Novel by John Banville, The Sea.
The ZIP file includes a PDF and a DOC file.
John Banville finally won the Man Booker prize in 2005 with this
beautifully crafted and brief novel (nearly a novella) about the
pleasures and sorrows associated with the play of language, memory and
secrecy. Although Banville is often considered a literary descendant of
Nabokov, with his love of rich mellifluous language and obscure
diction, he might be more comfrotably compared to other great Irish
writers such as James Joyce and Elizabeth Bowen, who also share
Banville's evident pleasure at (and grace with) the pliancy and luxury
of words. THE SEA might be an expected, yet disappointing choice for
winning Banville the Booker, given that its plot so closely apes the
structure of one of the most crowdpleasing of all narrative arcs of
highbrow fiction from the last forty years. Here yet again, a
disappointed elderly narrator looks back to the magical encounter in
childhood that forever fired the imagination but also implicated him
(or her) in guilt when it led inevitably to a terrible and deadly
error. Banville's is an odder variant of this formula -- which goes at
least as far back as L. P. Hartley's THE GO-BETWEEN, and was recently
repeated in Ian McEwan's much loved ATONEMENT -- in the fundamental
dislikeability of all his major characters, a Banville trademark. This
causes the stakes of the life-changing incident, and its effect upon
the narrator, to seem much less shattering than in Hartley's or
McEwan's novels; the repetition of the formula also makes this novel
seem much less fresh than in Banville's other works (which often are
similarly concerned with the encounters between cruelty and innocence).
But Banville is always worth reading if only for his grace with
language and with narrative construction: THE SEA is, as usual,
beautifully crafted in every formal sense.