Hot of the Press: Ancient Life by John Banville
Alex Clarke in the Guardian echoed the general praise for John Banville’s latest novel ANCIENT LIFE:
Now, in the third novel in this loosely configured, frequently achronological series, we are with Alexander again. Once more, he is excavating his distant past, on this occasion the teenage affair he had with Mrs Gray, a woman 20 years his senior and his best friend’s mother; he is grappling, always, with the aftermath of Cass’s death and with a grief that ceaselessly reconstitutes itself; and he is preparing for an unexpected reawakening of his career. That is perhaps the barest summary that one could hope to achieve of Ancient Life, a novel criss-crossed with ghost roads and dead-ends and peopled by shifty characters who seem provisional even to themselves. It is written in Banville’s customary prose, rhythmic and allusive and dense with suggestive imagery, prose that deliberately slows you down and frequently wrongfoots you.
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