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Clea

Clea

Written by Lawrence Durrell

Narrated by Nigel Anthony


Clea

Written by Lawrence Durrell

Narrated by Nigel Anthony

ratings:
4.5/5 (17 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Released:
Oct 10, 1995
ISBN:
9789629545888
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

‘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 – a clarity of purpose emerges as the story moves towards its cadence.
Released:
Oct 10, 1995
ISBN:
9789629545888
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

Born in Jalandhar, British India, in 1912 to Indian-born British colonials, Lawrence Durrell was a critically hailed and beloved novelist, poet, humorist, and travel writer best known for the Alexandria Quartet novels, which were ranked by the Modern Library as among the greatest works of English literature in the twentieth century. A passionate and dedicated writer from an early age, Durrell’s prolific career also included the groundbreaking Avignon Quintet, whose first novel, Monsieur (1974), won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and whose third novel, Constance (1982), was nominated for the Booker Prize. He also penned the celebrated travel memoir Bitter Lemons of Cyprus (1957), which won the Duff Cooper Prize. Durrell corresponded with author Henry Miller for forty-five years, and Miller influenced much of his early work, including a provocative and controversial novel, The Black Book (1938). Durrell died in France in 1990.  

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What people think about Clea

4.4
17 ratings / 10 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    Like all young men I set out to be a genius, but mercifully laughter intervened.

    Wow, I didn't expect such a sudden dislike. Allow me to retreat to my hutch to scratch together a review.
  • (4/5)
    Not a lot of plot but great prose, almost Wolfean. A good example of mid-century British writing describing friends and experiences in an Alexandria that no longer exists.
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    All four of these novels must be read, and reread, as one. The Alexandria Quartet is perhaps the most underrated masterpiece in English literature. And this reading by Nigel Anthony is also masterful.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This is the way audiobooks should be produced! The narrator Nigel Anthony is so great that it gives this classic new life, further accentuated by excellent choice of occasional background music.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    See the review for Justine.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    this is my favorite book by durrell. i've read it 4 times over the years and always find it inspirational.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    “Clea,” the fourth volume of Lawrence Durrell’s “Alexandria Quartet,” opens with several years having passed since the events of the first three volumes. Darley, the narrator, is living on a Greek island with the six-year-old illegitimate daughter Nessim fathered with Melissa. After running into Balthazar and his Inter-Linear, he eventually heads off for Alexandria again with the child, full of both trepidation and anticipation about the past and the people he knew there.When Darley arrives in Alexandria, almost immediately he runs into his old artist friend Clea, and consummates a formerly Plutonic relationship, now that their circle of friends is unencumbered by the presence of Melissa, who has died, and Justine, who is under house arrest for the duration of the novel. More than in any of the others, this novel has several meta-fictional aspects: meditations on art, creativity, and the novel (especially as revealed with Pursewarden’s letters), and some of Clea’s ideas about painting. All of this is, as always in this tetralogy, tied in beautifully with Balthazar’s earlier analyses shot throughout the Inter-Linear.Reading these four novels has been one of the more powerful set of experiences that I have recently had. Most readers will probably not enjoy this; it’s not action-packed and full of adventure. But if you admire writing that tries to capture the uniqueness of inner coruscating experience, the complexities of passion and romantic relationships, and realizes the inability to tell “the whole story,” even after nearly one thousand pages of trying, I hope you will appreciate this as much as I did. As I said in my review of “Mountolive,” I have simply run out of things to say about how much I loved this. Sometimes admiration must finish itself off in silence.
  • (5/5)
    More conventional and more enjoyable than the other three members of the quartet: there is something like a narrative here, that is tied up at the end of the book, and there's a lot of straightforward pleasure along the way. The mood, despite the war, is rather lighter than before. Darley has at last grown up and stopped whingeing; Nessim and Justine are shunted off to glower off-stage. Scobie and Pursewarden, the two most amusing characters in the series, have a lot of posthumous input. Scobie bizarrely talks through the mouths of other characters who recite his monologues from memory; Pursewarden more conventionally through his letters and notebooks.I think it was a mistake to pause for a couple of years between reading Mountolive and Clea: it took me a while to get back into the relationships between the characters and remember what we had been told before. There's probably a lot to be said for re-reading the whole quartet quickly once you've read it once. If it ever gets back to the front of my queue...Assessment of the Quartet as a whole: Hard to say. When I started, I noted that I'm not a fan of Henry Miller, Durrell's most obvious influence. I'm much more comfortable with realist fiction. Evelyn Waugh — to name just one example — managed to capture the idea of Alexandria just as effectively and with far less fuss in a much more accessible form. All the same, I did find Durrell's exercise of digging and redigging through a story to unearth different levels of "truth" interesting and amusing (it's always fun watching someone else working) even if the conclusion that "it's all subjective" seems a bit trite after all that effort. It's undeniable that there's some very witty and beautiful writing there, and some extremely memorable minor characters. So, while it's perhaps a literary cul de sac, it does have quite a bit to offer.
  • (4/5)
    In [Clea], Lawrence Durrell completes his [Alexandria Quartet] with a sequel, a more linear narrative to finally move Darley, [Justine]’s narrator, along in time, and show the effects of his earlier misunderstandings.Alexandria is transformed in World War II when Darley finally returns to the city to confront the mistakes of his earlier life there. He reunites with Clea, an artist who hovered on the edges of all of his relationships during his earlier stay, and finds a deeper and more complete love than he experienced in any of his other affairs. Continuing to reminisce, Darley sees his previous relationships and life more clearly in the context of a stable and reciprocated love.Durrell layers in much of his own vision for the [Alexandria Quartet] in sections of [Clea] where he is discussing the writing life with another author. In one passage, he definitively announces his thesis:“I mean about the mutability of all truth. Each fact can have a thousand motivations, all equally valid, and each fact a thousand faces. So many truths have little to do with fact. Your duty is to hunt them down. At each moment of time all multiplicity waits at your elbow. Why, Darley, this should thrill you and give your writing the curves of a pregnant woman.”This vision sets Durrell in a class by himself – the anti-Dickens. Rather than creating whole universes of characters, Durrell finds a handful and continually re-writes their existences, each new facet of their lives as true and credible as the last. Bottom Line: Finally a sequel to the earlier stories in the series, but still full of improvisation and twisting perception, again changing the face of the story and the characters.4 bones!!!!
  • (3/5)
    Final book of the Alexandria quartet.Experimental fiction that was reportedly a commercial and critical success when first published, it has not aged well. Some of the stylistic quirks, such as heavily quoting the words of a fictional author in the story, just seem odd, while others are just self indulgent, such as the repeated returns to quote Scobie the gay former seaman and now police officer. Still the series is impressive in the capacity to represent the same events from the perspective of different story tellers at different times, and the while thing, in my view, is not great, but a good near miss. Read June - July 2010.