Industrial-Sized Deals Best Books of the Month Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Beach House Fire TV Stick Off to College Essentials Shop Popular Services tmnt tmnt tmnt  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage GNO Big Savings in the Amazon Fall Sportsman Event Deal of the Day
The Sea (Vintage International) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.95
  • Save: $3.16 (21%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Sea has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. It may be marked, have identifying markings on it, or show other signs of previous use.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Sea Paperback – August 15, 2006

225 customer reviews

See all 41 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.79
$2.55 $0.01

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$11.79 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Sea + The Sense of an Ending
Price for both: $20.72

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Lee's thrillingly resonant baritone makes Banville's poetic evocation of the brooding Max Morden even more absorbing. As the story oscillates between two pivotal times in Morden's life—the strange events of a boyhood summer by the sea in Ireland, and the illness and death of his wife half a century later—Banville makes Morden's world fully rounded with endlessly intricate thoughts and perceptions. The lyrical writing, full of half-rhymes and alliteration, blossoms even more beautifully in the audio version than on the page, and Lee has a great sense for the material, varying his tone from sonorous heights to sing-songy to wistful sighs. Whether quickening with young Morden's naïve lust for the mother in the tragic Grace family who he encounters at the beach, or growing heavy with the memory of his wife's helplessness at her cancer diagnosis, Lee convincingly inhabits the character. His Irish accent adds authenticity without distracting from the prose, though some listeners may find Banville's daunting vocabulary more of a challenge to keep up with on audio. The absence of chapter breaks and the minimal dialogue helps Lee's voice gather force as he reads, becoming a powerful wave that bears the listener along, a privileged vantage from which to witness the riveting spectacle of Morden baring his soul.
Copyright© American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Editorial Reviews
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 195 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage International; 1st edition (August 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400097029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400097029
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of thirteen previous novels including The Book of Evidence, which was shortlisted for the 1989 Booker Prize. He has received a literary award from the Lannan Foundation. He lives in Dublin.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

265 of 271 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on December 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Booker Prize-winning author John Banville presents a sensitive and remarkably complete character study of Max Morden, an art critic/writer from Ireland whose wife has just died of a lingering illness. Seeking solace, Max has checked into the Cedars, a now-dilapidated guest house in the seaside village of Ballyless, where he and his family spent their summers when he was a child. There he spent hours in the company of Chloe and Myles Grace, his constant companions. Images of foreboding suggest that some tragedy occurred while he was there, though the reader discovers only gradually what it might have been. While at the Cedars, he contemplates the nature of life, love, and death, and our imperfect memories of these momentous events.

As Max probes his recollections, he reveals his most intimate feelings, constantly questioning the accuracy of his memory, and juxtaposing his childhood memories with his recent memories of his wife Anna's "inappropriate" illness and her futile treatments. Through flashbacks, he also introduces us to his earlier life with Anna and his fervent hopes that through her he could become someone more interesting. "I was always a distinct no-one, whose fiercest wish was to be an indistinct someone," he says, confessing that he saw her as "the fairground mirror in which all my distortions would be made straight."

More a meditation than a novel with a strong plot, The Sea brings Max to life (as limited as his life is), recreating his seemingly simple, yet often profound, thoughts in language which will startle the reader into recognition of their universality. To some extent an everyman, Max speaks to the reader in uniquely intimate ways.
Read more ›
12 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
124 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Foster Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once in a while a novelist totally captures the reader with his exquisite, finely wrought language. John Banville in THE SEA, the recent winner of the Booker Prize, is just such a writer. If you are not careful, you will be so taken by the beauty of his words, that you may miss the nuances of meaning so important to fitting all the parts of his story together.

The narrator is Max Morden, an Irishman who a year after the death of his wife, returns to a town by the sea where he spent his summers over 50 years ago and fell under the spell of the Grace family, composed of the mother, father and twins: Chloe and Myles, a strange young lad who has never spoken. In a style reminiscent of Proust, Thomas Mann, Henry James and the best of Edmund White, Banville's narrator goes from the summers in the past to the recent "plague year" of his wife's terminal illness to the present where he rents a room in the Cedars, where once the Graces lived, and is now inhabited by the mysterious Miss Vavasour, the current landlady, and her only other tenant, the Colonel.

You can open the book to almost any page and read beautiful, poetic language. On our memories of our youth: "So much of life was stillness then, when we were young, or so it seems now; a biding stillness; a vigilance. We were waiting in our as yet unfashioned world, scanning the future as the boy and I had scanned each other, like soldiers in the field, watching for what was to come." Or on Banville's description of the sea: "Down here, by the sea, there is a special quality to the silence at night. I do not know if this is my doing, I mean if this quality is something I bring to the silence of my room, and even of the whole house, or if it is a local effect, due to the salt in the air, perhaps, or the seaside climate in general.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Steven Reynolds on January 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Grieving for his dead wife, Anna, the recently widowed - widowered? - art critic Max Mordern returns to the seaside village where he passed the summers of his childhood. He doesn't move into the old family chalet, but rather into a room of the large holiday house once occupied by the wealthy family of his childhood friend, Chloe Grace. There he's supposed to be writing about the artist Bonnard, but instead - or perhaps as well - pens a meditation on the past, exploring the nature of memory and loss... Sounds depressing, but this novel actually made me laugh out loud several times. Banville virgins coming to this direct from the Man Booker winners list might find the absence of a compelling plot off-putting, not to mention the knowingly unreliable narration and the lurking sense that the reader is being elaborately toyed with - especially in the final pages where melodramatic revelations are self-consciously, almost wryly, deployed. It isn't you. It's Banville. As David Mehegan reported recently in the Sydney Sun Herald, most of Banville's novels are like this: relatively thin in terms of plot, scene and dialogue, and virtually all of them are told in the first person by a more or less dislikeable male narrator in an overwrought, lyrical style. His tormented men see everything, and what they see and think unrolls in dazzling verbal pyrotechnics, thick with arcane words and startling metaphors (you'd best keep a dictionary handy). Mehegan quotes other critics as saying that Banville does stretch the reader at times, looking for exactitude and precision, always searching for the mot juste. At its most intense, there is a kind of preciousness in his work.Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Sea
This item: The Sea
Price: $11.79
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: last sea, strength in what remains:, south sea company, south seas, child of the sea, behind the easel