Balthazar, is the second volume of Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet, set in Alexandria, Egypt, during the 1940s. The events of each lush and sensuous novel are seen through the eyes of the central character L.G. Darley, who observes the interactions of his lovers, friends, and acquaintances. Balthazar, named for Darley's friend, a doctor and mystic, interprets Darley's views from a philosophical and intellectual viewpoint.
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Presents a reading of the novel concerning love and murder in the streets, brothels, and drawing-rooms of Alexandria, Egypt.From AudioFile :
[Editor's Note: The following is a combined review with JUSTINE, MOUNTOLIVE, and CLEA.]--The four linked novels that comprise English author Lawrence Durrell's masterpiece, THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET, are set in Alexandria, Egypt, around the time of WWII. The four novels explore the city's polyglot society, full of intrigue, mystery, and sensuality, telling essentially the same story from different points of view. JUSTINE focuses on the beautiful Jewish wife of a wealthy Copt. Her story is told by Darley, her English lover. In BALTHAZAR, Darley reconsiders and retells the story he told in Justine, using information from a mysterious new character, Balthazar. In MOUNTOLIVE, as war begins to loom, British Ambassador David Mountolive enters the intrigues of the interwoven community of characters. In CLEA, Darley returns to a war-fevered Alexandria as the stories of the many characters move toward conclusion. Narrator Nigel Anthony provides a brilliant reading, keeping the variety of voices--English, French, Egyptian--distinct throughout. He offers a one-man play, conveying the passions, disappointments, and triumphs of the complex cast. The classical music interludes that delineate sections of this beautifully produced and packaged set help transport the listener to back- streets of Alexandria. R.E.K. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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