Summary

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2005
When art historian Max Morden returns to the seaside village where he once spent a childhood holiday, he is both escaping from a recent loss and confronting a distant trauma.
The Grace family had appeared that long-ago summer as if from another world. Mr. and Mrs. Grace, with their worldly ease and candour, were unlike any adults he had met before. But it was his contemporaries, the Grace twins Myles and Chloe, who most fascinated Max. He grew to know them intricately, even intimately, and what ensued would haunt him for the rest of his years and shape everything that was to follow.
© John Banville; (P) Macmillan Publishers Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Richard on 02-04-12

Okay but not great

I found the writing in this one incredibly over-wrought and florid, almost laughably so at some points. You are left with the impression of the narrator as being a pompous prat - which may well be the intention but it makes it a bit hard to stick with. The last hour or so is stunning, however.

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3 of 5 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By ciarando on 23-05-18

Dull and self-indulgent

The main point of this book appears to be adolescent self-absorption and it's as tedious to listen to as it is to observe in real life. The male characters are one-dimensional, the female characters are objects. A dash of humour or irony may have lifted the narrative, but this story takes itself extremely seriously. I struggled to the end only because I hoped it would redeem itself in the finale. It didn't.

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