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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book of wonders
Banville's 'Ghosts' wasn't originally conceived as a sequel to 'The Book of Evidence', but apparently mutated into this whilst being written.
It takes the form of a series of memories and re-interpretations of the main characters past (the ghosts of the title) as he tries (largely without sucess) to figure out the motivations behind both his actions and his very...
Published on 19 Aug 2001 by T. BRANNEY

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1.0 out of 5 stars Tosh
Could not understand the plot or characters, after four chapters of mind numbing tosh I gave up. I read for enjoyment. Mr Banville seems to use fifty words where five would do in every paragraph.
Published 5 months ago by mike sullivan


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book of wonders, 19 Aug 2001
By 
T. BRANNEY (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghosts (Paperback)
Banville's 'Ghosts' wasn't originally conceived as a sequel to 'The Book of Evidence', but apparently mutated into this whilst being written.
It takes the form of a series of memories and re-interpretations of the main characters past (the ghosts of the title) as he tries (largely without sucess) to figure out the motivations behind both his actions and his very "self".
'Ghosts' is also peopled with characters from Banvilles earlier masterpiece, 'Mephisto', and to read 'Ghosts' without first having read 'Mephisto' and 'The Book of Evidence' would undoubtedly be a severely diminished experience...But to read it in the context of Banvilles other work is to become utterly immersed and seduced by his world.
This is imaginative writing of the very highest order, dripping with wonder and insight, not, perhaps, as immediately exciting as'The Book of Evidence', but ulimately a much deeper and more profound work.
Like all of Banvilles books 'Ghosts' is also tremendously witty. With the author at his most Nabokov-ian numerous passages demand to be read out-loud to anyone within ear-shot!
So, to sum-up, this is one of the best (possibly the very best) works by a writer who stands head and shoulders above all his other other Anglo-Irish literary contemporaries...need I say more?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It still haunts me, 19 Aug 2001
By 
Pete Mauser (Shiga Prefecture, Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ghosts (Paperback)
Less a plot novel than The Book of Evidence (of which it is the sort-of sequel), Ghosts nevertheless has an artistry that neither BOE nor any other book I've read in recent years can touch. The imagery isn't merely beautiful; it is staggering, and the mood that Banville conjures will hold any reader with an imagination.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This has to be read as part of the trilogy, 5 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Ghosts (Paperback)
This book can appear plotless and extremely confusing. But, if read in context as the central book of Banville's trilogy, then it really works. This trilogy is loosely constructed and has a very clear Beckettian echo - it is not meant to be a linear narrative and the protagonist in all three books is not necessarily the same character; just as Samuel Beckett's central character in 'Molloy', 'Malone Dies' and 'The Unnamable'. Banville writes about art and about 'painting the perfect world': his trilogy illustrates an ideal concept of life and at the same time undermines it very deftly. 'Ghosts' is a painting, which comes together only at the end. I think it is a masterpiece, but it loses out on being read on its own.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and Impressive, 7 Nov 2007
By 
G. G. Durante (Gibraltar) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghosts (Paperback)
Unlike other reviewers, I came to 'Ghosts' without knowledge of the previous books. I doubt my enjoyment could have been greater if I had read its predecessors.

'Ghosts' is an imaginative and poetic meditation on repentance and atonement, on self-identity and self-estrangement. It follows the thoughts of an ex-convict released after serving time for murder as he spends his days reforming his tattered existence on a secluded island inhabited by the mysterious 'Professor' and the equally elusive 'Licht'. The nameless narrator experiences a whole tapestry of fleeting emotions and terrors finally culminating in a dream-like retrospective of the day he was released.

Banville's language is, as ever, finely judged but those looking for a traditional plot or character interactions would do better to look elsewhere. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Think James Joyce...not James Herriot..., 9 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Ghosts (Paperback)
Spectacular dream novel, that, far from being "plotless" uses the framework of (sometimes unreliable) memory to tell the stories of how the characters came to where we now find them.
If you like your works of fiction to be stricly linear and action-based then look elsewhere. If, however, you're more interested in reading one of the world's greatest living writers at the peak of his imaginative powers, and challenging the conventions of story-telling then dive in and be richly rewarded.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Tosh, 30 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Ghosts (Kindle Edition)
Could not understand the plot or characters, after four chapters of mind numbing tosh I gave up. I read for enjoyment. Mr Banville seems to use fifty words where five would do in every paragraph.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterly read, 12 Jan 2014
By 
Fenella Copplestone (Rennes,France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghosts (Kindle Edition)
John Banville is a spell-binding writer, however unpromising the underlying story.You are drawn into the psyche of characters you would find repulsive in real life;
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the best writing in English, 20 Nov 2013
This review is from: Ghosts (Paperback)
John Banville began to hit his stride with Mefisto, and then keeps getting better. Ghosts has a depth of beauty that is hard to encapsulate. The main character has an interior life that is peculiar, specific and altogether believable. In that, we are reading into the mind of this figure, a character with a terrifying past (and thus a capacity to do unthinkably horrible things) but also a tenderness in his consideration of that past, and of his present, albeit, in both time positions, also a capacity for the ironic eyebrow lift. He is not a sentimentalist, but he is inherently human, nuanced, alive. Banville is one of a small handful of writers who have mastered the capacity to dig deep into the soul of his characters: he's on par with the best work of Nicholas Mosley and Patrick White; and perhaps akin to Lori Baker. It is a different version of interiority than one might get from Beckett, but equally riveting. Read The Book of Evidence first. Ghosts, to my mind, is even better (it rivals Banville's The Infinities, which is, to my mind, his most perfect book), and perhaps more likeable than Athena (though which of these two titles is better remains a question I've yet to settle). Reading Banville is a bit like shuttling along in one's own brain. His perceptions are often variant, the memories variant, but again, they also sufficiently align. And even when they do not precisely align, they conjure the thought-emotion process in such a way that one can be moved by the slightest pull on the sentence. And Banville has mastered the pull on the sentence.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry John, 12 Aug 2013
By 
D. Stewart (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghosts (Hardcover)
Uninteresting to the point of boredom. Could'nt see the point of it at all, sadly. Literate and
well written it might interest others however.
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4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Illustrate everything wrong with modern novel, 30 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Ghosts (Paperback)
Many people are perplexed by the current state of the british novel;this tedious tome fully illustrates the extent of the problem.Plotless,pretentious,intellectually mediocre,it tries to rely on linguistic dexterity in place of substance like plotting and character building.Avoid at all costs-the worst book I have ever read.
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Ghosts
Ghosts by John Banville (Paperback - 5 Mar 2010)
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