Victor Maskell has been betrayed. After the announcement in the Commons, the hasty revelation of his double life of wartime espionage, his photograph is all over the papers. His disgrace is public, his position as curator of the Queen’s pictures terminated… Maskell writes his own testament, in an act not unlike the restoration of one of his beloved pictures, in order for the process of verification and attribution to begin.
"Brilliant writer writes the most boring spy story"
Is there any difference between memory and invention? That is the question that fuels this stunning novel, written with the depth of character, the clarifying lyricism, and the heart-wrenching humor that have marked all of John Banville's extraordinary works. And it is the question that haunts Alexander Cleave as he plumbs the memories of his first - and perhaps only - love (he, just 15, the woman more than twice his age, the mother of his best friend; the situation impossible, thrilling, devouring, and finally devastating).
"Banville at his best"
The narrator is Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman who, soon after his wife's death, has gone back to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child; a retreat from the grief, anger, and numbness of his life without her. But it is also a return to the place where he met the Graces, the well-heeled vacationing family with whom he experienced the strange suddenness of both love and death for the first time.
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea and Ancient Light, a new novel - at once trenchant, witty, and shattering - about the intricacies of artistic creation and theft, and about the ways in which we learn to possess one another and to hold on to ourselves. Equally self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating, our narrator, Oliver Otway Orme, is a painter of some renown and a petty thief who does not steal for profit and has never before been caught.
Coming of age, the impact of class, and familial and romantic love are the prevalent motifs, along with the instinct toward escape and subsequent nostalgia for home. Some of the stories are linked, and some carry O'Brien's distinct sense of the comical. In "A Rose in the Heart of New York", the single-mindedness of love dramatically derails the relationship between a girl and her mother while in "Sister Imelda" and "The Creature", the strong ties between teacher and student and mother and son are ultimately broken.
Alexander Cleave, actor, has left his career and his family behind and banished himself to his childhood home. He wants to retire from life, but finds this impossible in a house brimming with presences, some ghostly, some undeniably human. Memories, anxiety for the future, and more particularly, for his beloved but troubled daughter, conspire to distract him from his dreaming retirement.
On a languid midsummers day in the countryside, old Adam Godley, a renowned theoretical mathematician, is dying. His family gathers at his bedside: his son, young Adam, struggling to maintain his marriage to a radiantly beautiful actress; his 19-year-old daughter, Petra, filled with voices and visions as she waits for the inevitable; their stepmother, Ursula, whose relations with the Godley children are strained at best; and Petras.
"family. even the gods seem to know about it."
When art historian Max Morden returns to the seaside village where he once spent a childhood holiday, he is both escaping from a recent loss and confronting a distant trauma.
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of The Blue Guitar by John Banville, read by Gerry O'Brien. Adultery is always put in terms of thieving, but we were happy together, simply happy. Oliver Orme is a painter who has abandoned his art. His days are now haunted by loss: loss of desire, of artistic vision, of the people he has loved. And only now does he realize that those around him understand him more than he does himself.
Old Adam Godley’s time on earth is drawing to an end, and as his wife and children gather at the family home, little do they realize that they are not the only ones who have come to observe the spectacle. The mischievous Greek gods, too, have come; as tensions fray and desire bubbles over, their spying soon becomes intrusion becomes intervention, until the mortals’ lives – right before their eyes – seem to be changing faster than they can cope with.
Wieder ist Quirke, der depressive, schuldbeladene, einsame Pathologe der Held der Geschichte, die im Dublin der 50er Jahre spielt. Als Quirke einen Anruf von einem alten Schulfreund bekommt, der ihn um den Gefallen bittet, seine ertrunkene Frau nicht zu obduzieren, verspricht Quirke ihm dies im ersten Reflex. Doch als er an der Leiche schon beim ersten Hinschauen Einstiche entdeckt, beginnt er auf eigene Faust nachzuforschen.
Kunsthistorikeren Max Morden er vendt tilbage til den kystby, hvor han tilbragte sine ferier som dreng - en retræte fra den sorg, vrede og tomhed, han føler, efter at hans kone nylig er død af kræft. Men det er også en tilbagevenden til det sted, hvor han som 10-11-årig mødte den velhavende ferierende Grace-familie og første gang oplevede kærlighed, sex og pludselig død. Romanen omhandler dels Mordens skæbnesvangre oplevelser som dreng, dels minderne om hans kone Anna og dels de både betydningsfulde og trivielle begivenheder i hans nuværende liv.