Nancy's Reviews > The Sea

The Sea by John Banville
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Nov 24, 10

bookshelves: book-club-selection
Read from November 15 to 20, 2010

I will give 2 stars for the clever writing style and occasional beautiful passages. The narrator, Max, flits back and forth between his recent experience of his wife's death from cancer and his encounter with a wealthy family while on summer vacation as a young boy. The shifts of focus in the story are abrupt and lacking in any visual delineation, which is (effectively) jarring. One moment, Max is revealing the great depth of his grief over his wife's death, the next moment, he is (oh so slowly) recounting that summer when he developed a crush first on the mother and then the daughter of that other family. So why not 5 stars? I found very little pleasure reading this book. It was a grind. The most beautiful parts dealt with grief, while the others held only mild interest for me. Also, I found Banville's rich vocabulary required too many dictionary consultations; although, perhaps I can score extra points using "plash," "joggle," and "blench" in my next game of Scrabble game:)
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