Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Body of Evidence by John Banville

The Body of Evidence by John Banville  (2001, 219 pages, 1795 KB)

The Irish Quarter

John Banville is one of the best known and highest regarded of contemporary Irish novelists.   In 2005 his novel The Sea, won the Man Booker Prize.  The Book of Evidence was short listed for the award.  He also writes crime novels under the named Benjamin Black.  I have previously posted on his 2010  novel, Infinities and one of his short stories, "Night Wind". 

In the book description on Amazon The Body of Evidence is described as like a work that combines the sensibilities of Nabokov and Camus.  Normally I am a but turned off by such comparisons and I think if I want to read a work that is like the work of an author, why not just read him but I see the truth in these comparisons.  

The Body of Evidence is all a long disjointed monologue by a man in prison for a murder of a purely innocent woman.  Freddie Montgomery, based on no accomplishments, fancies himself a superior highly cultured man.   The central character has been in jail for quite a while awaiting his trial for murder.   He loves to hear himself talk and it was in fact a great pleasure to listen to him.  He is very self deluded and not near as smart as he thinks himself to be.   

I great enjoyed this brilliant book both of the amazing prose and the depth of the characterizations.

My next Banville will probably be Ancient Lights and then The Sea.

Mel u

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