9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This novel should have been titled "Shame"
, 20 April 2006
This review is from: Shroud (Paperback)
It really is mostly about shame. John Banville is a master of English prose. His writing has a power and intensity, and originality that is matched by no other living writer that I know of. All the more shame that his wonderful talent is wasted on this bloated, fatuous, ugly novel. The main character "Axel" is an old, drunken, lecherous has-been scholar. The romantic "other" is a hare-brained, weird, humorless woman. (Indeed the entire novel is utterly humorless.) And so on and on.... Nobody is likable or interesting; they are just pathetic. Banville is unsurpassed in creating characters, living and riveting characters. But who would want to spend their precious hours with these creeps that he creates in Shroud? Not I, although I finished the book.
Maybe I just don't get it. Undoubtedly I don't get it. I don't want to get it. I don't care. Nothing about Shroud made me want to get it.
I liked The Untouchable by Banville. That was a wonderful book. This one stinks.
By the way, this book will really tune up your vocabulary skills. There are more odd words here than in a spelling bee.
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