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

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Sea by John Banville

The Sea by John Banville  (2005)

The Sea is the third novel by John Banville (Ireland, 1945) that I have had the privilege of reading.   It won the Man Booker Prize in 2005.

It is narrated in the first person by an art historian who is trying to deal with the loss of his wife through a visit to three places that were important in his past    The narration goes back in forth in time as the consciousness of the narrator flows back and forth.   The movement of the sea is the dominating metaphor for this wonderful book and it perfectly is reflected in the narrative mode and prose of the work.  The sadness part of the novel deals with the narrator's attempt to relate to his wife during a period when they both know she will be dying soon.

I read in a post somewhere (I would give credit but I lost the reference) that the best thing about reading a Banville novel is  knowing you are in the hands of a master and just opening yourself up to his brilliance.

Please share your experience with Banville with us.

Mel u


valerie sirr said...

My favourites so far are 'The Book of Evidence' and 'The Sea.

Mel u said...

Valerie Sirr, I think I will read Ancient Light as my next Banville Book. Thanks as always for your comments and visits

Kathleen Jones said...

this is one of my favourite Banville books, though it got mixed reviews in the UK. I thought that the way he portrayed the man's mental state was wonderful, and the way that he made you aware of all the ambiguities. It was slow and contemplative and a great relief from those manic contemporary novels that hurl you from beginning to end through regiments of narrative hooks!

Mel u said...

Kathleen Jones-very good point about the narrative-I am rereading your great biography of Katherine Mansfield now