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Esprit de Corps: Sketches from Diplomatic Life by [Durrell, Lawrence]
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Esprit de Corps: Sketches from Diplomatic Life Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Description

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, appeared a few days before his death in Sommières in 1990.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1599 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (3 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0084E0EE6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #81,351 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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