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Eclipse

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Eclipse Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his first novel since The Untouchable, John Banville gives us the intensely emotional story of a man discovering for the first time who he has been and what he is becoming.

Alexander Cleave—a famous actor who "took to the stage to give myself a cast of characters to inhabit who would be...of more weight and moment than I could ever hope to be"—faces the almost certain collapse of his thirty-year career. In physical and psychological retreat, he returns to his abandoned childhood home, believing that, away from his wife and daughter, away from the world at large, alone, without an audience of any kind, he might finally stop performing, catch himself in the act of living, and simply be.

But the house is unexpectedly populated. There are Cleave?s memories, which seem to rise up out of the house itself: of the years during his childhood when his mother took in boarders; of the beginnings, and the beginnings-of-the-end, of his career and his marriage; of the course of his relationship with his now estranged daughter; and of his father, who committed suicide when Cleave was still a boy. There are the corporeal, but illicit, inhabitants of the house: the caretaker, an unsettling presence "with the ageless aspect of a wastrel son," and the fifteen-year-old housekeeper, a "voluptuary of indolence." And there are the apparitions (ghosts? premonitions? visitations?)—a woman, a child, and a third, ill-defined figure—who Cleave feels are "intricately involved in the problem of whatever it is that has gone wrong with me."

Struggling to determine what exactly has gone wrong, and to understand what part the apparitions play in his life and he in theirs, Cleave slowly comes to see the ways in which things and people—himself included—are not what they seem, and the ways in which, inevitably, they reveal what they are.

Brilliantly conjured and realized, Eclipse is John Banville at his unique best.

Synopsis:

In his first novel since The Untouchable, John Banville gives us the intensely emotional story of a man discovering for the first time who he has been and what he is becoming.Alexander Cleave—a famous actor who took to the stage to give myself a cast of characters to inhabit who would be . . . of more weight and moment than I could ever hope to be—faces the almost certain collapse of his thirty-year career. In physical and psychological retreat, he returns to his abandoned childhood home, believing that, away from his wife and daughter, away from the world at large, alone, without an audience of any kind, he might fi-nally stop performing, catch himself in the act of living, and simply be. But the house is unexpectedly populated. There are Cleaves memories, which seem to rise up out of the house itself: of the years during his childhood when his mother took in boarders; of the beginnings, and the beginnings-of-the-end, of his career and his marriage; of the course of his relationship with his now estranged daughter; and of his father, who committed suicide when Cleave was still a boy. There are the corporeal, but illicit, inhabitants of the house: the caretaker, an unsettling presence with the ageless aspect of a wastrel son, and the fifteen-year-old housekeeper, a voluptuary of indolence. And there are the apparitions (ghosts? premonitions? visitations?)—a woman, a child, and a third, ill-defined figure—who Cleave feels are intri-cately involved in the problem of whatever it is that has gone wrong with me.Struggling to determine what exactly has gone wrong, and to understand what part the apparitions play in his life and he in theirs, Cleave slowly comes to see the ways in which things and people—himself included—are not what they seem, and the ways in which, inevitably, they reveal what they are.Brilliantly conjured and realized, Eclipse is John Banville at his unique best.

About the Author

John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His first book, Long Lankin, was published in 1970. Among his other books are Nightspawn, Birchwood, The Newton Letter, Mefisto, and The Book of Evidence (which was short-listed for the 1989 Booker Prize). He has also received a literary award from the Lannan Foundation. He is the former literary editor of the Irish Times and lives in Dublin.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375411298
Subtitle:
Living in the Shadow of China's Economic Dominance
Author:
Banville, John
Publisher:
Random House
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Actors
Subject:
Ghost stories
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Edition Number:
1st American ed.
Edition Description:
American
Series Volume:
30
Publication Date:
2001
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
211 p.
Dimensions:
8.64x5.94x.88 in. .90 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Eclipse Used Hardcover
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Product details 211 p. pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780375411298 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In his first novel since The Untouchable, John Banville gives us the intensely emotional story of a man discovering for the first time who he has been and what he is becoming.Alexander Cleave—a famous actor who took to the stage to give myself a cast of characters to inhabit who would be . . . of more weight and moment than I could ever hope to be—faces the almost certain collapse of his thirty-year career. In physical and psychological retreat, he returns to his abandoned childhood home, believing that, away from his wife and daughter, away from the world at large, alone, without an audience of any kind, he might fi-nally stop performing, catch himself in the act of living, and simply be. But the house is unexpectedly populated. There are Cleaves memories, which seem to rise up out of the house itself: of the years during his childhood when his mother took in boarders; of the beginnings, and the beginnings-of-the-end, of his career and his marriage; of the course of his relationship with his now estranged daughter; and of his father, who committed suicide when Cleave was still a boy. There are the corporeal, but illicit, inhabitants of the house: the caretaker, an unsettling presence with the ageless aspect of a wastrel son, and the fifteen-year-old housekeeper, a voluptuary of indolence. And there are the apparitions (ghosts? premonitions? visitations?)—a woman, a child, and a third, ill-defined figure—who Cleave feels are intri-cately involved in the problem of whatever it is that has gone wrong with me.Struggling to determine what exactly has gone wrong, and to understand what part the apparitions play in his life and he in theirs, Cleave slowly comes to see the ways in which things and people—himself included—are not what they seem, and the ways in which, inevitably, they reveal what they are.Brilliantly conjured and realized, Eclipse is John Banville at his unique best.
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