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4 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Ancient Light

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Ancient Light Cover

ISBN13: 9780307957054
ISBN10: 0307957055
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea gives us a brilliant, profoundly moving new novel about an actor in the twilight of his life and his career: a meditation on love and loss, and on the inscrutable immediacy of the past in our present lives.

Is there any difference between memory and invention? That is the question that fuels this stunning novel, written with the depth of character, the clarifying lyricism and the sly humor that have marked all of John Banville’s extraordinary works. And it is the question that haunts Alexander Cleave, an actor in the twilight of his career and of his life, as he plumbs the memories of his first—and perhaps only—love (he, fifteen years old, the woman more than twice his age, the mother of his best friend; the situation impossible, thrilling, devouring and finally devastating) . . . and of his daughter, lost to a kind of madness of mind and heart that Cleave can only fail to understand. When his dormant acting career is suddenly, inexplicably revived with a movie role portraying a man who may not be who he says he is, his young leading lady—famous and fragile—unwittingly gives him the opportunity to see with aching clarity the “chasm that yawns between the doing of a thing and the recollection of what was done.”

Ancient Light is a profoundly moving meditation on love and loss, on the inscrutable immediacy of the past in our present lives, on how invention shapes memory and memory shapes the man. It is a book of spellbinding power and pathos from one of the greatest masters of prose at work today.

Review:

"In Man Booker Prize-winner Banville's 16th novel, the Irish author reprises the character of Alex Cleave, who first appeared in 2000's Eclipse, and then two years later in Shroud. Cleave, a has-been theater actor, reminisces about his 15th summer, 'half a century ago,' when he had an affair with his best friend's mother, Mrs. Gray, who, he tells us, was 'unhappy then,' lest readers judge her too harshly for bedding a minor. Interwoven with this vividly drawn summer is Cleave's current existence, which is saturated with pain and regret: His daughter, Cass, flung herself off the Italian coast 10 years ago, and his wife, Lydia, still sleepwalks in the night to rampage through the house in search of her. When, out of the blue, Cleave is offered a role in a biopic of literary critic Axel Vander entitled The Invention of the Past, life and art intertwine beguilingly for Alex, who is engaged in the tricky business of inventing his own past; how is he to unravel the strands of his existence when memory is such an unreliable muse? The problem with this book is that the past is beautifully — perfectly — imagined; it's Alex's over-determined present that's unbelievable. First printing: 60,000. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

US

About the Author

John Banville, the author of fifteen previous novels, has been the recipient of the Man Booker Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Award, the Franz Kafka Prize and a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction. He lives in Dublin.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Barbara Socor, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Barbara Socor)
An elegant use of language and a reflective pace are highlights of this thoughtful and beautiful book on the power of memory and, ultimately, its unreliabilty. A gorgeous and, well, memorable, reading experience.
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Marianna, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Marianna)
A stunning novel in its language and frank treatment of a taboo subject -- sexual love between a teenage boy and a middle-aged woman. Banville at his best.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307957054
Author:
Banville, John
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20121031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.7 x 5.9 x 1.2 in 1.125 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
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Fiction and Poetry » Romance » General

Ancient Light Used Hardcover
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$11.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307957054 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In Man Booker Prize-winner Banville's 16th novel, the Irish author reprises the character of Alex Cleave, who first appeared in 2000's Eclipse, and then two years later in Shroud. Cleave, a has-been theater actor, reminisces about his 15th summer, 'half a century ago,' when he had an affair with his best friend's mother, Mrs. Gray, who, he tells us, was 'unhappy then,' lest readers judge her too harshly for bedding a minor. Interwoven with this vividly drawn summer is Cleave's current existence, which is saturated with pain and regret: His daughter, Cass, flung herself off the Italian coast 10 years ago, and his wife, Lydia, still sleepwalks in the night to rampage through the house in search of her. When, out of the blue, Cleave is offered a role in a biopic of literary critic Axel Vander entitled The Invention of the Past, life and art intertwine beguilingly for Alex, who is engaged in the tricky business of inventing his own past; how is he to unravel the strands of his existence when memory is such an unreliable muse? The problem with this book is that the past is beautifully — perfectly — imagined; it's Alex's over-determined present that's unbelievable. First printing: 60,000. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , US
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