Philip Marlowe Books In Publication Order
- The Big Sleep (By:Raymond Chandler) (1939)
- Farewell, My Lovely (By:Raymond Chandler) (1940)
- The High Window (By:Raymond Chandler) (1942)
- The Lady in the Lake (By:Raymond Chandler) (1943)
- The Little Sister (By:Raymond Chandler) (1949)
- The Long Goodbye (By:Raymond Chandler) (1953)
- Playback (By:Raymond Chandler) (1958)
- Poodle Springs (By:Robert B. Parker,Raymond Chandler) (1989)
- Perchance to Dream (By:Robert B. Parker) (1991)
- The Black-Eyed Blonde (As: Benjamin Black) (2014)
- Only to Sleep (By:Lawrence Osborne) (2018)
- The Goodbye Coast (By:Joe Ide) (2022)
Quirke Books In Publication Order
- Christine Falls (2006)
- The Silver Swan (2007)
- Elegy for April (2010)
- A Death in Summer (2011)
- Vengeance (2012)
- Holy Orders (2013)
- Even the Dead (2015)
- April in Spain (2021)
The Revolutions Trilogy Books In Publication Order
- Doctor Copernicus (1976)
- Kepler (1981)
- The Newton Letter (1982)
The Cleave Trilogy Books In Publication Order
- Eclipse (2000)
- Shroud (2002)
- Ancient Light (2012)
Frames: The Freddie Montgomery Trilogy Books In Publication Order
- The Book of Evidence (1989)
- Ghosts (1993)
- Athena (1995)
Tax Free Books In Publication Order
- Tax Free (2008)
- More Confessions from a Serial Tax Cheat (2009)
Standalone Novels In Publication Order
- Nightspawn (1971)
- Birchwood (1973)
- Mefisto (1986)
- The Untouchable (1997)
- The Sea (2005)
- The Lemur (As:Benjamin Black) (2008)
- The Infinities (2009)
- The Blue Guitar (2015)
- Wolf on a String / Prague Nights (As:Benjamin Black) (2017)
- Mrs. Osmond (2017)
- Snow (2020)
- The Secret Guests (As:Benjamin Black) (2021)
Short Stories/Novellas In Publication Order
- God’s Gift (2001)
Short Story Collections In Publication Order
- Long Lankin (1970)
- The Supreme Fictions of John Banville (1999)
Plays In Publication Order
- The Broken Jug (1994)
- Conversation in the Mountains (2020)
Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order
- Possessed of a Past: A John Banville Reader (2012)
- Time Pieces (2016)
Writer and the City Books In Publication Order
- The Flaneur (By:Edmund White) (2001)
- Prague Pictures (2003)
Anthologies In Publication Order
- Imagined Lives (2010)
- Best European Fiction 2013 (2012)
Philip Marlowe Book Covers
Quirke Book Covers
The Revolutions Trilogy Book Covers
The Cleave Trilogy Book Covers
Frames: The Freddie Montgomery Trilogy Book Covers
Tax Free Book Covers
Standalone Novels Book Covers
Short Stories/Novellas Book Covers
Short Story Collections Book Covers
Plays Book Covers
Non-Fiction Book Covers
Writer and the City Book Covers
Anthologies Book Covers
John Banville / Benjamin Black Books Overview
The Big Sleep (By:Raymond Chandler)
Raymond Chandler’s first three novels, published here in one volume, established his reputation as an unsurpassed master of hard boiled detective fiction. THE BIG SLEEP, Chandler’s first novel, introduces Philip Marlowe, a private detective inhabiting the seamy side of Los Angeles in the 1930s, as he takes on a case involving a paralyzed California millionaire, two psychotic daughters, blackmail, and murder. In FAREWELL, MY LOVELY, Marlowe deals with the gambling circuit, a murder he stumbles upon, and three very beautiful but potentially deadly women. In THE HIGH WINDOW, Marlowe searches the California underworld for a priceless gold coin and finds himself deep in the tangled affairs of a dead coin collector. In all three novels, Chandler s hard edged prose, colorful characters, vivid vernacular, and above all his enigmatic loner of a hero, enduringly establish his claim not only to the heights of his chosen genre but to the pantheon of literary art.
