The Black Book stands as Lawrence Durrell's first significant novel. His initial attempt at the form, Pied Piper of Lovers (1935), was a conventional coming-of-age novel recounting its protagonist's passage from childhood in the East to young manhood in England – a progression that mirrored Durrell's own. Panic Spring (1937, published under the pseudonym Charles Norden) was a more assured performance, although it aped Aldous Huxley and Norman Douglas. And while The Black Book also wears its influences on its sleeve, Durrell heard in it, as he would later acknowledge, his own voice for the first time.
The scene is a “baroque incubus” of a residential hotel in London named the Regina, where …
Koger, Grove. "The Black Book: An Agon". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 September 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1446, accessed 24 March 2017.]