Customer Review

63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece from Banville, 24 Aug 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sea (Hardcover)
"The Sea" is a profound meditation on time, loss, memory and longing. Once again, Banville introduces the slightly effete, cultured, late middle-aged male character with a taste for alcohol and a dyspeptic view of the world that we recognise from previous Banville novels. Max Morden has lost his wife to cancer and retreats into a world of nostalgia and a longing for the simplicities of the past, but the past with its lost innocence and simpler relationships carries its own tragedies, and the constant presence of the sea at the edges of the narrative is a metaphor for the unknowability of the forces that shape, and occasionally end lives.
Banville's prose is at his most luminous in "The Sea"; I frequently paused to re-read passages and phrases which captured an essence so accurately or described an image or a feeling with such beauty and aptness that I was left wondering how these effects could be created with mere words.
Banville's work has clearly been influenced by Proust, most obviously in this novel about memory and lost time, but unlike most authors for whom this is true, the comparison with Proust is not an unfavourable one. There is also the strong influence of Samuel Beckett running through all of Banville's work, particularly in the extended interior monologues that constitute his novels (even the occasional passages of dialogue are refracted through the perception of the narrator, so that they become part of his interior thoughts). However, more than in previous novels, the sense of Beckett-esque detachment is moderated by the sense of loss and yearning that permeates the novel, and which makes Max Mordern a more human and sympathetic character than his predecessors in Banville's other novels.
"The Sea" is a rich, rewarding and beautifully evoked novel that resonates with the reader. We are fortunate to have a writer of Banville's calibre - and the comparisons with Proust and Beckett are, for once, appropriate for a living writer - working at the height of his powers and producing books of this quality.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Jul 2014 17:11:45 BDT
Miss G Brown says:
I haven't read the book, yet but have recently purchased the film and found it very touching, I lost my mum to cancer and the was able to relate to how Max Mordens grief I went through wanting to hold on to memory's to ease the pain, we all cope in different ways

I am going to borrow the book from my local library as I know the book will have more in it John Banville to me into another world for a while and it was enjoyable
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

3.6 out of 5 stars (131 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (39)
4 star:
 (40)
3 star:
 (28)
2 star:
 (12)
1 star:
 (12)
 
 
 
16.99 13.33
Add to basket Add to wishlist
A Customer