Farewell, My Lovely (By:Raymond Chandler)
A brand new BBC Radio full cast dramatization of a classic Raymond Chandler mystery featuring private eye Philip Marlowe. It’s a warm day on Central Avenue, and Marlowe’s hunch about the man beside him is as vague as the heat waves that dance above the sidewalk. The way business is looking, even a hunch is enough. Moose Malloy stands six five and a half and weighs two hundred and sixty four pounds, without his necktie. After eight years in the pen, he wants little Velma back, and no cops or mobsters are ready to stand in his way. Marlowe’s tough enough for the ride, but he can’t help thinking there’s never been a happy ending to the story of beauty and the beast.
The High Window (By:Raymond Chandler)
Ed Bishop stars as Philip Marlowe in this powerfully atmospheric BBC Radio dramatization of Raymond Chandler’s novel about the cynical, world weary, wise cracking shamus whose honesty in a dishonest world sent him down the mean streets again and again in search of some kind of justice. Linda Conquest was very tough, very kissable, and very missing, along with one very valuable old coin. But for some reason the interested parties didn’t seem too interested in finding either of them. Especially when the trail led to the underworld and beyond. And by then Marlowe was knee deep in dead men…
The Lady in the Lake (By:Raymond Chandler)
Creator of the famous Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler elevated the American hard boiled detective genre to an art form. Chandler’s last four novels, published here in one volume, offer ample opportunity to savor the unique and utterly compelling fictional world that made his works modern classics. THE LADY IN THE LAKE moves Marlowe out of his usual habitat of city streets and into the mountains outside of Los Angeles in his strange search for a missing woman. THE LITTLE SISTER takes Marlowe to Hollywood, where he tries to find a sweet young thing’s missing brother, uncovering on the way a little blackmail, a lot of drugs, and more than enough murder. In THE LONG GOODBYE, a case involving a war scarred drunk and his nymphomaniac wife has Marlowe constantly on the move: a psychotic gangster’s on his trail, he’s in trouble with the cops, and more and more corpses keep turning up. PLAYBACK features a well endowed redhead who leads Marlowe to the California coast to solve a tale of big money and, of course, murder. Throughout these masterpieces, Marlowe’s wry humor and existential sense of his job prove yet again why he has become one of the most recognized and imitated characters in fiction.
The Little Sister (By:Raymond Chandler)
This BBC Radio full cast dramatization of a classic Raymond Chandler mystery features private eye Philip Marlowe. Her name is Orfamay Quest and she’s come all the way from Manhattan, Kansas, to find her missing brother Orrin. Or least ways that’s what she tells PI Philip Marlowe, offering him a measly twenty bucks for the privilege. But Marlowe’s feeling charitable though it’s not long before he wishes he wasn’t so sweet. You see, Orrin’s trail leads Marlowe to luscious movie starlets, uppity gangsters, suspicious cops, and corpses with ice picks jammed in their necks. When trouble comes calling, sometimes it’s best to pretend to be out…
The Long Goodbye (By:Raymond Chandler)
Ed Bishop stars as Philip Marlowe in a powerful and atmospheric full cast dramatisation of Raymond Chandler’s classic noir novel. The first time Marlowe sets eyes on Terry Lennox, he is lying drunk in the passenger seat of a Rolls Royce Silver Wraith. The next time, he’s on Skid Row. After they share a few Gimlets, Marlowe thinks he seems like a nice guy, but he’s had a hard life his white hair and scarred face testify to that. Or could it be marriage to Sylvia Lennox that has turned him prematurely grey? Although beautiful and rich, she plays the field in a big way. Lennox says he has the promise of a job in Las Vegas, and Marlowe helps him out with the cost of the ticket. Two weeks later, he gets the money back, with a note from Lennox saying he is starting a second honeymoon with Sylvia. But the honeymoon turns sour, the dame ends up dead and Lennox turns up on Marlowe’s doorstep in big trouble. He needs to get away in a hurry, and against his better judgement Marlowe agrees to take him to Tijuana. Soon after, the cops arrive, and Marlowe finds himself cooling his heels in the can, suspected of helping Sylvia’s killer escape. And that’s not the end of his problems, not by a long shot…
