The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell ~ Fiction Book Review

13551935The Alexandria Quartet is a series of four interconnected books set in Alexandria, Egypt in the 1930s and 40s. These books are a work of art as far as atmosphere, imagery, philosophy, character and voice are concerned. But they’re not easy to read, and at times I had no idea in which direction the story was going. Looking at reviews left for the series, it’s quite obvious that most readers either love or hate these books (much more love than hate), which makes sense, because I both loved and hated them .

The prose is incredibly gorgeous and well crafted, but, for me, the plot left me spinning my wheels. I’m used to mystery, psychological horror, suspense, and this quartet is more growing pains, slice of life, romance. I kept expecting . . . more, yet after finishing the last book, I felt strangely satisfied. A very odd reading experience, not for the faint of heart, but for the sake of craft, I highly recommend giving it a try!

4 thoughts on “The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell ~ Fiction Book Review

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  1. I forgot that about 40 years ago (!!) I read these books in the same spirit you did. Your review is spot on. One summer, not so long ago, I forced myself to wade through Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and The Hours by Michael Cunningham. One was inspired by the other. Kind of like you, I admired the mood and tone, the poesy of the prose, the imagery, but kept looking for a plot. There is one but it’s meandering and murky. The action is mostly psychological and emotional. Worth reading, though. Both authors are literary geniuses. Thanks for reminding me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you about the other two books, too! Mrs. Dalloway seemed to have only 5 periods in the entire book – the stream of consciousness was both insanely annoying yet insightful, and The Hours seemed (to me) to take forever to get the author’s gist across and was so subtle I almost missed it, but both worth the effort.

      Liked by 1 person

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