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This captivating Mediterranean novel was written by Lawrence Durrell immediately after finishing his exquisite vignette about Corfu, Prospero's Cell, and a decade before Justine. The story is set on Crete just after the War, as an odd assortment of English travellers come ashore from a cruise ship to explore the island and in particular to examine a dangerous local labyrinth. They include an extrovert painter, a spiritualist, a Protestant spinster with a fox terrier, an antiquarian peer and minor poet, a soldier with guilty memories of the Cretan resistance, a pretty convalescent and an eccentric married couple. To some extent the book is a roman a clef and Durrell's characters talk with great reality about their experiences, themselves and a certain psychological unease that has led most of them to embark on their journey. The climax is a disastrous visit to the labyrinth, with its reported minotaur. The novel is a gripping piece of story-telling, full of atmosphere and the vivid first-hand writing about Mediterranean landscape and people of which Durrell was a master.
|Publication date:||9th July 2001|
|Publisher:||Faber & Faber|
|Format:||Paperback / softback|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Lawrence Durrell was a British novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer. Born in 1912 in India to British colonial parents, he was sent to school in England and later moved to Corfu with his family - a period which his brother Gerald fictionalised in My Family and Other Animals - later filmed as The Durrells in Corfu - and which he himself described in Prospero's Cell. The first of Durrell's island books, this was followed by Reflections on a Marine Venus on Rhodes; Bitter Lemons, on Cyprus, which won the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize; and, later, The Greek Islands. Durrell's first ...More About Lawrence Durrell