Playback (By:Raymond Chandler)
Stalking the tawdry neon wilderness of forties and fifties Los Angeles, Raymond Chandler’s hard drinking, wise cracking Phillip Marlowe is one of the world’s most famous fictional detectives. ‘Playback’ finds Marlowe mixing business with pleasure getting paid to follow a mysterious and lovely red head named Eleanor King. And wherever Miss King goes, trouble seems to follow. But she’s easy on the eye and Marlowe’s happy to do as he’s told, all in the name of chivalry, of course. But one dead body later and what started out as a lazy afternoon’s snooping soon becomes a deadly cocktail of blackmail, lies, mistaken identity and murder…
Poodle Springs (By:Robert B. Parker,Raymond Chandler)
Marlowe is back…
and he’s married to a rich, beautiful society lady who want him to settle down in the posh desert community of Poodle Springs. Marlowe may have married rich, but old habits die hard: he’s hired to recover a gambling debt and soon finds himself in a case involving bigamy, po*rnography and murder. The first four chapters of this final Marlowe mystery were written by noir master Raymond Chandler at the end of his life. Robert B. Parker was chosen by Chandler’s estate to complete his last work, and the result is a true classic for Chandler aficionados and mystery fans alike.
Perchance to Dream (By:Robert B. Parker)
The Sternwood Family, immortalized in’ The Big Sleep,’ is in trouble again…
Vivian’s psychotic sister Carmen had disappeared from the sanitarium, and Vivian herslelf has once again fallen into the clutches of Eddie Mars, the shady underworld character. Enter Philip Marolwe, the original tough but tender private eye. He saved the Sternwoods once before, and the butler believes he can do it again.
In the debut crime novel from the Booker winning author, a Dublin pathologist follows the corpse of a mysterious woman into the heart of
a conspiracy among the city’s high Catholic society It s not the dead that seem strange to Quirke. It s the living. One night, after a few drinks at an office party, Quirke shuffles down into the morgue where he works and finds his brother in law, Malachy, altering a file he has no business even reading. Odd enough in itself to find Malachy there, but the next morning, when the haze has lifted, it looks an awful lot like his brother in law, the esteemed doctor, was in fact tampering with a corpse and concealing the cause of death.
It turns out the body belonged to a young woman named Christine Falls. And as Quirke reluctantly presses on toward the true facts behind her death, he comes up against some insidious and very well guarded secrets of Dublin s high Catholic society, among them members of his own family.
Set in Dublin and Boston in the 1950s, the first novel in the Quirke series brings all the vividness and psychological insight of Booker Prize winner John Banville s fiction to a thrilling, atmospheric crime story. Quirke is a fascinating and subtly drawn hero, Christine Falls is a classic tale of suspense, and Benjamin Black s debut marks him as a true master of the form.
The Silver Swan
The inimitable Quirke returns in another spellbinding crime novel, in which a young woman’s dubious suicide sets off a new string of hazards and deceptions Two years have passed since the events of the bestselling Christine Falls, and much has changed for Quirke, the irascible, formerly hard drinking Dublin pathologist. His beloved Sarah is dead, his surrogate father lies in a convent hospital paralyzed by a devastating stroke, and Phoebe, Quirke’s long denied daughter, has grown increasingly withdrawn and isolated. With much to regret from his last inquisitive foray, Quirke ought to know better than to let his curiosity get the best of him. Yet when an almost forgotten acquaintance comes to him about his beautiful young wife’s apparent suicide, Quirke’s ‘old itch to cut into the quick of things, to delve into the dark of what was hidden’ is roused again. As he begins to probe further into the shadowy circumstances of Deirdre Hunt’s death, he discovers many things that might better have remained hidden, as well as grave danger to thosehe loves. Haunting, masterfully written, and utterly mesmerizing in its nuance, The Silver Swan fully lives up to the promise of Christine Falls and firmly establishes Benjamin Black a.k.a. John Banville among the greatest of crime writers.
