The controversial third novel - banned for decades in the US and the UK - by one of the most celebrated English novelists of the late 20th Century, Lawrence Durrell.
The Black Book, written when Durrell was only twenty-four, was first published in France in 1938 but did not appear in America until 1960 and the UK until 1973 because of obscenity laws.
Centring around a group of characters staying in a seedy London hotel in the 1930s, it is a novel of sex, death and isolation, fuelled by passion, anger and artistic innovation.
©1938 Lawrence Durrell (P)2013 AudioGO Ltd
Henry Miller's Tropic etc. didn't appeal to me at all. I'm not a prude; i felt the writing was poor. Durrell seems to me to be a much better writer stylistically and though this is similar to Miller, there are some very nice passages and poetic moments that I liked very much. I doubt I would listen to it again, but I did pause a couple times to write down a passage. Again, I tire quickly of aimlessness and these characters have a little too much of that for me, but it is interesting to see this element of the society depicted at that time, very decadent "lost generation" types. The Sun Also Rises crowd with the sex etc. turned up. I will try Alexandria Quartet later, the writing warrants more Durrell. Liked Dark Labyrinth as well.
my favorite passage, moments like this make me want more, exact punctuation unknown:
"When I think of Tibet lying out there among the snow craters, the golgotha of the dead races, the Minoa, Japan opening like the tail of a peacock, or Ethiopia where the lanterns swing darkly over pools of blood, then I know that the myth which hangs so heavily on us is not dead, it is coming back slowly into focus, it's power is being restored, whenever we move we knock against it's shapes, permeations and diffusions so vast that there is not a square foot of earth without it's compulsive magic. dig where you please...the circuit is complete, we have put our myths in the cellar and must start building again with new implements, a new tongue."
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