'''''The Alexandria Quartet''''' is a tetralogy of novels by the British author Lawrence Durrell. Set in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, it explores the misadventures of various European expatriates and natives in the years around World War II. It consists of the following books:

* ''Justine'' (1957)
* ''Balthazar'' (1958)
* ''Mountolive'' (1958)
* ''Clea'' (1960)

The four novels deal with the same cast of characters and mostly with the same events, but are told from different angles. ''Balthazar'' is a virtual retelling of ''Justine'', from the perspective of the later novel's title character; ''Mountolive'' is the story of a minor character from the first two novels that interacts unexpectedly with the previous story; ''Clea'' takes place several years later, but offers startling new information about the motivations and secrets of characters seen previously.

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!! The ''Alexandria Quartet'' contains examples of:
* AllFirstPersonNarratorsWriteLikeNovelists: It doesn't matter which character is doing so at the moment.
* AnArmAndALeg: Nessim loses an eye and a hand during a Nazi bombing raid on Alexandria; Clea loses most of her painting hand after getting it (literally) harpooned underwater.
* AuthorAvatar: Darley, the narrator of ''Justine'' is a thinly disguised stand-in for Lawrence Durrell--they even share the initials L.G.D.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: The moneyed Hosnani clan.
* BrotherSisterIncest: Turns out to apply to [[spoiler:Pursewarden and his blind sister Liza]].
* CityOfSpies: Virtually everyone, to some degree, is either a player, antagonist, or pawn in the machinations of the British Foreign Office.
* CompellingVoice: Narouz, whose spellbinding oratory makes him an increasing threat to himself, his family, and the English colonial office.
* CoveredWithScars: Nessim and Narouz's mother Leila, due to smallpox--and to the shock of her old lover Mountolive.
* DelayedNarratorIntroduction: Although ''Justine's'' narrator Darley depicts himself as a character from the outset, we do not learn his name until the later novels.
* DragQueen: The old, grotesque ex-sailor Scobie.
* EuropeansAreKinky: And even more so when they're expats. If one took the novels' depiction seriously, the city slogan should have been "Alexandria: When Being Eurotrash Just Isn't Trashy Enough."
* EveryoneIsBi: Or at least a suspicious number of main characters--Justine, Clea, ''ad nauseam''.
* FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator: Darley, Balthazar, and Clea.
* ForTheEvulz: The polymorphously lecherous Capodistria.
* FriendlyEnemies: Scobie is well-liked ([[spoiler:and wholeheartedly mourned]]) by the Alexandria vice squad, whose job it is to arrest him with regularity.
* {{Gayngst}}: The fragile Balthazar, who goes on a months-long bender after being dumped by a young actor.
* TheHedonist: This applies to virtually all the major characters.
* HookHand: After her diving accident, Clea acquires a prosthetic contraption to let her paint.
* IllGirl: Darley's dying mistress Melissa.
* InsufferableGenius: The brilliant, prolific, punchable Pursewarden.
* JustBeforeTheEnd: For the Europeans, Copts, and Jews that comprise the novels' cast, postwar Egypt is on the verge of becoming various degrees of inhospitable, repressive, or even deadly.
* MissingEpisode: Darley realizes that Pursewarden's posthumous memoirs are not merely genius, but a potential classic of Western literature. In deference to the author's wishes ([[BrotherSisterIncest and the papers' scandalous revelations]]), he burns them.
* MissingMom: Darley raises Melissa's child after her death.
* TheMuse: The real-life Greek-Alexandrian poet Constantine Cavafy is treated as a kind of tutelary spirit inspiring the characters and city.
* NonIdleRich: Nessim and Narouz.
* PerspectiveFlip: The engine that drives the series.
* RashomonStyle: ''Balthazar'' (in its perspective on ''Justine'') and several of the reminiscences in ''Clea''.
* SexualExtortion: In the end, Justine consents to becoming the mistress of the abominable Memlek.
* SituationalSexuality: In the fourth novel, Clea conveniently decides that she's attracted to men--or at least to Darley the narrator.
* SpeechImpediment: Narouz is harelipped, which makes his oratorical and crowd-influencing gifts all the more surprising.
* SwitchingPOV: Both between and within the novels.
* UnreliableNarrator: Darley, especially, but no major character's viewpoint can be taken at face value.
* WarWasBeginning: The first three novels are set during the prelude to WWII.
* WhipItGood: Narouz carries a bullwhip, demonstrates his effectiveness with it to those he wishes to intimidate, and uses it to kill in ''Mountolive''.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Scobie's secret is largely played for sympathetic laughs.

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