Elegy for April
Quirke the hard drinking, insatiably curious Dublin pathologist is back, and he’s determined to find his daughter’s best friend, a well connected young doctorApril Latimer has vanished. A junior doctor at a local hospital, she is something of a scandal in the conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. Though her family is one of the most respected in the city, she is known for being independent minded; her taste in men, for instance, is decidedly unconventional. Now April has disappeared, and her friend Phoebe Griffin suspects the worst. Frantic, Phoebe seeks out Quirke, her brilliant but erratic father, and asks him for help. Sober again after intensive treatment for alcoholism, Quirke enlists his old sparring partner, Detective Inspector Hackett, in the search for the missing young woman. In their separate ways the two men follow April’s trail through some of the darker byways of the city to uncover crucial information on her whereabouts. And as Quirke becomes deeply involved in April’s murky story, he encounters complicated and ugly truths about family savagery, Catholic ruthlessness, and race hatred. Both an absorbing crime novel and a brilliant portrait of the difficult and relentless love between a father and his daughter, this is Benjamin Black at his sparkling best.
A Death in Summer
One of Dublin’s most powerful men meets a violent end and an acknowledged master of crime fiction delivers his most gripping novel yetOn a sweltering summer afternoon, newspaper tycoon Richard Jewell known to his many enemies as Diamond Dick is discovered with his head blown off by a shotgun blast. But is it suicide or murder? For help with the investigation, Detective Inspector Hackett calls in his old friend Quirke, who has unusual access to Dublin’s elite. Jewell’s coolly elegant French wife, Fran oise, seems less than shocked by her husband’s death. But Dannie, Jewell’s high strung sister, is devastated, and Quirke is surprised to learn that in her grief she has turned to an unexpected friend: David Sinclair, Quirke’s ambitious assistant in the pathology lab at the Hospital of the Holy Family. Further, Sinclair has been seeing Quirke’s fractious daughter Phoebe, and an unlikely romance is blossoming between the two. As a record heat wave envelops the city and the secret deals underpinning Diamond Dick’s empire begin to be revealed, Quirke and Hackett find themselves caught up in a dark web of intrigue and violence that threatens to end in disaster. Tightly plotted and gorgeously written, A Death in Summer proves to the brilliant but sometimes reckless Quirke that in a city where old money and the right bloodlines rule, he is by no means safe from mortal danger.
‘Banville is superb…
there are not many historical novels of which it can be said that they illuminate both the time that forms their subject matter and the time in which they are read: Doctor Copernicus is among the very best of them’ ‘The Economist’. The work of Nicholas Koppernigk, better known as Copernicus, shattered the medieval view of the universe and led to the formulation of the image of the solar system we know today. Here his life is powerfully evoked in a novel that offers a vivid portrait of a man of painful reticence, haunted by a malevolent brother and baffled by the conspiracies that rage around him and his ideas while he searches for the secret of life. ‘Banville writes novels of complex patterning, with grace, precision and timing’ ‘Guardian’. ‘With his fastidious wit and exquisite style, John Banville is the heir to Nabokov’ ‘Daily Telegraph’. ‘A tour de force: a fictional evocation of the great astronomer which is exciting, beautifully written and astonishingly redolent of the late medieval world’ ‘The Times’.
