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This review is from: The Sea (Man Booker Prize) (Hardcover)
The book represents a wonderful expression of contemporary literary genius. The reader is first struck by the writing style which is a nearly flawless and smooth finely honed construction. The sentences have the beauty of Joyce with the simplicity of Coetzee. Banville's uncanny ability to combine them into expressive portraitures is even more impressive than his ability to construct such wonderful language. The construction of the book is as though it were one memoir.
The protagonist relives his life through Banville's book. Yet the manner in which the highly stream of consciousness style is presented makes this fact unobvious. The rapid temporal and character shifts tend to take the reader by surprise. Once the reader becomes accustomed though and once the reader starts to gain familiarity with the characters, the style then underscores Banville's poignant retrospective.
All the way from childhood through adulthood and to a nursing home the protagonist takes us through the journey of his life. He shows us his sorrows, deep and painful, and he shows us his joys. He reveals the patterns of his life, and also the patterns of his impending death. And he does this with extraordinary finesse and aplomb.
Banville has created a fine literary classic. This book shall not be forgotten. This book is distinctly, refreshingly and brilliantly unique. It shall live on as a contemporary classic that is nonetheless, timeless.