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Dense and slow
on 10 May 2013
I like John Banville's writing. It is often beautifully crafted and polished. But sometimes as in this book the polishing is so detailed that it gets inn the way of the story. Banville has said that he would like his prose to be as dense and rich as poetry but he seems to have spent so much time attempting to do that for The Untouchable that the momentum of the story gets lost and the plot become submerged under a thicket of (occasionally unnecessary) exploration of the memories of Victor Maskell.
This has the beneficial effect at times of replicating the querulous arrogance and smugness a reader might associate with Maskell (a fictionalied Anthony Blunt) but at the expense of narrative pace.
If you are going to read this you need to set aside some time ....