Books by John Banville

Irish novelist John Banville was born in Wexford in Ireland in 1945. He was educated at a Christian Brothers' school and St Peter's College in Wexford. He worked for Aer Lingus in Dublin, an opportunity that enabled him to travel widely. He was literary e

TIME PIECES by John Banville
Released: Feb. 27, 2018

"Told in a conversational style both luscious and luxuriant, this is exquisite work by a master craftsman."
The celebrated author turns inward with this enchanting memoir about his beloved hometown. Read full book review >
MRS. OSMOND by John Banville
Released: Nov. 7, 2017

"A sequel that honors James and his singular heroine while showing Banville to be both an uncanny mimic and, as always, a captivating writer."
A sequel to The Portrait of a Lady that may well delight fans of that Henry James masterpiece and leave other readers bemused by the contemporary work's 19th-century sensibility. Read full book review >
THE BLUE GUITAR by John Banville
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"The artist Orme is not a pleasant creation to spend several hours with, but in the hands of this gifted Irish writer, even a potbellied, melancholic petty thief and Lothario offers countless delights."
A painter who has quit painting finds his life unraveling as a soured love affair impels him to reassess his past and present and face a possibly bleak future. Read full book review >
LONG LANKIN by John Banville
Released: July 2, 2013

"Formative work by an author who would later revisit what's best in these stories through longer and more ambitious fiction."
First American publication of a collection of very early, very short stories by the Irish master of the literary novel. Read full book review >
ANCIENT LIGHT by John Banville
Released: Oct. 4, 2012

"Banville writes beautiful sentences, while recognizing the limits and deceptions of language, in a meditation on themes that he has better explored elsewhere."
A novel that traps the reader inside the mind of the narrator, a reflective but not very perceptive actor, as his self-absorption turns from the human condition, the passage of time and the creative memory to, obsessively, his teenage sexual initiation with the mother of his best friend. Read full book review >
THE INFINITIES by John Banville
Released: March 1, 2010

"Beautifully written, perversely entertaining and well worth a close look."
The Booker Prize-winning Irish author's 15th novel is a (perhaps excessively) droll romantic comedy reminiscent of both Shakespeare's gossamer romps and Iris Murdoch's playful metaphysical gameswomanship. Read full book review >
SHROUD by John Banville
Released: March 10, 2003

"Tough going in spots, but an impressive addition to Banville's varied and eloquent body of work."
Good writing overcomes an intermittently stately pace in this increasingly absorbing 13th outing (The Untouchable, 1997, etc.) from the literary editor of the Irish Times. Read full book review >
ECLIPSE by John Banville
Released: Feb. 28, 2001

"The absence of a formal plot may frustrate many readers. But for those who hear the music of its elegant rhetoric, the encompassing dark of Eclipse may well seem light enough."
The enigmatic confluence of memory and imagination is explored with teasing subtlety in this 11th novel from Banville, the Irish author of such intensely stylized fiction as The Book of Evidence (1990) and The Untouchable (1997). Read full book review >
THE UNTOUCHABLE by John Banville
Released: May 2, 1997

"A resonant reworking of a seemingly exhausted genre, and a subtle, sad, and deeply moving work."
An icy, detailed portrait of a traitor, and a precise meditation on the nature of belief and betrayal. Read full book review >
ATHENA by John Banville
Released: May 9, 1995

"Even if Banville's precious prose may make you pull your hair out in hanks, there's no disputing his claim to this unique fictional territory."
Ireland's Banville (Ghosts, 1993, etc.) is deservedly known as an inventive stylist and erudite novelist. Read full book review >
GHOSTS by John Banville
Released: Nov. 4, 1993

"Precious in a showoffy way—and deadly static."
An eminent but broken-down art historian named Kreutzner lives in an island aerie with his strange assistant Licht—and the two one day find themselves playing host to a party of strangers who've been shipwrecked when the chartered boat they were on ran aground offshore. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1990

"A novel of high moral seriousness, gracefully written—one that lingers on in the mind long after it is read."
Winner of Ireland's largest literary award for the best book of 1989, Banville's latest is an elegantly written, often darkly comic meditation upon evil and guilt—and a great imaginative leap beyond his previous efforts (Kepler, 1983, etc.). Read full book review >
KEPLER by John Banville
Released: April 26, 1983

"So, while unusually well-written, this historical novel loses its thrust about halfway through, becoming centerless, retrospective, and sometimes flatly crammed with facts."
Banville, the English novelist who fictionalized the life of one classical astronomer in the modestly impressive Doctor Copernicus (1976), now turns to another: Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)—seen here as a long-sufferer, a victim of religious persecution, a husband with complaining wives (especially first wife Barbara, fat and harping), the son of an accused witch. . . and a court mathematician who's most often called on to make up detestable horoscopes. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 28, 1976

"This smaller achievement rarely commands our wonder, but at its best it does have a sort of poised conscientiousness which commands liking and respect."
One of the odder facts about Nicolas Copernicus is that his great work De revolutionibus remained unpublished until he was on his deathbed. Read full book review >
NIGHTSPAWN by John Banville
Released: Sept. 27, 1971

Whatever else Banville may be up to, he surely does scintillate and that's enough. Read full book review >