Banville the Booker Winner. Banville the Book Reviewer. Banville the master craftsman who fashions beautifully written novels like MEFISTO, THE BOOK OF EVIDENCE and THE SEA, mapping the inner psyches of his protagonists with forensic precision while co-opting neo-classical themes and allusions.Trust me, it’s a terrific piece, and well worth your time, and especially if you think Banville = Blandville …
Banville the cold Nabokovian prose sculptor who couldn’t make us care about his characters if he bludgeoned their puppies to death before our eyes. Banville the pariah of the chattering literati who accuse him of aloofness and arrogance. Banville the highbrow stylist slumming it in the noir genre under the non de plume Benjamin Black to the derision of an Irish crime-writing contingent who maintain he couldn’t plot his way out of a paper bag.
Banville the hatchet-jobber who’s driven his pen into the hearts of everyone from Nadine Gordimer to Ian McEwan (whose SATURDAY he termed a “dismayingly bad book”). Banville the ungracious victor, who, after scooping the Man Booker with THE SEA in 2005, sniffed something about being glad that the prize went to a work of art for a change …
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.
Monday, December 8, 2008
On Bludgeoning Puppies: Yep, It’s The John Banville Interview
Our good friend Peter Murphy posts a quite superb interview with John Banville (right) on his Blog of Revelations (as far as I know, it’s also carried in the current issue of Hot Press magazine), which intros thusly: