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Mini Review: The Sea by John Banville

The Sea by John Banville


The Sea is the sort of book that I feel is truly enhanced when listened to as an audiobook. The language is beautiful and almost lyrical and the narration allows the words to wash over you. That being said, not a lot happens in this book. It is filled essentially with ruminations on life and death in the context of the story of a man returning to a place he used to holiday as a child and after the death of his wife. Max, the protagonist is not a very likable figure, so I didn't truly connect to him or the story, though I can understand why it was chosen to win the Man Booker in 2005 (it is not lacking in pretension;-). However, it beat Ishiguro's Never Let me Go, which I can't quite comprehend when I compare the two. Banville can write, but I'm not sure he can write and tell a solid story the way Ishiguro can, but of course that is a matter of my personal taste. If you’re looking for a gripping plot, The Sea is not for you, but if you’re looking for elegant, languorous writing, I think you might like to give this one a try.

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