Justine is the first volume in The Alexandria Quartet, four interlinked novels set in the sensuous, hot environment of Alexandria just before the Second World War. Within this polyglot setting of richly idiosyncratic characters is Justine, wild and intense, wife to the wealthy business man Nessim, a mari complaisant. Her emotional and sexual wildness fuels a highly charged atmosphere which, caught famously by Durrell's poetic language, made Justine (1957), and three novels that complete the Quartet - Balthazar (1958), Mountolive (1958), and Clea (1960) - both a critical and a popular success.
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Heavily abridged, but still brilliant. I am always puzzled why it is not on any 100 best works of literature lists.
Anatomy of a doomed love affair against the (beautifully described) backdrop of 1930s Alexandria.
Beautifully read by the wonderful Nigel Anthony.
"A Crime to Abridge"
Groundbreaking literature that flows like rhythymic waves of sensual atmospheric honey to the ears and mind. Here are lives and loves and place so exquisitely examined. Abridgement here is a disservice to anyone who has never read this 1st novel of the Alexandrian Quartet, and painful to one who has. Sigh; Dream; Ache; Fear; Yearn for more.
"Top in my pantheon of favorite books"
And to hear it read for the first time! What a pleasure! I think I'll stop right there and leave the rest to your listening pleasure.
"Film noir in literature"
A cross between Proust and Casa Blanca, John Le Carre. Rich and complex language creates the atmosphere of mid 20th century Alexandria, a character itself in the midst of passionate relationships and dynamic intriguing personalities. Not plot driven or light literature here, but beautiful profound writing.
Justine Clea Baltazar and Mountolive are books you cannot ignore in your live
The reader is simple marvellous
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