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Ancient Light by John Banville
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Ancient Light (edition 2012)

by John Banville

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2791740,505 (3.61)10
Member:ayaeckel
Title:Ancient Light
Authors:John Banville
Info:Knopf (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Fiction

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Ancient Light by John Banville

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English (13)  Spanish (3)  German (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
I was impressed with how well the book flowed, considering that it's written in alternating time frames. The plot is beautifully layered, the use of language textural and rich. The ending surprised and delighted me.
I'm not sure how Alex's daughter's story reflects meaningfully on his own coming-of-age love affair--does it?--but I don't think it matters.
Some readers might lose interest with the many passages of description. I didn't. I accepted that the novel had a slower, savouring kind of pace.
May I mention the word Proustian? Well, yes, since Banville mentions Proust himself.
One quibble: why do writers who weigh their words so carefully refer to characters with small heads as pin-headed? The head of a pin has a much larger circumference than the pin itself. Ditto the word ashen to describe a face. Even a corpse has more colour than ash does. Ashen-faced is a cliche that needs to be put to rest. ( )
  brocade | Sep 10, 2013 |
I just can't read Banville -- writing too dense & self-conscious -- plus, the strange subject matter (shades of Lionel Asbo). Abandoned after two chapters, so I probably missed the good bits. {Pre-publication review copy via Nook download}
  ReneeGKC | Jul 4, 2013 |
Heaven help me. I plucked this book from the shelf knowing nothing more about it than the author. The book jacket says there's an affair between a teenaged boy and a woman twice his age. The first paragraph says her name is Gray. I haven't even read the stupid fanfic-of-batshit books but they have crept* into my head. I had to close the Banville.

* Even "she creeps" is from _The Shining_. I am what's wrong with the world.
  ljhliesl | May 21, 2013 |
Comlete self indulgent tedium. Teenage boy fantasy -seduced by his best friend's mother. Old, dried up actor fantasy - selected for plum acting role out of nowhere.
Stopped reading when I found myself skimming for something other than some rancid sex scene or feigned modesty about plum acting role. Characters totally superficial, plotless - this was a total waste of my time
1 vote MarshaKT | Mar 24, 2013 |
As always, beautiful writing. Similar to The Shroud and Ecilpse, I wish a bit more plot was going on in these books. However, the characters and descriptions are beautifully drawn, If you are a fan of Banville this is a must read, of course. ( )
  ghefferon | Mar 23, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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An actor in the twilight of his career reflects on a poignant first love affair at the age of fifteen with his best friend's mother and inexplicably lands a role opposite a famous but fragile actress who helps him come to an astonishing realization.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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