4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
'That was the demon. He recognised it.',
This review is from: Kepler (Paperback)
This is a beautiful book, winner of The Guardian Fiction Prize in 1981. I first read it 10 years ago but I enjoyed and appreciated it much more when I reread it recently. Here are some thoughts about it:
+ It is a beautifully crafted book, inspiring and down to earth, just like the subject of the novel. Banville manages to weave an intriguing and engaging text about the man and his times.
+ The narrative structure of the novel is not linear but somehow reminiscent of Kepler's study and perception of the universe.
+ The book is 'alive' in terms of the rhythm: the slow-paced narrative of lived experience in the earlier parts of the novel contrasts with the speedy final pages where a sense of revelation (Kepler's) coincides with a sense of a closure-that-is-not-a-closure ('Never die, never die.')
+ Like Kepler, the reader often 'recognises' the ghost in the machine: 'That was the demon. He recognised it. He had known it before, the selfsame feeling [...] in order to destroy the past, the human and hopelessly defective past, and begin all over again the attempt of teetering on the brink while the gleeful voice at his ear whispered jump.'