The dazzling new novel from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea
Old Adam Godley's time on earth is drawing to an end, and as his wife and children gather at the family home, little do they realize that they are not the only ones who have come to observe the spectacle. The mischievous Greek gods, too, have come; as tensions fray and desire bubbles over, their spying soon becomes intrusion becomes intervention, until the mortals' lives - right before their eyes - seem to be changing faster than they can cope with.
Overflowing with bawdy humour, Banville has allowed his twinkling eye to rove through memories of the past and relationships of the present in this moving family drama. The Infinities is both a salacious delight and a penetrating exploration of the terrifying, wonderful, immutable plight of being human.
©2009 John Banville (P)2010 Macmillan Digital Audio
Up amongst the best - it is (as many have pointed out) an unusual book - but Banville writes so wonderfully - and I found it profound and thought-provoking...how would the 'Gods' perceive us in our peculiar little lives (and in this case, particularly - our deaths?)
It is a fascinating journey...
Although quite different - I think about it alongside Julian Barnes 'Nothing to be Frightened Of' -and his more recent Levels of Life...both meditations on death...
Ah! here was the real difficulty for me. What first struck me was his tone of what came to my ear as 'mocking'. I am not sure if he meant to convey that - but it is something as though he is speaking the words in a way that conveys a certain sarcasm or patronising tone. I have read the book 'on paper' as well - and it is because of this, that I had such a vastly different experience of it, had I only listed to the audiobook. Reading it on paper - it is compassionate, lightly and interestingly humourous at times - but not the sort of 'light' mockery and yes, almost disdainful tone that J R-T manages to convey.
Half way through listening I also realised that he puts TOO much effort into every single syllable - so his intonation in a single sentence runs the gambit of high to low to minor to major ...and it is EXHAUSTING to listen to. Perhaps he is trying too hard - and I am reminded of the greatest actors that are just very simple -
Banville's writing although so beautiful and artful, has a stark simplicity to it - and this reading of it is like being on a roller coaster of the voice. It detracts from the story and the prose.
Sorry Mr Rhind-Tutt. I like your other readings - but not this one.
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