This second novel in a group of four- ""a sibling, not a sequel to Justine."" the author calls it-- is, if possible, even more fascinating than that first novel. It has the author of Justine, an Irish writer and teacher living in Alexandria, submit his manuscript to a friend who had lived through the events the of that book, knowing different facts about them. Balthazar drafts an extensive interlinear from which the author writes this second manuscript about the same people and incidents, but in another light. This second book is full of wonders and adds wonders to Justine as well. New depths and dimensions are brought to the many extraordinary characters, new facets shown to various situations, new subtleties given to small gestures. The writing is again demanding and rewarding and one is repeatedly tempted to compare it to various musical forms. An exciting book and required reading for anyone seriously interested in the novel. It should be added that there are doubts as to whether Balthazar will stand alone if one has not read the earlier book. Serious and lengthy reviews, of course, especially in the literary media.