Set amid the corrupt glamour and multiplying intrigues of Alexandria, Egypt, in the 1930s and 1940s, the novels of Durrell's Alexandria Quartet (of which this is the first) follow the shifting alliances - sexual, cultural, and political - of a group of quite varied characters.
In Justine, an English schoolmaster and struggling writer falls in love with a beautiful and mysterious Jewish woman who is married to a wealthy Egyptian.
"[Justine] demands comparison with the very best novels of our century." (The New York Times Book Review)
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Justine, The Alexandria Quartet
No. Sadly, I didn't care for the reader. I wish for every reader of great literary fiction to revel in his prose.
Justine is one of four sibling novels in The Alexandria Quartet. All are worth a read, as are his other works.
The narrator is an excellent reader of poetry. But for a novel, his eloquence was a distraction. I found it impossible to listen to. I would really like to listen to this novel, but with a straightforward reading. I know that Durrell's work is great literature, but I don't need every other word to be pronounced with deliberate poignance.
Impossible to pick from one sentence more beautiful than another, but here's one:
“These are the moments which are not calculable, and cannot be assessed in words; they live on in the solution of memory, like wonderful creatures, unique of their own kind, dredged up from the floors of some unexplored ocean.”