Buy Used
£7.18
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Alexandria Quartet: Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, Clea Paperback – 2 Jun 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 2 Jun 2005
£81.14 £7.18
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
£6.72
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Paperback: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; New Ed edition (2 Jun. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057122556X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571225569
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 4.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Review

'Durrell was a master at creating and handling tension ... I was fascinated from the start.' -- Wilbur Smith

'One of the most important works of our time.' -- New York Times Book Review

'Intoxicating.' -- Niall Ferguson

'A formidable, glittering achievement.' --Times Literary Supplement

'The writing is nearly always superb, not only in the great passages of poetical description but also in the asides, the casual wit and brilliance of comment.' -- Philip Toynbee, Observer

'There can be no doubt of the magnitude of Durrell's achievement.' --George Steiner --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell contains the hugely celebrated books Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive and Clea. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pretty much every review of this book states that it's the reviewer's favourite book. I picked it up knowing absolutely nothing about it except that Durrell bumps into Henry Miller in The Colossus of Maroussi. And... it's the best book I've ever read.

Durrell recommends us to read the first three books in any order or even simultaneously. Here, I feel he is unaware of a strength in his book. The first three books are layers of the same story. Of course if I'd read them backwards, I may have been similarly impressed but the structure is truly genius:

The first book is truly beautiful and wonderfully interesting but in the end rather simple. Then almost every page of the second book makes you smile at the naivety of the narrator of the first book. The third makes an abrupt change of style and suddenly the reader is laughing at his own naivety. How could we have seen the story in such a skewed way? The whole story is blown apart... and yet in an entirely cohesive way. If that sounds absurd, then read the book and appreciate what a genius the author is.

I really don't want to say much about the final book because it blew me away so much and I think it would produce the same reaction in almost anyone (this is a very, VERY highbrow book yet the end of the book excludes almost no reader). As I finished the last page my instant urge was to turn back to the first and to start this tome all over again.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've meant to read these 4 books for a long time and at last I've got around to it.

It is a dense account of various intertwined lives in the city of Alexandria.Above all it's an account of Alexandria itself.With all the political changes that have gone on in Egypt in recent times it's probably a good time to read the books.A time long gone,a time for nostalgia and all beautifully written.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've thought for decades that I should read this quartet, so I ordered it for my Kindle. I've started the first part, but I'm finding it irritating, mannered and completely self-obsessed. I think it must be a reflection of the times when it was written, and I shall have another try, maybe in a few months, but for the moment it's not for me.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
"The Alexandria Quartet", officially, consists of four separate novels, "Justine", "Balthazar", "Mountolive" and "Clea", first published as such at intervals between 1957 and 1960, but the four are so closely interlinked that they are best read as a single work. The first three parts are set in the Egyptian city of Alexandria during the 1930s. "Balthazar" and "Mountolive" are not sequels to "Justine" in the normal sense, but rather, to use Durrell's own description, "siblings", by which he meant that they deal with the same events but from a different perspective. Only "Clea" can be seen as a sequel to the other three parts.

"Justine" is ostensibly told in the first person, although at times it reads more like a third-person narrative with an omniscient narrator, as the narrator (unnamed in this novel, but referred to as "Darley" in the later novels) reports on events he did not witness in person and displays an insight into the motives and emotions of others which he is unlikely to have possessed. We never, in fact, learn Darley's full name; it is implied at one point that his initials are "L.G.", giving him the same initials as his creator Lawrence George Durrell, but elsewhere in the text another character addresses him as "Mark", an inconsistency which is never resolved.

The main theme of "Justine" is an extension of the familiar love triangle into a love quadrilateral. Darley is a schoolmaster and struggling writer, who is involved in a love affair with Justine, a beautiful and mysterious woman married to Nessim, a wealthy Egyptian aristocrat and the narrator's friend. The fourth corner of the quadrilateral is Darley's other lover Melissa, a nightclub dancer who is possibly also a prostitute.
Read more ›
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am finding the book _too wordy but interesting, It is very much of it,s day, then Alexandria was alive and forward looking now, or a few years ago i found Alexandria to be the maiden aunt compared to Cairo.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A new word on every page. Does for Alexandria what Miller did for Paris. Dissolute and debauched,it seems quite charming compared to contemporary urban life. Although the sufferings of the poor are scarcely referenced we know theyre better off under colonial rule. But who's ruling who? Footnotes please!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I could get carried away and wax lyrical, attempt to emulate others, indeed allude to Durrel's affectations but I wont. Just get it and read it. I regard myself as someone with eclectic tastes who has read broadly across various genres and the literature of various countries and I think this is one of the most entertaining books I've read. Nuff said!
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The first volume, 'Justine', reads like a competent and engaging but rather predictable tale of adulterous romance - until 'Balthazaar' turns your perceptions completely upside down - and then 'Mountolive' repeats the same dizzying trick ('Clea' is a little disappointing, though). If I had not been stuck on holiday with a combined edition, I might not have progressed beyond 'Justine', and would have missed out on one of the most stimulating and enjoyable reads of my life. These books remind us that whatever we may think we understand about the world or other people is always open to re-interpretation.
Comment 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category