Balthazar

Balthazar

by Lawrence Durrell
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Paperback(Reissue)

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Overview

Balthazar by Lawrence Durrell

The dazzling second volume of The Alexandria Quartet—an enthralling and deeply disturbing work of gorgeous surfaces and endless deceptions.

In Alexandra, in the years before the Second World War, an exiled Irish schoolteacher seeks to unravel his sexual obsession with two women: the tubercular café dancer, Melissa, and Justine, the alluring Jewish wife of a wealthy Coptic Christian. What emerges in his sessions with the psychiatrist Balthazar, however, is something far more complex—and unfathomably more sinister—than neurosis. Lawrence Durrell’s kaleidoscopic narrative ushers us into a world in which no perception is reliable—and love itself is always an act of treachery.

“Durrell is one of the very best novelists of our time. . . . He has a sensuous, vigorous style that I have not found equaled by any other novelist today. . . . A spontaneous, resourceful new beauty that any sensitive reader will almost certainly love.”—The New York Book Review

“It is difficult to sum up Balthazar; it will not be contained. It spills or slips away like smoke. The sheer writing is superb. . . . A wonderful book, a book to read many times.”—The Houston Post

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140153217
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/28/1991
Series: Alexandria Quartet Series , #2
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 208,703
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lawrence Durrell was born in 1912 in India. He attended the Jesuit College at Darjeeling and St. Edmund's School, Canterbury. His first literary work, The Black Book, appeared in Paris in 1938. His first collection of poems, A Private Country, was published in 1943, followed by the three Island books: Prospero's Cell; Reflections on a Marine Venus, about Rhodes; and Bitter Lemons, his account of life in Cyprus. Durrell's wartime sojourn in Egypt led to his masterpiece, The Alexandria Quartet, which he completed in southern France, where he settled permanently in 1957. Between the quartet and The Avignon Quintet he wrote the two-decker Tunc and Nunquam. His oeuvre includes plays, a book of criticism, translations, travel writing, and humorous stories about the diplomatic corps. Caesar's Vast Ghost, his reflections on the history and culture of Provence, including a late flowering of poems, was published a few days before his death in Sommières in 1990.

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Balthazar 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This, the 2nd book in the Alexandria Quartet, was definitely a more pleasurable read than the first, Justine. I was intrigued by the fact that it is a 'sibling,' rather than a sequel, since the timeframe is the same as the first book. It reveals new information about the characters--Justine, Nessim, Scobie, Pursewarden--and adds some new, startling events, as well. In order to fully appreciate this book, it is important to have already read Justine to get the narrator's first take on these bizarre characters and a sense of his mournful infatuation with Justine. The story is told much more objectively this time, and that's a good thing.