What a strange and unsettling book this is. This was my first experience of John Banville but I can see how his writing style splits opinions. The story is set on a single day in the house of the dying mathematician, Adam, who has spend his academic life investigating "infinity". He is in a coma and the house is populated by his second wife, and their two children; Adam Jnr and the weird missfit daughter Petra, their dog and housekeeper. The story is narrated by the god Hermes who at times takes the place of people and at others merely observes. At times, it appears that Hermes is a figment of the dying man's imagination and at times that he resides in one of the infinite worlds that Adam's work has proven to exist. There's plenty of interesting philosophical maundering about humanity and death, and a very rich use of language and it is written in a heavily stylised way. I found the book interesting and admirable, without being involving or necessarily always enjoyable. Part of this is due to the detachment of the narration in the hands of a god, part of it down to the language (which is so rich that it gives a kind of detachment) and partly because it's difficult to pin the book down (it's intentionally mysterious in the time setting making it very other-worldly). It is an unsettling read - but then again, death usually is a tad on the unsettling side! There's a lot of subtly there - for example in the early pages Hermes seems to struggle to fine the right mortal words to describe things, saying it's like this, then no, not like this, like that. And there are touches of nice darkly comic observation on the human condition. It is unashamedly literary though - so if you appreciate big issues and rich language, this might be the book for you.