|About the Book|
I think theres a big difference between literature and fiction, and this book is a perfect example - as is obvious from the number of negative reviews posted on this website! Some books can be read purely for their entertainment value. We like reading them because the plots and settings and characters capture our interest. Thats what fiction does. But some books provide an additional dimension for readers who are willing to put a little more time and thought into what they are reading and who enjoy digging a little deeper below the plot line to think about the things that motivate the characters to behave the way they do. Those of us who who are looking for more than plot and characterization in a good book, tend to be intrigued by the way authors use language and amazingly enough we actually enjoy discovering new words even though it means looking them up in a dictionary!! Banvilles writing is going to be lost on a lot of readers because its much more than a work of fiction. But for the rest of us, its a great example of why we love to read in the first place....its because we love to see our language used so beautifully in the hands of a writer who has such deep insights into some of the great themes that good literature has always dealt with. This is one of those books. Its a profound reflection on love,loss,regret, and the role memory plays in the grieving process. Those who love to read because they enjoy thinking about the insights to be found in books that are beautifully written will most likely love this book. Obviously not everyone reads for that reason, which is fine for them....but for the rest of us its easy to see why Banville is considered such a fine writer.