Jeff's Reviews > The Book of Evidence

The Book of Evidence by John Banville
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Jan 22, 08

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Read in January, 2008

The unreliable narrator is a favorite of contemporary novelists, and the question of how much can one trust the narrator is just as popular with literary analysts. The appeal of The Book of Evidence, then, is easy to understand. For me, however, the salient reason to pick up this little novel is the prose, which is almost as fun and rich as Nabokov's (with whom John Banville has been compared to the point of it now being a cliche).

A blurb on the back of this edition states that those reading the book as a thriller will enjoy it as equally as those who are reading it as a serious work of literature. I disagree. As a murder tale, it is wholly unsatisfying when viewed under the expectant light of that particular genre. This is not a bad thing. For me, though, it seems that even when reading it as a "serious" novel, which is an absurd but somewhat useful concept, I can't help but feel as though I'm missing something. I'd love to go through it again someday, reading the fruitful and poetic language aloud and paying closer attention to theme and subtext. In the meantime, I'll definitely consider reading another book in Banville's oeuvre.
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message 1: by S. (new) - rated it 5 stars

S. Hello -
If I may I would suggest Banville's "Athena," since you say you'd consider reading him again.
To be honest, I've never read anything comparing him to Nabokov. Oh well. But now I have another reason to finally read Nabokov....

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