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Ancient Light by John Banville
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Ancient Light (original 2012; edition 2012)

by John Banville

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3642229,815 (3.67)14
Member:mpontius
Title:Ancient Light
Authors:John Banville
Info:Knopf (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:2013

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Ancient Light by John Banville (2012)

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English (17)  Spanish (3)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All (22)
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This book is the story of Alexander and two major points in his life. In 1950s Ireland when he has an affair with his best friends mother and 50 years later when as an aging actor he reflects on his life so far. Interspersed is how we cope with the loss of someone close to us as the protagonist has lost his daughter and tries hard to make sense of it.
I really enjoyed this book, the first I've read by this author. His style is very evocative of the time he portrays and lends itself well to the story.
It's one of those books where nothing seems to happen while at the same time everything is changing around him. The long chapters can at times be too long but on the whole lend themselves to the narrative as they give you time to really get into the scene described. The way the story changes between the time frames is seamlessly done.
I really liked the ending which seemed to complete the story
This book would I feel appeal to those who liked 'Remains of the Day' and 'The Reader'
I heartily recommend this and will be looking for others by the author
( )
  Northern_Light | Dec 20, 2016 |
"The ancient light of galaxies...light takes time to reach your eyes...everywhere we look, everywhere, we are looking into the past." I was uncomfortable with the past as it was portrayed in Alex Cleave's flashbacks, even with the final revelation of Mrs. Gray's situation. Alex's recollections of the past were distorted, at least according to the witness of the final rendezvous, and lacked any cohesion with the more contemporary narrative about his daughter and the actress. However, it may have seemed disjointed to me as I had not read the first two books of the trilogy this book concludes. I received this book free from Goodreads First Reads program. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Beautiful, gorgeous writing. I read words I'd never heard of before and thankfully read this book on my Kindle, many words were words used in the 19th century. Loved it! As I was reading I thought to myself - where does he come up with these words? Wonderful prose, lovely story. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
Beautiful, gorgeous writing. I read words I'd never heard of before and thankfully read this book on my Kindle, many words were words used in the 19th century. Loved it! As I was reading I thought to myself - where does he come up with these words? Wonderful prose, lovely story. ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
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 |
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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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