Prufrock's Page

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ms Kakutani At Sea

" [A] stilted, claustrophobic and numbingly pretentious tale about an aging widower revisiting his past."

That's Michiko Kakutani passing judgement on John Banville's The Sea. She finds fault with virtually every aspect of the novel, reserving some of her sharpest barbs for the prose: "...Max talks like someone with a thesaurus permanently implanted in his brain..Perhaps Max's grandiose language is meant to signify some sort of psychic defense mechanism on his part, but it's uncannily similar to the language employed by characters in Mr. Banville's earlier books. And together with his almost comical self-absorption, it makes Max sound like an annoying Peter Handke character on a bad day."

Finally, she dismisses it as "a chilly, dessicated and pompously written book that stands in sharp contrast to the vibrancy of many of this year's other Booker nominees."


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