Sunday, 8 July 2012

Book of the Week - John Banville, Ancient Light

I have been travelling a lot over the last few weeks, so my time for the blog has been limited.  I hope to catch up this week since I have a few days off.  John Banville is one of my favourite writers, and his new novel Ancient Light looks well worth picking up.  It is the third book in a lose trilogy featuring Alexander Cleave, who was also in the earlier novels Eclipse and Shroud.  Here Cleave is looking back to a disastrous affair with his best friend's mother 50 years earlier.  Ancient Light can be read as a stand alone novel.  There is a special edition signed by Banville on a separate tipped in leaf, and this would be the one to pick up.

"'Billy Gray was my best friend and I fell in love with his mother.' Alexander Cleave, an actor who thinks his best days are behind him, remembers his first unlikely affair as a teenage boy in a small town in 1950s Ireland: the illicit meetings in a rundown cottage outside town; assignations in the back of his lover's car on sunny mornings and rain-soaked afternoons. And with these early memories comes something sharper and much darker - the more recent recollection of the actor's own daughter's suicide ten years before.
Ancient Light is the story of a life rendered brilliantly vivid: the obsession and selfishness of young love and the terrifying shock of grief. It is a dazzling novel, funny, utterly pleasurable and devastatingly moving in the same moment."

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