Friday, July 30, 2010

THE SEA by John Banville (2006)

In Banville's Booker Prize-winning novel, middle-aged Irishman Max Morden goes to the coast following the death of his wife Anna. There he reminisces about his childhood spent in the company of the enigmatic Grace family, summer visitors to The Cedars where Max is staying with the intention of writing about his life.

The prose is beautiful and the decription evocative of Ireland's west coast island villages and like any good storyteller Banville knows how to create a voice that is compelling and authentic. Early on in the narrative I easily abandoned the notion that I was actually reading and instead felt swept away by Morden's life experiences both past and present.

Banville, the novelist, knows how to keep you enthralled as he reveals layer after layer of secret and confidence between both his characters and his audience. It is a perfectly structured novel and it would be difficult to imagine that he could write anyone that's better than THE SEA.

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