Balthazar (unabridged)

Audio Sample

Lawrence Durrell


Read by Nicholas Boulton


‘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 which 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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  • Running Time: 8 h 25 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-1-78198-387-4
    Cat. no.:NA0523
    Produced by:John Foley
    Edited by:Andrew Riches
    Text:© 1958 Lawrence Durrell. Copyright renewed © 1986 by Lawrence Durrell
    Released:August 21
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Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Although each of the novels of the Alexandria Quartet can stand alone (this is the second), they gain depth if experienced in sequence. Fortunately, Nicholas Boulton is narrating all four, and here, at least, his performance is masterly. He deploys a range of voices and accents that never leave us in doubt about who is speaking, and he draws out the characters’ emotions and perceptions, which are important in a series that is about the differences between perception and reality, seen through the lens of love. Most of the characters are enigmatic (except, perhaps, in their own eyes), so Boulton cannot bring them to clarity, but he manages to bring the listener to an understanding of their humanity.

D.M.H., AudioFile

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