Finished Justine by Lawrence Durrell about a week ago. Can't say I enjoyed the story, but I rarely read for that. As to what the story is about, I'm not quite certain. I read the opening section three times as I felt misdirected and scattered while reading the book. It was a difficult novel to follow (and there are the next three parts in the quartet to get through), but here's a nice look at the juicy good writing you'll encounter should you decide to accept this mission:
Streets that run back from the docks with their tattered rotten supercargo of houses, breathing into each others' mouths, keeling over. Shuttered balconies swarming with rats, and ol women whose hair is full of the blood of ticks. Peeling walls leaning drunkenly to east and west of their true centre of gravity. The black ribbon of flies attaching itself to the lips and eyes of the children—the moist beads of summer flies everywhere; the very weight of their bodies snapping off ancient flypapers hanging in the violet doors of booths and cafés. The smell of the seat-lathered Berberinis, like that of some decomposing stair carpet. And then the street noises: shriek and clang of the water-bearing Saidi, dashing his metal cups together as an advertisement, the unheeded shrieks which pierce the hubbub from time to time, as of some small delicately-organized animal being disemboweled. The sores like ponds--the incubation of a human misery of such proportions that one was aghast, and all one's human feelings overflowed into disgust and terror.This is probably my last post of the year as Angela and me are boarding a train tomorrow and plan to be away until Wednesday. I'll tell you about it when we return but, in the meanwhile, have a great new year!