Superbly illuminates the man, the time, and the everlasting quest for knowledge Observer Johannes Kepler, born in 1571 in south Germany, was one of the world’s greatest mathematicians and astronomers. This novel brilliantly recreates his life and his incredible drive to chart the orbits of the planets and the geometry of the universe while being driven from exile to exile by religious and domestic strife. At the same time it illuminates the harsh realities of the Renaissance world; rich in imaginative daring but rooted in poverty, squalor and the tyrannical power of emperors. Narrative art at a positively symphonic level Guardian One knows one is in the presence of a writer extraordinary. Wearing his vast research lightly, Mr Banville not only summons Kepler and his company of vivid souls but leads us into the small dark rooms Sunday Telegraph This very distinguished novel…
is done with very considerable skill; it suggests that this is what such a life must indeed have been like and the result is a wonderfully human figure, rife with feelings, principles, regrets and courage Sunday Times An outstandingly good novel…
a novel that dramatizes and celebrates intellectual passion. Which makes it a very rare novel indeed Irish Press
The Newton Letter
A historian, trying to finish a long overdue book on Isaac Newton, rent a cottage not far by train from Dublin for the summer. All he need, he thinks, is a few weeks of concentrated work. Why, he must unravel, did Newton break down in 1693? What possessed him to write that strange letter to his friend John Locke? But in the long seeping summer days, old sloth and present reality take over.
In this deeply moving and original book, John Banville alloys mystery, fable, and ghost story with poignant psychological acuity to forge the riveting story of a man wary of the future, plagued by the past, and so uncertain in the present that he cannot discern the spectral from the real. When renowned actor Alexander Cleave was a boy living in a large house with his widowed mother and various itinerant lodgers, he encountered a strikingly vivid ghost of his father. Now that he’s fifty and has returned to his boyhood home to recover from a nervous breakdown on stage, he is not surprised to find the place still haunted. He is surprised, however, at the presence of two new lodgers who have covertly settled into his old roost. And he is soon overwhelmed by how they, coupled with an onslaught of disturbing memories, compel him to confront the clutter that has become his life: ruined career, tenuous marriage, and troubled relationship with an estranged daughter destined for doom.
Axel Vander is an old man, in ill health, recently widowed, a scholar renowned for both his unquestionable authority and the ferocity and violence that often mark his conduct. He is known to be Belgian by birth, to have had a privileged upbringing, to have made a perilous escape from World War II torn Europe his blind eye and dead leg are indelible reminders of that time. But Vander is also a master liar I lied to lie , his true identity Shrouded under countless layers of intricately connected falsehoods. Now a young woman he doesn t know, and whom he has dubbed Miss Nemesis, has threatened to expose the most fundamental and damaging of these lies. Vander has agreed to travel from California to meet her in Italy in Turin, city of the most mysterious Shroud believing that he will have no difficulty rendering her harmless. But he is wrong. This woman at once mad and brilliant, generous and demanding will be the catalyst for Vander’s reluctant journey through his past toward the truths he has hidden, and toward others even he will be shocked to discover. In Shroud as in all of his acclaimed previous novels John Banville gives us an emotionally resonant tale, exceptionally rich in language and image, dazzling in its narrative invention. It is a work of uncommon power.
The Book of Evidence
John Banville’s stunning powers of mimicry are brilliantly on display in this engrossing novel, the darkly compelling confession of an improbable murderer. Freddie Montgomery is a highly cultured man, a husband and father living the life of a dissolute exile on a Mediterranean island. When a debt comes due and his wife and child are held as collateral, he returns to Ireland to secure funds. That pursuit leads to murder. And here is his attempt to present evidence, not of his innocence, but of his life, of the events that lead to the murder he committed because he could. Like a hero out of Nabokov or Camus, Montgomery is a chillingly articulate, self aware, and amoral being, whose humanity is painfully on display.
In this brilliantly haunting new novel, John Banville forges an unforgettable amalgam of enchantment and menace that suggests both The Tempest and his own acclaimed The Book of Evidence. ‘A surreal and exquisitely lyrical new novel by one of the great stylists writing in English today.’ Boston Globe.
