Elegy for April (Quirke #3)
Quirke—the hard-drinking, insatiably curious Dublin pathologist—is back, and he's determined to find his daughter's best friend, a well-connected young doctor
April Latimer has vanished. A junior doctor at a local hospital, she is something of a scandal in the conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. Though her family is one of the most respected in the...more
How many more women can possibly fall into Quirke’s hapless arms?
How many more descriptions of someone smoking or staring into the bottom of a whiskey glass can I take?
How many repetitions of scenes in pubs, restaurants, dreary flats are possible without the author quoting himself unconsciously? Already I’ve caught Black repeating a description and then passing it off as a character’s ‘recollection’ of an earl...more
We start moving into deeper, blacker territory here with Elegy for April, a trend that continues through the two novels following this one. This book also happens to be one of my favorites in the series.
The book appropriately begins in the fog, which hangs over the story throughout -- and finds Quirke at the House of St. John of the Cross, a "refuge for addicts o...more
A review of a Amazon review for: Elegy for April: A Novel by Benjamin Black
To the reviewer who found the book DEAR AND DIRTY...BUT DRAB, I disagree. The prose, atmosphere and characterizations were so literate and fascinating. The best Quirke yet!
Banville/Blackman knows his main subject well---1950's Dublin. And he has his characters walking the streets of this quaint city in a country that inspired several Nobel Laureates before Templ...more
Benjamin Black’s third crime thriller involving Dublin pathologist Garret Quirke “Elegy for April,” like the other novels in the series, ultimately is about love or to be more apt, the perversity of love. In “Elegy for April” love is obsessive in the extreme —and taboo.
Its theme, its time period and its inverted morality all have much in common with the noir classic “Chinatown.” In Quirke’s 1050s Dublin, as in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, nothing i...more
This is the 3rd in the trilogy involving Kwirk, the Scottish pathologist and the woman he came to claim as his daughter, Phoebe Griffin. Phoebe has few friends and values the ones she has very much. One of them is April. She and April talk by phone at least every day, if not in person. So, when she hadn’t heard from April for over a week, she starte...more
I wondered after I read this novel, which while atmospherically lovely, was somewhat lacking in character development, if it assumed previous knowledge of the protagonist, Quirke, a middle-aged pathologist/alcoholic in 50s Dublin, trying to dry out, but failing, and sometimes failing miserably. He appears in previous novels by the author but I found him a hard character to get to know just on the basis of Elegy for April.
Quirke is assisting his biological daughter, Phoebe, by looking into the m...more
Perhaps best known to American audiences for his portrayals of James Bond in The Living Daylights and License to Kill, Timothy Dalton is a classically trained Shakespearean actor blessed with a resonant, deep voice. His enunciation is, of course, beyond perfection as are the nuances he brings to his audio performance. Now, give him a Dublin based story to narrate and you believe you've been transported to Ireland. As in Christine Falls Dalton delivers one more award worthy reading.
The third Quir...more
April Latimer, a junior doctor, is missing. Her friend Phoebe hasn't heard from her in several days, even though they usually talked on the phone at least once a day. (It is never explained why Phoebe and April are close enough to warrant so much communication.) Phoebe gets her (and April's) group of friends...more
While I enjoyed the story and the quick way the pieces resolve, I wanted more of Phoebe the person and less o...more
The thing I loved most was how Quirke's character is developed in comparison with everyone and everything else in this book. Even the car he purchases is an important character throughout the book. My favorite description: "the thing resisted him, maintaining what seemed to him a sullen obstinacy. Only o...more
Shouldn't a mystery novel about a pathologist show a bit of cutting? Maybe a medical clue? Quirke plods through a 1950's Dublin February portraying a drunk who is trying not-so-very-hard to stay dried out. The other characters treat him like he is a detective. He is even summoned to meetings with a government minister who tells him to get off the case of a missing medical student. Why? It never struck me that Quirke had gotten any investigation into gear.
Speaking of gears...more
The mystery part of this isn't that great - it's just a missing person, and the outcome isn't really that shocking. But as a character study it's a really great book, and an interesting cultural look at Ireland. Initially Banville st...more
These are dark stories, set in Dublin in the 1950's. Every character in the book seems troubled and happiness seems a illusion in this world.
Phoebe, Quirke's daughter is worried about April, a friend of hers who's gone missing. When she askes Quirke, who has just signed himself out of a drying out institution for help he reluctantly starts asking questions. He soon finds himself coming up to a roadblock in the form of April's influential family who don't appear to be worried...more
This is the third in the series featuring the Irish pathologist Quirk, and he is still having problems with drink and women. He has a bit if a strained relationship with his daughter Phoebe, and to get the entire story on that relationship you will need to start with the first in the series, Christine...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