The narrator of this lyrical novel by the author of The Book of Evidence banishes himself to a deserted island inhabited by two other castaways.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
A bedraggled medley of castaways from a day outing wash ashore a remote island. Led by Felix, the unctuous, mutable "lord of the streets," they include many of the same Faustian types--the innocent girl, the moribund gentleman--who inhabit Banville's previous fiction, The Book of Evidence ( LJ 3/1/90) and Mephisto (Godine, 1989). They have, perhaps, walked "straight out of the deepest longings" of the forsaken trio already sentenced to live on that island: an art expert with dubious credentials, Professor Kreutnaer; his disgruntled, lovelorn assistant Licht; and the familiar ex-convict who is also our first-person narrator. Banville is not so much interested in the plight of the castaways, whom he arranges in a tableau vivant and then abandons, as he is in the criminal descent and groping atonement of his hapless narrator. Here Banville's quirky, Beckettian stream-of-consciousness takes off: pathetic, noble, hilarious, this narrator is an utterly original "little god." The novel, though in some ways incomplete, is an exuberant, virtuosic display.
- Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.