From the internationally acclaimed author of The Book of Evidence and Ghosts comes a mesmerizing novel that is both a literary thriller and a love story as sumptuously perverse as Lolita. ‘A strange and dreamlike book…
Banville has a breathtaking style.’ Boston Globe.
Illegal Evasion is the first book in the Tax Free series. With elements of morality, family, friendship, love, sex, drugs, crime and politics, Illegal Evasion sets the gold standard for modern fiction. The Tax Free series is a crime fiction work that illustrates how the current federal payroll and income tax structure in the United States actually encourages the evasion of taxes both legally and illegally and also promotes the flow of money, investments and jobs out of the country and not into collected tax revenue. Illegal Evasion sheds light on this hypocritical state of affairs by following the formative years 15 22 of the main character, Robert Talte, and his struggle to climb the so called socioeconomic ladder. Illegal Evasion is an inspiring story that will leave you questioning the way your government does business.
More Confessions from a Serial Tax Cheat
More Confessions from a Serial Tax Cheat is the second and final book in The Tax Free Series a fictional compilation that illustrates the perversity of the current federal tax code. Robert Talte has finally made it. He’s graduated college atop his class, he s got a flashy car, and he s also got a beautiful girlfriend from a wealthy family. With the world seemingly at his fingertips, Robert has vowed to put his lawbreaking and tax subverting ways behind him once and for all. Or so he had hoped. After an unimaginable turn of events, Robert finds himself in a set of circumstances that leave him no other option than to delve back into the fray of illicit activity. This time, however, it s not about self promotion. It s about family. It s about honor. It s about self preservation.
The title of Banville’s first novel, Nightspawn 1971, involves a pun: ‘night spawn,’ ‘night’s pawn,’ and ‘knight’s pawn,’ heralding the ludic nature of the whole book. Nightspawn plays with literary conventions in order to show their exhaustive nature. It is an inside out novel, one of the very few metanovels to have come out of Ireland. Ben White tells of a coup d’etat in Greece and his embroilment therein. White is a writer and he succeeds in working his account into a gripping thriller. But Nightspawn is anything but a straitlaced thriller; it is a parody of the narrative genre. Most scenes end in farce. Behind all the parodying, the playful turning upside down of conventions and self reflexive commenting, there lies a most serious intention: the age old desire of the artist to express the things in their essence, to transfix beauty and truth. Like Beckett’s narrators, White permanently urges himself on ‘to express it all.’ But he fails, is bound to fail, because every artist must necessarily fail in this respect, beauty and truth defying efforts. ‘They took everything from me. Everything.’ So says the central character of Nightspawn, John Banville’s elusive, first novel, in which the author rehearses now familiar attributes: his humour, ironies, and brilliant knowing. In the arid setting of the Aegean, Ben White indulges in an obsessive quest: to assemble his ‘story’ and to untangle his relationships with a cast of improbable figures. Banville’s subversive, Beckettian fiction embraces themes of freedom and betrayal, and toys with an implausible plot, the stuff of an ordinary ‘thriller’ shadowed by political intrigue. In this elaborate artifact, Banville’s characters ‘sometimes lose the meaning of things, and everything is just…
funny.’ There begins their search for ‘the magic to combat any force’.
An early classic from the Man Booker prize winning author of The Sea. I am therefore I think. So starts John Banville’s 1973 novel Birchwood, a novel that centers around Gabriel Godkin and his return to his dilapidated family estate. After years away, Gabriel returns to a house filled with memories and despair. Delving deep into family secrets a cold father, a tortured mother, an insane grandmother Gabriel also recalls his first encounters with love and loss. At once a novel of a family, of isolation, and of a blighted Ireland, Birchwood is a remarkable and complex story about the end of innocence for one boy and his country, told in the brilliantly styled prose of one of our most essential writers.
