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27 Reviews
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars master of prose
Banville writes exquisitely. The sentences are invariably arresting and his use of language and imagery is magnificent. It's a very dark novel; so dark that I had to put it down for a few days at a time in order for the enormity and the relentless misery of the protagonist's situation to sink in. But if you allow yourself time for his prose to sink in, you will return...
Published on 16 Jun. 2010 by Helen Hoffmann

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hung jury.
This book has excited great enthusiasm from reviewers but for me the parts - or at least some of them - seem greater than the whole. It starts with some wonderfully sharp, original and focused writing, compelling attention, admiration and the desire to read on. Throughout there are patches of evocation which transcend areas that are much looser. The opening to Part 2 is...
Published on 5 Feb. 2012 by Bluecashmere.


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 4 Feb. 2008
This review is from: The Book of Evidence (Paperback)
This is shockingly good writing. I had to slow myself down reading it to savour every page.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 Aug. 2014
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Banville is one of the best writers today.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 18 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Book of Evidence (Paperback)
Book condition fine, content not so good.
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21 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A different opinion..., 20 Jan. 2006
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MrShev "mrshev" (Gloucestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of Evidence (Paperback)
I'm going to get burned for this review, but...
I hated it. The characters were an inexplicable mix of misfits and pariahs and Banville's contempt for ordinary folk is simply horrid. The turgid plot is dragged along with Mogadon-esque speed towards a predictable, and it felt to me, almost unreachable end. The lead character shows a bi-polar mix of intellectual sophistication and almost insane stupidity and I just felt utterly, utterly bored with his life. What Frederick needed was a good, five to ten minute kicking and a hobby: what a loser.
The prose makes Henry James read like The Beano and Banville is so addicted to his thesaurus that I had to stop every ten minutes to look up some utterly mindless alter word for a milk jug...or gate or something. Even Joyce was more enjoyable than this.
I gleaned nothing from this book and had to read Farewell to Arms again afterwards just to reaffirm my faith in literature. Booker prize nominated? Your 'avin' a larf.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Banville doesn't get half of the kudos he deserves!, 5 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Book of Evidence (Paperback)
All his books are magnificient, of the 20 or so contemporary writers I read during the last year Banville is the one who will still be read in a hundred years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Book of Evidence (Paperback)
Great
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously overrated, 25 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The Book of Evidence (Paperback)
I can't understand why people are so enthusiastic about this one. Let's get the question of style out of the way ('Banville writes exquisitely'): good, even exquisite, writing is not at a premium these days. It isn't exactly difficult, since simple English is best. And Banville cannot compare with authors like Toibin or Hollinghurst, not to mention Amis or Barnes, in what he makes language do. Here he imposes on himself the constraint of pretending to be a lowlifer: it doesn't work because every time a literary simile trundles along, we can see Banville behind pushing it, panting slightly. Plenty of other authors have made a better fist of getting inside the mind of a sociopath, such as S Faulks (Engleby). Moreover, the book has very little story, other than what you can pick up from the blurb. You keep expecting some interesting twist or even a bit more gratuitous mayhem, but it never comes. Some kind of moral insight might have compensated but that too is absent.
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The Book of Evidence
The Book of Evidence by John Banville (Paperback - 5 Mar. 2010)
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