film, of course.

I never knew this edition existed until, while on a short trip to Maine, I saw it on the bookshelf in the childhood home of a friend of mine. From that point on, my #1 goal for when I got back was to go on eBay and get a copy for myself, which I did almost immediately.