A work of dazzling imagination, Mefisto, like John Banville’s other novels, takes as its theme the price the true scientist or artist must pay for his calling in terms of his own humanity, his ability to live fully. Like his Copernicus, Kepler, and the nameless narrator of The Newton Letter, the central character of Mr. Banville’s Mefisto, Gabriel Swan, is caught in the dilemma of the divided man who must choose between life and work, thought and action, experience and creation. The solution he seeks to dissolve the dilemma lies in a perhaps discoverable formula that will reduce the disorder of common things to an equation the application of which will ‘show up the seemingly random for what it is.’Gabriel is guided in his quest by Felix, the mysterious fixer, and his strange companions: Sophie, the silent girl, and the doomed Mr. Kasperl. At the close of the quest, as the computer borne pattern seems set to repeat itself endlessly, Gabriel uncovers a solution that fails to bring him the rigor and certainty he had sought but offers up other things entirely. His wages are neofaustian and his fate as chancy as the ‘seemingly random’ he would subside.
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
The author of The Untouchable contemporary fiction gets no better than this Patrick McGrath, The New York Times Book Review now gives us a luminous novel about love, loss, and the unpredictable power of memory. 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. The seductive mother; the imperious father; the twins Chloe, fiery and forthright, and Myles, silent and expressionless in whose mysterious connection Max became profoundly entangled, each of them a part of the barely bearable raw immediacy of his childhood memories. Interwoven with this story are Morden s memories of his wife, Anna of their life together, of her death and the moments, both significant and mundane, that make up his life now: his relationship with his grown daughter, Claire, desperate to pull him from his grief; and with the other boarders at the house where he is staying, where the past beats inside him like a second heart. What Max comes to understand about the past, and about its indelible effects on him, is at the center of this elegiac, vividly dramatic, beautifully written novel among the finest we have had from this extraordinary writer. From the Hardcover edition.
The Lemur (As:Benjamin Black)
”The Lemur’ has pace and bravado; the writing is sharp and the timing flawless while the prose, naturally, is brilliant’ ‘Time Out’. William ‘Big Bill’ Mulholland is an Irish American electronics billionaire. An ex CIA operative, he now heads up the Mulholland Trust, with the help of his daughter Louise. When Mulholland gets wind of a hostile biography planned by journalist Wilson Cleaver, he commissions his daughter’s husband, John Glass, to pen the official line. But neither he nor Glass had reckoned on the sinister services of ‘the Lemur’. It turns out that silence cannot be bought even by one of New York’s wealthiest dynasties…
”The Lemur’ lives up to expectations. The writing is lighter and sleeker than his literary fiction but without any loss of his ability to perfectly describe situations and sensations. Engrossing reading’ ‘Irish Mail on Sunday’. ”The Lemur’ displays an emotional poignancy that is present in both of Black’s previous works’ ‘Independent on Sunday’. ‘What stands out is Black’s portrayal of contemporary New York, its towers of steel and glass providing a glossy background for a tale in which no one is trusted. It’s an edgy read, worthy of Don DeLillo’ ‘Evening Standard’.
One long, languid midsummer’s day, the Godleys gather at the family home of Arden to attend their father’s bedside. Adam, the elder child, and Petra, only nineteen, find that relations with their mother, Ursula, and their dying father, old Adam, are as strained as ever. Adam’s relationship with his wife, Helen, seems too on the brink of collapse and Petra, fragile and deeply troubled, finds deepest relief in her own pain. The gods, those mischievous spirits, watch silently, flitting through this dark menage. Unable to resist intervening in the mortals’ lives, they spy, tease and seduce, all the while looking upon the antics of their playthings with a mixture of mild bafflement and occasional envy. Old Adam husband, father and esteemed mathematician has made his name grappling with the concept of the infinite. His own time on earth seems to be running out, and his mind runs to disquieting memories. Little does he realize, as he lies mute but alert in the Sky room, that the gods are capable of interposing themselves in the action, and even changing time itself when it pleases them. Overflowing with a bawdy humour, and a deep and refreshing clarity of insight, ‘The Infinities‘ is at once a gloriously earthy romp and a delicately poised, infinitely wise look at the terrible and wonderful plight of being human. In electrifying prose, Banville captures the aching intensity, the magic and enchantment, of a single midsummer’s day in Arden.
