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The Sea
John Banville
0307263118
Nov 2005
Hardcover
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From Amazon.co.uk Review
Incandescent prose. Beautifully textured characterisation. Transparent narratives. The adjectives to describe the writing of John Banville are all affirmative, and The Sea is a ringing affirmation of all his best qualities. His publishers are claiming that this novel by the Booker-shortlisted author is his finest yet, and while that claim may have an element of hyperbole, there is no denying that this perfectly balanced book is among the writer’s most accomplished work.

Max Morden has reached a crossroads in his life, and is trying hard to deal with several disturbing things. A recent loss is still taking its toll on him, and a trauma in his past is similarly proving hard to deal with. He decides that he will return to a town on the coast at which he spent a memorable holiday when a boy. His...



The Book of Evidence
John Banville
0375725237
June 2001
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Comparisons with Camus's The Stranger and Dostoyevski's Crime and Punishment are not lightly made, but spring irresistibly to mind after finishing Banville's dazzling novel, which was short-listed for Britain's Booker Award and won Ireland's very rich Guinness Peat Aviation Award, adjudicated by Graham Greene. Banville, who has written three previous books but is not widely known here, is literary editor of the Irish Times. His protagonist and first-person narrator is Frederick Montgomery, a former scientist who has taken to drifting aimlessly through life, keenly self-conscious, a brilliant observer of himself and his surroundings, but with no coherent moral center. In the course of a pathetically absurd robbery attempt--he is trying to steal a painting, with which he has become obsessed, from a neighbor of his...


Eclipse
John Banville
0375725296
Feb 2002
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Irish author Banville (The Book of Evidence; The Untouchable) is one of the most seductive writers currently at work. His books are so intensely imagined and freshly observed, with a startling image or insight on every page, that story almost ceases to matter. In fact, his tale here is tenuous in the extreme. Alexander Cleave is a successful actor because only in performance can he hide his essential hollowness, his sense of his own intangibility. When his career starts to falter, he retreats to his childhood home in a small town by the sea and tries to learn to live with himself, to discover who he really is. Into this existential anguish intrude memories of his parents, his estranged wife, his emotionally damaged daughterDand the ghosts of people he may not even know, but to whose sadness he is attuned. He...


Shroud
John Banville
037572530X
June 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Alex Vander is a fraud, big-time. An elderly professor of literature and a scholarly writer with an international reputation, he has neither the education nor the petit bourgeois family in Antwerp that he has claimed. As the splenetic narrator of this searching novel by Banville (Eclipse), he admits early on that he has lied about everything in his life, including his identity, which he stole from a friend of his youth whose mysterious death will resonate as the narrator reflects on his past. Having fled Belgium during WWII, he established himself in Arcady, Calif., with his long-suffering wife, whose recent death has unleashed new waves of guilt in the curmudgeonly old man. Guilt and fear have long since turned Vander into a monster of rudeness, violent temper, ugly excess, alcoholism and self-destructiveness....


Elizabeth Costello
J. M. Coetzee
0641637128

Hardcover
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A Book of Irish Verse
William Butler Yeats
0415289831
Mar 2003
Paperback
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Book Description
Originally published in 1895, this outstanding collection of Irish verse was part of Yeats' campaign to establish a tradition of Irish poetry fit for the dawn of a new age in Ireland's history.

About the Author
W.B.Yeats (1865-1939) was one of the greatest poets of the modern age and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.


Troubles: (New York Review Books Classics Series)
J. G. Farrell
1590170180
October 2002
Paperback
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Book Description
1919: After surviving the Great War, Major Brendan Archer makes his way to Ireland, hoping to discover whether he is indeed betrothed to Angela Spencer, whose Anglo-Irish family owns the once-aptly-named Majestic Hotel in Kilnalough. But his fiancée is strangely altered and her family's fortunes have suffered a spectacular decline. The hotel's hundreds of rooms are disintegrating on a grand scale; its few remaining guests thrive on rumors and games of whist; herds of cats have taken over the Imperial Bar and the upper stories; bamboo shoots threaten the foundations; and piglets frolic in the squash court. Meanwhile, the Major is captivated by the beautiful and bitter Sarah Devlin. As housekeeping disasters force him from room to room, outside the order of the British Empire also totters: there is unrest in the...


Athena
John Banville
0679736859
May 1996
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Irish novelist Banville offers a literary thriller in which his guilt-plagued narrator is drawn into both an art theft and a passionate affair with a mysterious woman. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
Art historian Morrow is hired by small-time crook Morden to authenticate and catalog a cache of eight paintings stored in a decrepit house. As Morden and his seedy assistant, Francie, lead Morrow through the house, a delicious sense of impending menace is evoked by simple things: the rising staircase; a door standing ajar; an intense, bright light; and a watching dog. Morrow's brief glimpse through a crumbling wall of a woman's leg in stockings and black high heels is the beginning of his increasingly destructive sexual obsession with the...


