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With the TigerThe Razor s Edge. Maugham s characters Americans in Europe between the wars return as Australians in the late 1970s: the charismatic young Larry; his high-school sweetheart turned high-society hostess, Isabel; her husband, the real estate tycoon Gray Maturin; Isabel s uncle, the incorrigible, iniquitous Elliot Templeton; and the narrator, a gay playwright named after Maugham. In this re-imagined fictional universe, Larry s early, life-changing experience occurs not as an underage enlistee in the First World War but during a teenage backpacking trip to India, where he returns several times, to live in a fashionable ashram, a Buddhist monastery, and with an enigmatic saint.
The choices Larry makes and their ramifications for those around him especially Isabel, who continues to miss his presence in her life are played out against the backdrop of the 1980s and 90s. In its exploration of a nation s social history at a time of great change (Maugham s setting being the years before and after the Great Depression) as well as in characterization and narrative structure, With the Tiger takes its inspiration from the master storyteller, but its location in a different place and time allows for a fresh interpretation of the Westerner s experience of India.
With The Tiger
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