I’ve come to the administrative decision that “The Alexandria Quartet” by Lawrence Durrell is a brutal read. To quote:
“I have been looking through my papers tonight. Some have been converted to kitchen uses, some the child has destroyed. This form of censorship pleases me for it has the indifference of the natural world to the constructions of art – an indifference I am beginning to share. After all what is the good of a fine metaphor for Melissa when she lies buried deep as any mummy in the shallow tepid sand of the black estuary?“
Firstly, it seems almost impossible to find a copy of the four books that make up the quartet. I’m not sure how others have faired, but it took me a couple of months to track down a copy. I finally found three of the four parts at The Strand Book Store in New York. Later, I located Justine, the first book in the quartet, at the Argosy Book Store, also in New York. As much fun as this search was, it was a challenge.
Secondly, I have found it a very difficult read. I think its going to take me the rest of the year to finish it. So, for the sake of making this book club more than a one-book-a-year book club, I’ve made an executive decision to put it to the side and suggest another book.
Now, I promise that I will endure with it myself and will blog a post on it when it is finally finished. But unless I receive any violent objections otherwise, for now I’m going to suggest that we as a group move on. A new book will be suggested shortly.
To soften the blow of this disappointing news, here is a link to a performance by Umm Kulthum, Egypt’s most revered female singer.
Or for those of us with less classical tastes, click here.