The Silver Swan (Quirke #2)
"Death is a rough customer."
"Everything rushes back. Everything replaces itself."
-- Benjamin Black (or John Banville), The Silver Swan
'The Silver Swan' is Benjamin Black's (alter ego of John Banville) second Quirke novel. There is something about Dublin in the 50s that makes sense for a noir novel. The rain. The brooding. The whiskey. The shit food. The damp seediness and decay (both material and moral).
Quirke is a perfect character for these novels. He is an off-the-wagon (Christine Falls), on ...more
I was disappointed. I truly enjoyed my visit to Dublin that Black/Banville provided (it's one of my favorite towns) but notwithstanding that, I thought the characters acted in ways that were not in harmony with their natures.
I won't make th ...more
A murder mystery to be solved by an inept pathologist who does a bad job of trying to be an amateur detective. Quirke should stick to being a pathologist, report his complete and truthful findings at the coroner's inquest and walk away from the case. His detecting instincts are awful, causing more issues than he resolves. In this one he just gets it all wrong.
Characters seemed flat and engendered no feelings of empathy. Female characters remain the same helpless, undirected, sex objects they we...more
Once again, Quirke's curiosity leads him into trouble. As a Dublin pathologist in the 1950's, Quirke is occasionally asked for favors. Relatives of a deceased may ask ...more
This is a novel of 1950s-era sexual predators and con men, but without church involvement. Their prey are women: women with money, women with access to drugs, women who long for spiritual fulfillment, women of diminished hopes, lonel ...more
If you aren't famili ...more
The Silver Swan raises two major questions: First, is Black-the-crime-novelist as good as Banville-the-novelist? Second, does The Silver Swan live up to expectations raised by Christine Falls? Not surprisingly, critics diverge on both questions. A few think that Black's crime novels don't stand up to Banville's best work. "This distracting mediocrity doesn't suit him at all," notes The Globe and Mail. Others cite Black as a genre-bending novelist intent on using the noir framework to successfull...more
Ако първата половина на тази книга не беше необходима, за да се стигне до втората, бих препоръчала просто да се пропусне: тя е неикономично повторителна, досадно бавна и против свещените правила на криминалния роман – нас не ни интересува толкова кой е убиецът, а как става такъв; ние сме достатъчно нащрек, за да хванем намеците, преките обяснения при това положение просто затлачват възприятията. Втората половина обаче се забързва и разгръща ярко оперение, к ...more
In this second novel in the series, Quirke is back - still obsessive, still curious. He's ...more
I didn't know this book is his sequel to "Christine Falls" and I plan to read it next.
Quirke is a reformed alcoholic & pathologist whose character is so believable that I felt I knew him. His estranged & complicated relationship with his daughter is masterfully presented. The relationship is full of unspoken and typically poor communication ...more
The main detective, Quirke, who is actually a coroner for the city of Dublin, is a conflicted man, haunted by his past (blah blah blah) so much so that he is really ineffectual and mostly a non-character through out the book. This makes me wonder how you build a series around such a man?? The other characters are only slightly more intriguing. There is Diedre Hunt who discove ...more
We met Benjamin Black when he visited the Tattered C ...more
The main protagonist of this series is Quirke (no first name ever given), who is the head pathologist at the Hospital of the Holy Family in Dublin. It is the 1950s, but two years later than the first book in the series, Christine Falls. Quirke is intrigued after an old friend asks him not to do an autopsy on his y ...more
I have to quote two sentences here, though, that made me read and read them a couple times. "Perhaps the fascination of it, for ...more
A dead woman on the table, and a estranged school chum who him to mar her beauty by cutting her up.
Quirk finds some signs of hanky-panky though, and autopsies her anyway. The woman supposedly committed suicide by drowning, but has no water in her lungs, didn ...more
Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland. His father worked in a garage and died when Banville was in his early thirties; his mother was a housewife. He is the youngest of three siblings; his older brother Vincent is also a novelist and has written under the name Vincent Lawrence as well as his own. His sister Vonnie Banville-Evans has written both a children's novel and a r ...more