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 writers 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 memory of that time devolves on the charismatic Grace family, particularly the seductive twins Myles and Chloe. In a very short time, Max found himself drawn into a strange relationship with them, and pursuant events left their mark on him for the rest of his life. But will he be able to exorcise those memories of the past?
The fashion in which John Banville draws the reader into this hypnotic and disturbing world is non pareil, and the very complex relationships between his brilliantly delineated cast of characters are orchestrated with a masters skill. As in such books as Shroud and The Book of Evidence, the author eschews the obvious at all times, and the narrative is delivered with subtlety and understatement. The genuine moments of drama, when they do occur, are commensurately more powerful. --Barry Forshaw
"It is a brilliant, sensuous, discombobulating novel" -- Spectator
"This is a novel in which all Banville's remarkable gifts come together to produce a real work of art.." -- Scotsman
"With his fastidious wit and exquisite stule, John Banville is the heir to Nabokov....his best novel so far" -- Daily Telegraph
'Everything in Banville's books is alive. Bleakly elegant, he is a writer's writer, a new Henry Green..' -- Independent
'The Sea is a beautiful novel, challenging and richly rewarding..we have a lord of language among us.' -- Irish Independent
'There is so much to applaud in this book that it deserves more than one reading.' -- Literary Review
'This is a novel in which all Banville's remarkable gifts come together to produce a real work of art -- Scotsman
A brilliant, sensuous novel -- Spectator
The Sea is essentially a redemptive journey of the mind . . . Banville is a master at the top of his game -- Time Out