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The Sea

Banville, John (Book - 2005 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Sea
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Item Details

Random House, Inc.
The author of The Untouchable (“contemporary fiction gets no better than this”—Patrick McGrath, The New York Times Book Review) now gives us a luminous novel about love, loss, and the unpredictable power of memory.

The narrator is Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman who, soon after his wife’s death, has gone back to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child—a retreat from the grief, anger, and numbness of his life without her. But it is also a return to the place where he met the Graces, the well-heeled vacationing family with whom he experienced the strange suddenness of both love and death for the first time. The seductive mother; the imperious father; the twins—Chloe, fiery and forthright, and Myles, silent and expressionless—in whose mysterious connection Max became profoundly entangled, each of them a part of the “barely bearable raw immediacy” of his childhood memories.

Interwoven with this story are Morden’s memories of his wife, Anna—of their life together, of her death—and the moments, both significant and mundane, that make up his life now: his relationship with his grown daughter, Claire, desperate to pull him from his grief; and with the other boarders at the house where he is staying, where the past beats inside him “like a second heart.”

What Max comes to understand about the past, and about its indelible effects on him, is at the center of this elegiac, vividly dramatic, beautifully written novel—among the finest we have had from this extraordinary writer.

Baker & Taylor
Following the death of his wife, Max Morden retreats to the seaside town of his childhood summers, where his own life becomes inextricably entwined with the members of the vacationing Grace family.

Blackwell North Amer
The narrator is Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman who, soon after his wife's death, has gone back to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child - a retreat from the grief, anger, and numbness of his life without her. But it is also a return to the place where he met the Graces, the well-heeled vacationing family with whom he experienced the strange suddenness of both love and death for the first time. The seductive mother; the imperious father; the twins - Chloe, fiery and forthright, and Myles, silent and expressionless - in whose mysterious connection Max became profoundly entangled, each of them a part of the "barely bearable raw immediacy" of his childhood memories.
Interwoven with this story are Morden's memories of his wife, Anna - of their life together, of her death - and the moments, both significant and mundane, that make up his life now: his relationship with his grown daughter, Claire, desperate to pull him from his grief; and with the other boarders at the house where he is staying, where the past beats inside him "like a second heart."

Baker
& Taylor

Struggling to cope with grief, anger, and loss following the death of his wife, Max, a middle-aged man, returns to his childhood seaside home, where he deals with his memories of his first encounter with the Graces, a wealthy vacationing family, his recollections of his wife, and the emotional upheaval of the present as he comes to an understanding of the profound influence of the past on the his life. 20,000 first printing.

Authors: Banville, John
Statement of Responsibility: John Banville
Title: The sea
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 2005
Edition: 1st American ed
Characteristics: 195 p. ; 22 cm.
Notes: Winner of the Man Booker Prize
"Originally published in Great Britain by Picador, London, 2005"--T.p. verso
Subject Headings: England Fiction Loss (Psychology) Fiction Middle-aged men Fiction Seaside resorts Fiction Widowers Fiction Authors Fiction
Genre/Form: Psychological fiction
Topical Term: Loss (Psychology)
Middle-aged men
Seaside resorts
Widowers
Authors
LCCN: 2005050418
ISBN: 0307263118
Branch Call Number: FIC B
Research Call Number: JFD 06-2171
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Nov 24, 2013
  • toby65 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

It may have won the Booker, but I gave up 1/2 way through. Way too precious for my taste, although there are some wonderful bits.

Feb 12, 2013
  • Jeremy410 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Not my idea of a good read. Although a short book, it feels much longer.

Aug 06, 2012
  • pammiedawn rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this novel. It is a complex and extremely well-written book. I plan to read more of Banville's work.

Jul 16, 2012
  • pomeroycamille rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Banville's lyrical waltz through the dark corridors of grief put to words introspections and feelings that bereaved may feel but be unable to express. The way in which Banvilles brings his main character into reflective moments then abruptly into fantastical or detached recollections of fond moments from his past is a testament to how difficult reflecting on grief can be psychologically. The scattered memories and thoughts of pay homage to the beautiful nature of the little moments in life that shine through changes and time.

Feb 09, 2011
  • scorpio21 rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

BOOK GROUP 2011
Although I completed this book,I can't say I enjoyed it. Amongst all the words, there is a story, if you can be bothered sorting through them.

Absolutely beautiful prose. Loved the incongruent storyline.

Dec 05, 2009
  • macierules rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book is wonderful. Highly recommended to anyone who loves language. It made me think about life and death a little differently.

Aug 25, 2008
  • jbeckber rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

A meandering story looking back on a life.

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