14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
How I wanted to like this book,
This review is from: The Sea (Paperback)
Reviewers have raved about the style of this novel. Well, it's certainly rich in vocabulary (frankly, it's pompous and pretentious) and equally rich in allusion (I might briefly mention Joyce, 'Great Expectations', Greek myth etc) but ultimately this novel fails to satisfy.
"Oh dear me the novel tells a story." But the problem is there's not much to the story here, and the usual post-modern 'frame' just doesn't work here. Of course, it's all done in a highly symbolic way (even peeling bananas is, I kid you not, symbolic here) and there's lots of coming of age type nonsense (snogging in the cinema, all done before) but it's a real effort to wade through much of this.
Banville clearly is a talented writer, with a fine ear for the music of his sentences, but somewhere along the lines convincing story and genuine emotion have been abandoned.
Try it - it might work for you. It did for me in places but ultimately I was disappointed.
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Initial post: 5 Feb 2010 15:14:51 GMT
Eileen Shaw says:
Excellent Review Andrew - I felt exactly the same. The man can write, but if all he does is muse and curmudgeon his way through a memory it's pathetic.
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