Read by Nicholas Boulton
Justine is the first volume in The Alexandria Quartet, four interlinked novels set in the sensuous, hot environment of Alexandria just before the Second World War. Within this polyglot setting of richly idiosyncratic characters is Justine, wild and intense, wife to the wealthy businessman Nessim, a Mari complaisant. Her emotional and sexual wildness fuels a highly charged atmosphere which, caught famously by Durrell’s poetic language, made Justine (1957), and the three novels that complete the Quartet – Balthazar (1958), Mountolive (1958), and Clea (1960) – both a critical and a popular success.
Running Time: 8 h 52 m
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Digital ISBN: 978-1-78198-386-7 Cat. no.: NA0522 Produced by: John Foley Edited by: Andrew Riches Text: © 1957 Lawrence Durrell. Copyright renewed © 1985 by Lawrence Durrell BISAC: FIC004000 BIC: FC Released: August 21
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Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award
Nicholas Boulton offers a masterful performance of this first volume of Lawrence Durrell’s famed Alexandria Quartet. Boulton’s rich voice, whether persuasive with seduction or throaty with frustration, captures the experience of an unnamed narrator as he succumbs to the charms of 1940s Alexandria, Egypt, and a few of its most alluring denizens – the enigmatic ‘Jewess’, Justine; her Coptic Christian husband, Nessim; Balthasar, a master of Kabbalah; and Melissa, the narrator’s tragic girlfriend. Driven by character and description, the astonishing prose bursts with such images as ‘the shops filling and emptying like lungs in the Rue des Soeurs’ and ‘far from the lime-laden dust of those summer afternoons’. All this, plus a story of misplaced passion, Boulton savours and delivers with crisp enunciation and an appreciation that keeps one listening.