Balthazar: The Alexandria Quartet, Book 2 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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"The politics of love, the intrigues of desire, good and evil, virtue and caprice, love and murder, moved obscurely in the dark corners of Alexandria’s streets and squares, brothels and drawing-rooms - moved like a great congress of eels in the slime of plot and counter-plot."
In Balthazar, the second volume in Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet, the story and the characters come more clearly into focus. Darley, the reflective Englishman, receives from Balthazar, the pathologist, a mass of notes that attempt to explain what really happened between the tempestuous Justine, her husband, Nessim, Clea the artist, and Pursewarden the writer; new figures emerge and play key roles. Balthazar, in his "Interlinear", explains and warns.
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 24 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||July 03, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #77,225 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#963 in Fiction Sagas
#2,313 in Classic Literature (Audible Books & Originals)
#5,262 in Historical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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The first book in the Quartet, Justine, outlined the core plot and introduced the main characters. Balthazar plows the same territory but supplements the narrative of Justine by adding another perspective, that of the doctor Balthazar, to that of Darley, who remains the primary first person narrator and whose affair with the married Justine was the center of the plot in Justine. Here, that storyline starts to recede a bit as other relationships are explored, and the book also spends more time on the surrounding society and adds some more interesting characters who were either just alluded to in Justine or are totally new. One thing that seems to be constant, though, is that nobody loves somebody who also loves them. Hence we have a kind of circular firing squad of love.
I have only read Justine and Balthazar to this point and both are fabulous. If Mountolive and Clea are anywhere near the standard set by these two, the Alexandria Quartet richly deserves its high reputation as one of the glories of 20th century English Literature.
Top reviews from other countries
The arrival of BALTHAZAR has encouraged me to read all 4 novels once again; and, once more, I am bewitched. To quote from a review by Walter Allen in the New Statesman '.... the characters are steeped through and through with the atmosphere and being of Alexandria, the fabulous city of many races and many religions, with all its attributes of beauty, antiquity, perversity and decadence.'