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The Infinities by John Banville
  

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Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 17 December 2009.

A family drama with the action taking place over one day. Even within this time frame there are wonderful insights in to relationships and situations. With the odd mythical god thrown in to the action to add a level of quirkiness to proceedings this is another great read from the author of The Sea.

If you like John Banville you might also like to read books by Barry Unsworth, Dermot Bolger and Simon Mawer.

Synopsis

The Infinities by John Banville

One long, languid midsummer's day, the Godleys gather at the family home of Arden to attend their father's bedside. Adam, the elder child, and Petra, only nineteen, find that relations with their mother, Ursula, and their dying father, old Adam, are as strained as ever. Adam's relationship with his wife, Helen, seems too on the brink of collapse and Petra, fragile and deeply troubled, finds deepest relief in her own pain. The gods, those mischievous spirits, watch silently, flitting through this dark menage. Unable to resist intervening in the mortals' lives, they spy, tease and seduce, all the while looking upon the antics of their playthings with a mixture of mild bafflement and occasional envy. Old Adam - husband, father and esteemed mathematician - has made his name grappling with the concept of the infinite. His own time on earth seems to be running out, and his mind runs to disquieting memories. Little does he realize, as he lies mute but alert in the Sky room, that the gods are capable of interposing themselves in the action, and even changing time itself when it pleases them. Overflowing with a bawdy humour, and a deep and refreshing clarity of insight, The Infinities is at once a gloriously earthy romp and a delicately poised, infinitely wise look at the terrible and wonderful plight of being human. In electrifying prose, Banville captures the aching intensity, the magic and enchantment, of a single midsummer's day in Arden.

About the Author

John Banville

John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His first book, Long Lankin, was published in 1970. His other books are Nightspawn, Birchwood, Doctor Copernicus (which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1976), Kepler (which was awarded the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1981), The Newton Letter (which was filmed for Channel 4), Mefisto, The Book of Evidence (shortlisted for the 1989 Booker Prize and winner of the 1998 Guinness Peat Aviation Award), Ghosts, Athena, The Untouchable, Eclipse and Shroud. He has received a literary award from the Lannan Foundation. He lives in Dublin.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th September 2009

Author

John Banville

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Author's Website

www.benjaminblackbooks.com/

Publisher

Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Format

Hardback

Categories

Literary Fiction
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ISBN

9780330450249

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