Max Morden has reached a crossroads in his life, and is trying hard to deal with several disturbing things. A recent loss is still taking its toll on him, and a trauma in his past is similarly proving hard to deal with. He decides that he will return to a town on the coast at which he spent a memorable holiday when a boy. His memory of that time ...
Max Morden has reached a crossroads in his life, and is trying hard to deal with several disturbing things. A recent loss is still taking its toll on him, and a trauma in his past is similarly proving hard to deal with. He decides that he will return to a town on the coast at which he spent a memorable holiday when a boy. His memory of that time devolves on the charismatic Grace family, particularly the seductive twins Myles and Chloe. In a very short time, Max found himself drawn into a strange relationship with them, and pursuant events left their mark on him for the rest of his life. But will he be able to exorcise those memories of the past?
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I hated this book and actually threw it away before finishing it. It's the story of a man dealing with the grief process who returns to the summer vacation spot of his childhood. He went through his adolescence here and the book explores his thinking. As young men are wanton to be, it tended to be very sexualized, and I didn't like that at all. Perhaps that is my view as a woman, perhaps it is as an Evangelical Christian. In any event, I really didn't like it at all. Perhaps a man would have a different experience with the story.
Mar 7, 2008
This is such a beautifully written book, that I felt the urge to read it out loud. It is simply poetry in prose form. Banville is as renowned for his prose as for his poetry and in this book there has been a successful conversion of the two. Each word so carefully chosen and such an economy of phrasing. The story itself is very touching and definitely left me feeling for the characters I only briefly got to know.
Apr 3, 2007
A must read
If you are looking to read a beautifully written, challenging, stimulating ffictional story I can not recommend a book more highly. A personal tale with a twist. I would retire and read for the rest of my life if every book was a captivating as The Sea.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-11-06 Lee's thrillingly resonant baritone makes Banville's poetic evocation of the brooding Max Morden even more absorbing. As the story oscillates between two pivotal times in Morden's life-the strange events of a boyhood summer by the sea in Ireland, and the illness and death of his wife half a century later-Banville makes Morden's world fully rounded with endlessly intricate thoughts and perceptions. The lyrical writing, full of half-rhymes and alliteration, blossoms even more beautifully in the audio version than on the page, and Lee has a great sense for the material, varying his tone from sonorous heights to sing-songy to wistful sighs. Whether quickening with young Morden's naive lust for the mother in the tragic Grace family who he encounters at the beach, or growing heavy with the memory of his wife's helplessness at her cancer diagnosis, Lee convincingly inhabits the character. His Irish accent adds authenticity without distracting from the prose, though some listeners may find Banville's daunting vocabulary more of a challenge to keep up with on audio. The absence of chapter breaks and the minimal dialogue helps Lee's voice gather force as he reads, becoming a powerful wave that bears the listener along, a privileged vantage from which to witness the riveting spectacle of Morden baring his soul. Simultaneous release with the Vintage paperback (Reviews, Nov. 7, 2005). (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2005-11-07 Banville's magnificent new novel, which won this year's Man Booker Prize and is being rushed into print by Knopf, presents a man mourning his wife's recent death-and his blighted life. "The past beats inside me like a second heart," observes Max Morden early on, and his return to the seaside resort where he lost his innocence gradually yields the objects of his nostalgia. Max's thoughts glide swiftly between the events of his wife's final illness and the formative summer, 50 years past, when the Grace family-father, mother and twins Chloe and Myles-lived in a villa in the seaside town where Max and his quarreling parents rented a dismal "chalet." Banville seamlessly juxtaposes Max's youth and age, and each scene is rendered with the intense visual acuity of a photograph ("the mud shone blue as a new bruise"). As in all Banville novels, things are not what they seem. Max's cruelly capricious complicity in the sad history that unfolds, and the facts kept hidden from the reader until the shocking denouement, brilliantly dramatize the unpredictability of life and the incomprehensibility of death. Like the strange high tide that figures into Max's visions and remembrances, this novel sweeps the reader into the inexorable waxing and waning of life. (Nov. 8) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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