The Untouchable

The Untouchable

by John Banville

Paperback

$16.95 View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Wednesday, October 24?   Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.

Overview

The Untouchable by John Banville

One of the most dazzling and adventurous writers now working in English takes on the enigma of the Cambridge spies in a novel of exquisite menace, biting social comedy, and vertiginous moral complexity. The narrator is the elderly Victor Maskell, formerly of British intelligence, for many years art expert to the Queen. Now he has been unmasked as a Russian agent and subjected to a disgrace that is almost a kind of death. But at whose instigation?

As Maskell retraces his tortuous path from his recruitment at Cambridge to the airless upper regions of the establishment, we discover a figure of manifold doubleness: Irishman and Englishman; husband, father, and lover of men; betrayer and dupe. Beautifully written, filled with convincing fictional portraits of Maskell's co-conspirators, and vibrant with the mysteries of loyalty and identity, The Untouchable places John Banville in the select company of both Conrad and le Carre.

Winner of the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction

"Contemporary fiction gets no better than this... Banville's books teem with life and humor." - Patrick McGrath, The New York Times Book Review
"Victor Maskell is one of the great characters in recent fiction... The Untouchable is the best work of art in any medium on [its] subject." -Washington Post Book World
"As remarkable a literary voice as any to come out of Ireland; Joyce and Beckett notwithstanding." -San Francisco Chronicle

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679767473
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/1998
Series: Vintage International Series
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 209,801
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.83(d)

About the Author

John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945.  He is the author of more than ten novels, including The Book of Evidence, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Guinness Peat Aviation Award.  He won the Booker Prize for his novel The Sea in 2005.  He lives in Dublin.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Untouchable 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Emmyfa More than 1 year ago
I had heard so much about the wonderfulness of John Banville and could not wait to dig into this book for my April book group discussion. It was a slog in the beginnning and didn't get much better. I will admit that I kept reading because I wanted to see what happened. It is touted as being about the Cambridge spies during the war. Really it was about one man's life and how he finally gave into his homosexuallity and the life of men during that period. It was more like Brideshead Revisited, lots of drinking and unfathomable relationships. (Meaning how could they stand one another.) The women were not more admirable. There were some moving sections, especially about Victor's own family. It is extremely well written but don't let the good reviewers kid you. There is nothing humorous about this. Perhaps a few witty observations but the story is grim. So sad, really.
samatoha on LibraryThing 4 days ago
A master of combining popular fiction (this time:spy fiction) with arty-fiction (Nabokov),this is one of Banvill's greatest novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first Banville read.  It is a novel that I will not soon forget.....very different than anything I have read previously.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago