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   Balthazar
 

Balthazar

Author: Durrell, Lawrence Set In . . .
 Africa, Egypt, Alexandria
Genre: Fiction
Time Frame: WW II
Published: 1958
Description: 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
  
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