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Most Helpful Favorable Review
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
remarkable character study
posted by harstan on December 9, 2008Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
This won the Booker Prize?????????
posted by Anonymous on March 30, 2006Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 1, 2006
'I do not want to be alone like this.'
This is not a book with an entertaining plot. It is a fairly easy read but it is more like a momentary investigation of memory. A study of sudden hopelessness. A fragment of life when it becomes too overwhelming to live. I see it as a report from a period in life when things stand still and it is not clear what will happen next. A time when all one can do is to take a deep breath and wait. In those times it is natural to look back and reread pages one's life has written so far. Not that such a reminiscence improves a lot in the present moment but we can feel too paralyzed by grief to do anything else but keep rewinding the already recorded tape of our mind. So do not expect a lot of action because nothing too startling is going to happen. However, Banville skillfully weaves a few threads into a carpet of the past that safely carries us on our expedition where we visit the life of a middle aged man Max. Maybe not unless you suffered patches of total loneliness in your own life will you be able to suffer the melancholy of Max(Morden), a man now over 50 yo whose wife Anne recently died, a process that took a year. Grieving he returns to a place by the sea where he spent a memorable summer as a child and encountered a well off family called Graces. They too were there on their vacation that didn't end happily. The characters that are introduced in the book serve as a background to Max and his attempt to deal with his feeling of abandonment. A witness to oneself fallen apart. Banville ambitiously uses some elaborate vocabulary so have a OED at hand. 'The truth is, it all has begun to run together, past and possible future and impossible present.'
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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