Customer Reviews for

The Sea

Average Rating 4
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

remarkable character study

Middle aged Irishman Max Morden mourns deeply the loss of his wife Anna. Needing to escape the overwhelming memories and though fifty years have passed since he has been there, Max retreats to the Cedars, a house that was the summer home of the Graces, who strongly inf...
Middle aged Irishman Max Morden mourns deeply the loss of his wife Anna. Needing to escape the overwhelming memories and though fifty years have passed since he has been there, Max retreats to the Cedars, a house that was the summer home of the Graces, who strongly influenced him when he was a child. He takes a room there hiding from his normal now dispirited life. --- Max thinks back to that summer when the affluent Graces vacationed at the Cedars. They ┬┐adopted┬┐ him as their personal waif for those glorious months. Though the parents, the authoritative father and the real family ruler the mother treated him nicely, the twin daughters Chloe and Myles were his connection. He compares that time with the lingering illness until death do us part of his spouse and his daughter Claire. Worried about her dad, Claire tries to help Max overcome his depression but he wants to sink deeper into the past when death was something adults dealt with and youngsters like him blithely played all day without a care in the world. --- THE SEA runs fathoms deep as the audience obtains a remarkable character study that focuses on an individual who in spite of expecting the Grim Reaper to call cannot cope when the visit occurs. Max is morbid and melancholy as he mourns his loss and cannot cope with it while his daughter can readily see his angst but has no concept on how to return her dad to the living. Readers will sympathize with Max, but wonder whether the past will engulf his present and future or will he realize those idyllic days had woes too that his memories chose to discriminately ignore. --- Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

This won the Booker Prize?????????

This is the third book of Banville's I have read and I will never read another. His characters are consistently depressing and world-loathing, his story lines and plots are very lightweight although he seems to enjoys creating an over emphasis on sounds, tastes, smells ...
This is the third book of Banville's I have read and I will never read another. His characters are consistently depressing and world-loathing, his story lines and plots are very lightweight although he seems to enjoys creating an over emphasis on sounds, tastes, smells and most everyting else that has no true relevance to the story itself. He has a certain proclivity to overwriting simple scenes and thoughts to needlessly elongated, tedious pages of overblown prose. He also has a certain fetish for throwing in arcane and little used words every page or two, perhaps to demonstrate the range of his thesaurus. Regardless, he has somehow gained a reputation that is considerably larger and better than his writing in anyway deserves. Pass on this and you won't resent the loss of money you spent on this small, insignicant book

posted by Anonymous on March 30, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    Trainer

    He grins to u.( alrighty)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2012

    Worth the effort to keep going and finish it

    Worth the effort to keep going and finish it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2008

    A reviewer

    OK story, it mostly kept my attention but it did seem to drag. I was really surprised to read it was so highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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