Doctor Copernicus
John Banville
0679737995
Oct 1993
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
These unusually fine biographical novels vivify Copernicus, the man who reshaped the medieval world view, and 16th-century German astronomer Johannes Kepler, whose science was a means to pursue the nature of God. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Book Description
When Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543) proved that the earth was not the center of the universe, man's conception of his cosmos and his God broke down. That shattering situation, with the great astronomer at its hub, and the toll it took on him, his church, and his world, is what John Banville skillfully reveals in this novel. Set in a fascinating, remote world, DOCTOR COPERNICUS transcends its context, making it at once an historical and a very modern novel. "Banville is superb...There are not many...


Kepler
John Banville
0679743707
Oct 1993
Paperback
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Review
When the solution came, it came, as always, through a back door of the mind, hesitating shyly, an announcing angel dazed by the immensity of its journey."

-- from Kepler

In a brilliant illumination of the Renaissance mind, the acclaimed Irish novelist John Banville re-creates the life of Johannes Kepler and his incredible drive to chart the orbits of the planets and the geometry of the universe.

Wars, witchcraft, and disease rage throughout Europe. And for this court mathematician, vexed by domestic strife, appalled by the religious upheavals that have driven him from exile to exile, and vulnerable to the whims of his eccentric patrons, astronomy is a quest for some form of divine order. For all of the mathematical precision of his exploration, though, it is a seemingly elusive quest until he makes one...


Magnum Ireland
John Banville
0500543038
November 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Devoid of the standard Irish photobook fare of green pastures and smiling, freckled children, this collaboration between the Irish Museum of Modern Art and photographers of the cooperative Magnum Photos agency is a rich and complex retrospective of six tumultuous decades of Irish history. After a poignant introduction by John Banville, the book's opening salvo of photos (depicting crowds at a horse track) date from the early '50s and were snapped by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Chapters, each dedicated to a decade, begin with essays by notable Irish authors whose observations serve as a mooring post for the photos that follow. From Ian Berry's photographs of early 1970s clashes between British soldiers and stone-throwing gangs of children to Stuart Franklin's depictions, in 2003, of a generation of Irish youth coming...


John Banville: Exploring Fictions
Derek Hand
1904148042
February 2003
Paperback
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From Library Journal
Despite the inexpensive price and uniform paperback format, this new literary series does not offer basic introductions or compilations of past criticism, although each volume has a good chronology of the subject's life and an excellent bibliography. The texts are in fact original book-length essays covering the complete oeuvre of each writer in question and thus require some previous study on the reader's part. These first volumes in the series cover a range of living Irish writers, from the celebrated to the lesser known, with emphasis on the specifically Irish elements in their work. O'Brien (English, Univ. of Limerick), also the series editor, produces a workmanlike essay in response to the unenviable task of saying something new about "famous Seamus" Heaney, one of the best-known writers in the...


Ghosts
John Banville
0679755128
Nov 1994
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
The narrator of this lyrical novel by the author of The Book of Evidence banishes himself to a deserted island inhabited by two other castaways. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
A bedraggled medley of castaways from a day outing wash ashore a remote island. Led by Felix, the unctuous, mutable "lord of the streets," they include many of the same Faustian types--the innocent girl, the moribund gentleman--who inhabit Banville's previous fiction, The Book of Evidence ( LJ 3/1/90) and Mephisto (Godine, 1989). They have, perhaps, walked "straight out of the deepest longings" of the forsaken trio already sentenced to live on that island: an art expert with dubious credentials, Professor Kreutnaer; his disgruntled, lovelorn assistant Licht; and...


Mirrors and Holographic Labyrinths: The Process of a New Aesthetic Synthesis in John Banville's Work
Laura Izarra
1573092576
June 1998
Paperback
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Book Description
This important new study is aimed at the primary question of a "new synthesis" proposed by John Banville, the contemporary Irish writer, who foresees the end of postmodernism and the beginning of a new "ism" or synthesis in art. "Truth is arbitrary, reality is multifarious, language is not a clear lens." The analysis of his nine novels is an open dialogue with other fields of knowledge, with the critics of his work and contemporary criticism following the writer's reflections upon the different systems of representation as metafiction, science and the perception of visual arts. The focus is on the interactive process between the observer and the observed in the construction of meanings. The belief that literature is a social practice and literary texts must be analyzed within their contexts permeates this work. ...


The Untouchable
John Banville
0679767479
June 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
A brilliant, engaging, and highly literate espionage-cum-existential novel, John Banville's The Untouchable concerns the suddenly-exposed double agent Victor Maskell, a character based on the real Cambridge intellectual elites who famously spied on the United Kingdom in the middle of the 20th century. But Maskell--scholar, adventurer, soldier, art curator, and more--respected and still living in England well past his retirement from espionage, looked like he was going to get away with it when suddenly, in his 70s and sick with cancer, he is unmasked. The question of why, and by whom is not as important for Maskell as the larger question of who finally he himself really is, why he spied in the first place, and whether his many-faceted existence adds up to an authentic life. --This text refers to the...

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