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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublimely Ridiculous!
As I was reading "Esprit de Corps," I realized that it had been a very long time since I read a book that evoked more than silent amusement or even a transient smirk. Durrell's razor-sharp prose, which moves effortlessly between the sublime and the ridiculous, caused me not only to chuckle and chortle but also to cackle and croak with hiccups of hilarity. Written in 1957,...
Published on 13 Oct. 2012 by F. S. L'hoir

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly funny and rather dated
If you want a light distraction from something heavy or depressing (I turned to this after Wuthering Heights) this is a pleasant, diverting and entertaining read. There are even a few laugh-out-loud moments, but to me it does rather feel like it is straining for humour in some places. Set in the former Yugoslavia, national stereotypes among the diplomatic corps abound,...
Published on 20 Jun. 2012 by hiljean


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublimely Ridiculous!, 13 Oct. 2012
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F. S. L'hoir (Irvine, CA) - See all my reviews
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As I was reading "Esprit de Corps," I realized that it had been a very long time since I read a book that evoked more than silent amusement or even a transient smirk. Durrell's razor-sharp prose, which moves effortlessly between the sublime and the ridiculous, caused me not only to chuckle and chortle but also to cackle and croak with hiccups of hilarity. Written in 1957, an era when humor was untrammeled by the shackles of political correctness, "Esprit" lampoons life in the corps diplomatique in Tito's Yugoslavia. Sparing no nation, Durrell punctures pretension wherever he finds it. Much of the pretentiousness pours out of the mouth of Antrobus, a retired British diplomat, who regales the narrator, a press attaché, with stories from `those happy days passed in foreign capitals "lying abroad" for our country.'

If you have ever lived any length of time in a foreign country and if you enjoy Mr Durrell's brand of wry humor, you will certainly enjoy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Esprit de Corps: Sketches from Diplomatic Life, 16 Jun. 2011
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I think this is one of the funnier books I have ever read and it has endured the test of time, which is not always the case with humorous books. Though it is a gentle satire of a world which has undergone huge changes, both the Diplomatic corps and the locations for these sketches, it is still wonderfully evocative and hilarious. The sequel Sauve qui Peut is in the same vein and if you enjoy the first I am sure the second will give you as much pleasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Durrell at his Best, 20 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Esprit de Corps: Sketches from Diplomatic Life (Kindle Edition)
Extremely funny and along with his other diplomatic books the most amusing shorts stories I have ever read. All my family think they are funny too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British humor, 3 April 2011
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G. Martorana "Airgun Beppe" (Florence,Italy) - See all my reviews
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Very funny. I suggest:read the other "diplomatic life" books of L.Durrell,too :"Stiff upper lip" and
"Sauve qui peut" ,equally amusing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars More witty Durrell, 12 May 2014
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As an Anglo-Irish with scant regard for the more pompous type of Brit, Lawrence Durrell is again wicked in his treatment of those he once worked for in the British Foreign Office in far-flung spots like Belgrade.

'Esprit de Corps' is sometimes surreal but always on the mark and a delight to read - unlike anything else you might have read by the distinguished author of 'The Alexandria Quartet'.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A certain brand of humour...., 18 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
Although not as obviously witty as his infamous brother, Gerald, Lawrence's anecdotes have a certain charm all their own. The characters are described mainly by their idiosyncracies, which makes them comic devices rather than flesh-and-blood 'people'. There are some exceptionally funny pieces, however, such as the tale of the elderly spinsters who write a newspaper article on the Canal Zone, using a typewriter that has no 'c' key......
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5.0 out of 5 stars Antrobus is Wonderful, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: Esprit de Corps: Sketches from Diplomatic Life (Kindle Edition)
Very amusing short stories about life in the Diplomatic either pre- or post- WW2. So British in their wackiness, each story is a bubble of fun and a blast from the Empire's past. I love the good writing, the wonderfully Durrell descriptive style, and the sheer laugh out loud read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly funny and rather dated, 20 Jun. 2012
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hiljean (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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If you want a light distraction from something heavy or depressing (I turned to this after Wuthering Heights) this is a pleasant, diverting and entertaining read. There are even a few laugh-out-loud moments, but to me it does rather feel like it is straining for humour in some places. Set in the former Yugoslavia, national stereotypes among the diplomatic corps abound, and all the upper-class Englishmen seem to have silly nicknames. Perhaps appeals more to men than women? However at only 90 pages long it's a pleasant enough way to pass an hour or two on a wet afternoon.
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