09 Monday Dec 2013
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The latest addition to my website is Lawrence Durrell‘s Tunc. This is the first of a two-part series and tells of a young inventor, Felix Charlock, who invents something that seems like a spy bug but also involves storing data in a computer and analysing it, all with a slight science fiction touch. He is seduced by a mysterious and powerful company, called Merlin, to work for them. The seduction takes the form of lots of money and Benedicta, daughter of the founder of the company, with said founder now – maybe – dead. He marries Benedicta and takes the money (and enjoys the luxurious lifestyle) but has considerable doubts as to whether the marriage with the enigmatic and often absent Benedicta and the financial rewards are justified. We get the usual Durrell flourishes – mysterious expatriates in Eastern Europe, even more mysterious potentates and the innocent abroad story. I quite enjoyed it but did not think up to the standard of the Alexandria Quartet, even though Durrell himself considered it superior.