Monday, 14 December 2009

THE SEA by John Banville (Man Booker Prize 2005)

An effete old geezer, art historian no-less, after the death of his wife from cancer goes back to visit scenes from his adolescent life. He rents a room with Miss Vavassar and copes with the jealousy of the other lodger, a retired major, wouldn't you guess? Our lonely old widower relives in his mind the longeurs of teenage holidays and his obsession with the family of  Mr and Mrs Grace, twins Chloe and Myles plus Rose, the nanny. He is now lodging in the house this family used to rent for the summer.

In that past of glorious summers by the sea

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Leviathan by Paul Auster (1992) Viking Press

A strange, frustrating style at first which takes some perseverance. It ended up more rewarding than I had begun to fear. Reported speech from characters with lots to say! The main character is such a precise, moral person that he eventually finds he has murderered somebody - but in mitigating circumstances! When he finds out more about the man he has killed, he feels that he had much in common with his victim. So there it is; the lesson for us all.

The book probably owes its theme to Thomas Hobbes