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Buy for $20.30
"I knew that Clea would share everything with me, withholding nothing - not even the look of complicity which women reserve only for their mirrors."
In Clea, the concluding part of the Alexandria Quartet, Darley returns to Alexandria now caught by war-fever. The conflagration has its effect on his circle - on Nessim and Justine, Balthazar and Clea, Mountolive and Pombal - and a clarity of purpose emerges as the story moves toward its cadence.
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I have ways found The Alexandria Quartet captivating, even though I am not at all the literary type, and I must admit that I sometimes skip quickly over come of the long ramblings about Art. But the kaleidoscopic quality of the novel is fascinating - the way things known keep showing up in new configurations and turning out to be something completely different then one thought them to be. I am so glad that to see the four parts in an unabridged version - except … why, oh why have they amputated Clea? Why may we not have the final chapter? And the workpoints - hinting as they do at new turnings of the kaleidoscope on and on into the distance? I really feel this as a mutilation. And the narrator - OK, he is American, but not too blatantly so, In fact I think he does it really well - and I rejoice in the fact that he is able to pronounce the French 'rue' correctly, a thing then no English narrator seems able to do.
- Sammy J
“Clea” is the weakest of the four Alexandria Quartet novels yet also, by virtue of being the last, rather important to the structure. It tidies up most of the series’ mysteries but Durrell rather gets in the way, determined to focus on intermittently amusing but lengthy reflections from deceased characters or exploring sections of the books’ world that felt less vital than others. Things build satisfactorily in the final chapters, however, but there are far fewer “moments of grace” than in the previous three books.
In spite of this, Nicholas Boulton does very well distinguishing the characters and moods of Alexandria during the War, making this an appealing experience.