2000 Books You Must Read: 3. Justine by Lawrence Durrell

Everyone is mostly aware of his brother Gerald Durrell but for me Lawrence Durrell is way better than his brother when it comes to the skill of writing. His books touch the soul like no other, they literally wrench it with their descriptions of love and loss. Justine is the first in what is called The Alexandria Quartet. I do not know how to describe this book and I have read it almost seventeen times now, and every time I read it, it takes my breath away. The book is about four people (actually five, including the narrator) and their lives in war-time.

Justine by Lawrence Durrell

Justine is about emotions – raw and in your face, the ones that threaten to tear your life apart and yet you are attracted only to them. Self-destruction in poetry is what Justine is about. The sentences sing – it is that fabulous a book. The descriptions want you to get on to a flight to Alexandria and experience the chaos for yourself. Time is of great essence in these books. It plays the central role – defining characters and their perspectives. There is no way to define Justine and what it does to me. It touches me on so many levels and you will only know of it once you read it.

Here is something for you from the book:

“A city becomes a world when one loves one of its inhabitants.”

“We are all hunting for rational reasons for believing in the absurd.”

“Who invented the human heart, I wonder? Tell me, and then show me the place where he was hanged.”

“The loved object is simply one that has shared an experience at the same moment of time, narcissistically; and the desire to be near the beloved object is at first not due to the idea of possessing it, but simply to let the two experiences compare themselves, like reflections in different mirrors. All this may precede the first look, kiss, or touch; precede ambition, pride, or envy; precede the first declarations which mark the turning point—for from here love degenerates into habit, possession, and back to loneliness.”

“It is hard to fight with one’s heart’s desires; whatever it wishes to get, it purchases at the cost of the soul.”

Affiliate Link:

Buy Justine from Flipkart.com

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “2000 Books You Must Read: 3. Justine by Lawrence Durrell

  1. Srini

    Hi, This is Srini, I regularly follow your postings. You are doing a great job. But i would like to recommand a book that i enjoyed and want you to read. “Zero Degree” by Charu Nivedita”. Its a post-modern transgressive Novel. I am sure you will have a very different kind of experience of reading a story/Novel.
    The Novel is selected in “50 Writers 50 Books—The Best of Indian Fiction” Editied by Pradeep Sebastian & Chandra Siddan

    Reply
  2. sriniithax

    Hi, This is Srini, I regularly follow your postings. You are doing a great job. But i would like to recommand a book that i enjoyed and want you to read. “Zero Degree” by Charu Nivedita”. Its a post-modern transgressive Novel. I am sure you will have a very different kind of experience of reading a story/Novel. Below is the link
    http://www.flipkart.com/zero-degree/p/itmdyv7hvqztbtfr

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_Degree

    The Novel is selected in “50 Writers 50 Books—The Best of Indian Fiction” Editied by Pradeep Sebastian & Chandra Siddan
    http://www.timeoutdelhi.net/books/reviews/50-writers-50-books-%E2%80%93-best-indian-fiction

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s