The Sea

By John Banville
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9781400097029, 195pp.)

Publication Date: August 15, 2006

List Price: $14.95*
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Description

In this luminous new novel about love, loss, and the unpredictable power of memory, John Banville introduces us to Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman who has gone back to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child to cope with the recent loss of his wife. It is also a return to the place where he met the Graces, the well-heeled family with whom he experienced the strange suddenness of both love and death for the first time. What Max comes to understand about the past, and about its indelible effects on him, is at the center of this elegiac, gorgeously written novel — among the finest we have had from this masterful writer.




About the Author
John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of thirteen novels, including THE BOOK OF EVIDENCE, which was shortlisted for the 1989 Booker Prize and KEPLER, which won the Guardian Prize for Fiction. His most recent novel, SHROUD, is out in paperback this year. He lives in Dublin.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. The Sea is made up of three temporal layers: the distant past of Max’s childhood, the recent past of his wife’s illness and death, and the present of his return to Ballyless. Instead of keeping these layers distinctly separated, Banville segues among them or splices them together, sometimes within a single sentence. Why might he have chosen to do this, and what methods does he use to keep the reader oriented in his novel’s time scheme?

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