The Supreme Fictions of John Banville
This work offers a critical commentary on the range of John Banville’s fiction, including the plays, and views that fiction in the contexts of contemporary critical theory, particularly those of postmodernism and feminism. It argues that Banville’s work is deeply influenced by romantic and modernist mythologies of the creative imagination, especially those expressed by Coleridge and Wallace Stevens. Banville’s interest in systems of knowledge and forms of representation is a major issue in the study, and McMinn investigates his use of paintings as metaphors. The introduction surveys Banville’s relation to Irish, European and American writing, and is followed by a close textual analysis of each of Banville’s texts, from ‘Long Lankin’ to ‘The Untouchable’. The bibliography reflects the international character and appeal of Banville’s achievement.
The Flaneur (By:Edmund White)
Bloomsbury is proud to announce the first title in an occasional series in which some of the world’s finest novelists reveal the secrets of the city they know best. These beautifully produced, pocket-sized books will provide exactly what is missing in ordinary travel guides: insights and imagination that lead the reader into those parts of a city no other guide can reach.
A flaneur is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through a city without apparent purpose but is secretly attuned to the history of the place and in covert search of adventure, esthetic or erotic. Edmund White, who lived in Paris for sixteen years, wanders through the streets and avenues and along the quays, taking us into parts of Paris virtually unknown to visitors and indeed to many Parisians. Entering the Marais evokes the history of Jews in France, just as a visit to the Haynes Grill recalls the presence-festive, troubled-of black Americans in Paris for a century and a half. Gays, Decadents, even Royalists past and present are all subjected to the flaneur’s scrutiny.
Edmund White’s The Flaneur is opinionated, personal, subjective. As he conducts us through the bookshops and boutiques, past the monuments and palaces, filling us in on the gossip and background of each site, he allows us to see through the blank walls and past the proud edifices and to glimpse the inner, human drama. Along the way he recounts everything from the latest debates among French law-makers to the juicy details of Colette’s life in the Palais Royal, even summoning up the hothouse atmosphere of Gustave Moreau’s atelier.
The fourth book in Bloomsbury’s Writer and the City series. From one of the foremost chroniclers of the modern European experience, a panoramic view of a city that has seduced and bewitched visitors for centuries. Prague is the magic capital of Europe. Since the days of Emperor Rudolf II, ‘devotee of the stars and cultivator of the spagyric art’, who in the late 1500s summoned alchemists and magicians from all over the world to his castle on Hradcany hill, it has been a place of mystery and intrigue. Wars, revolutions, floods, the imposition of Soviet communism, and even the depredations of the tourist boom after the Velvet Revolution of 1989 could not destroy the unique atmosphere of this beautiful, proud, and melancholy city on the Vltava. John Banville traces Prague’s often tragic history and portrays the people who made it: the emperors and princes, geniuses and charlatans, heroes and scoundrels. He also paints a portrait of the Prague of today, reveling in its newfound freedoms, eager to join the European Community and at the same time suspicious of what many Praguers see as yet another totalitarian takeover. He writes of his first visit to the city, in the depths of the Cold War, and of subsequent trips there, of the people he met, the friends he made, the places he came to know.
Best European Fiction 2013
Best European Fiction is an exhilarating read. TimeNow in its third year, the Best European Fiction series has become a mainstay in the literary landscape, each year featuring new voices from throughout Europe alongside more established names such as Hilary Mantel, Jean Philippe Toussaint, Ingo Schulze, George Konrad, Victor Pelevin, and Enrique Vila Matas. For 2012, Aleksandar Hemon introduces a whole new cross section of European fiction, and there are a few editorial changes as well. For the first time, the preface will be by an American Nicole Krauss and the stories, one per country/language, will be arranged within themes love, art, war, the body, to facilitate book club and reading group discussions.