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"Balthazar", by Lawrence Durrell

Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:30 pm
by Shelley
I happened on to "Balthazar", the second novel in a group called The Alexandria Quartet. I liked it so well I got the other three from the library: "Justine", "Mountolive" and "Clea". Am about halfway through "Mountolive", now.
I don't want to gush on about it, but I think Lawrence Durrell can really put words together, and it's so interesting how he's written four different novels about the same people in the same place at the same time, and dealing with the same events, each from a slightly different perspective. He conjures Egypt and the city of Alexandria vividly -- to the point where I've started searching world map sites to look at it! (Sadly, a friend of a friend reported, after having been to Alexandria, that it's a real "hole". Can anyone elaborate?)
Given that the books are from the 1950's, they are sexist and racist and lots of other "ist's", so a bit jarring on that level (I understand Durrell was a Taoist). Overall, though, a pretty good read.
After this I will have to concentrate on non-fiction for a while, though: I usually don't read four novels in a row.