July 19th, 2024
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July's Best Reads: Dive into Summer's Hottest Page-Turners!

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The Sea by John Banville

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Also by John Banville:

The Drowned, October 2024
Hardcover
Snow, October 2024
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The Lock-Up, September 2024
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Birchwood, March 2024
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Kepler, February 2024
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Doctor Copernicus, February 2024
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The Lock-Up, June 2023
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The Singularities, November 2022
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April in Spain, October 2021
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Snow, October 2020
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The Infinities, March 2010
Hardcover
The Sea, November 2005
Hardcover
The Sea, November 2005
Hardcover

The Sea
John Banville

Winner Man Booker Prize

Knopf
November 2005
ISBN: 0330483285
Hardcover
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Contemporary

Incandescent prose. Beautifully textured characterisation. Transparent narratives. The adjectives to describe the writing of John Banville are all affirmative, and The Sea is a ringing affirmation of all his best qualities. His publishers are claiming that this novel by the Booker- shortlisted author is his finest yet, and while that claim may have an element of hyperbole, there is no denying that this perfectly balanced book is among the writer’s most accomplished work. Max Morden has reached a crossroads in his life, and is trying hard to deal with several disturbing things. A recent loss is still taking its toll on him, and a trauma in his past is similarly proving hard to deal with. He decides that he will return to a town on the coast at which he spent a memorable holiday when a boy. His memory of that time devolves on the charismatic Grace family, particularly the seductive twins Myles and Chloe. In a very short time, Max found himself drawn into a strange relationship with them, and pursuant events left their mark on him for the rest of his life. But will he be able to exorcise those memories of the past?

The fashion in which John Banville draws the reader into this hypnotic and disturbing world is non pareil, and the very complex relationships between his brilliantly delineated cast of characters are orchestrated with a master’s skill. As in such books as Shroud and The Book of Evidence, the author eschews the obvious at all times, and the narrative is delivered with subtlety and understatement. The genuine moments of drama, when they do occur, are commensurately more powerful. --Barry Forshaw

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