Monday 3 August 2015

Book Review: The Blue Guitar by John Banville

Title: The Blue Guitar
Author: John Banville
Publisher: Penguin UK
Publication Date: 3 September 2015
Pages: 272  
Format: E-Book - PDF  
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Equally self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating, our narrator, Oliver Otway Orme, is a painter of some renown, and a petty thief who does not steal for profit and has never before been caught. But he's pushing fifty, feels like a hundred, and things have not been going so well lately. Having recognized the "man-killing crevasse" that exists between what he sees and any representation he might make of it--any attempt to make what he sees his own--he's stopped painting. And his last purloined possession--acquired the last time he felt the "secret shiver of bliss" in thievery--has been discovered. The fact that it was the wife of the man who was, perhaps, his best friend, has compelled him to run away: from his mistress, his home, his wife, from whatever remains of his impulse to paint and from the tragedy that haunts him, and to sequester himself in the house where he was born, trying to uncover in himself the answer to how and why things have turned out as they did. Excavating memories of family, of places he's called home, and of the way he has apprehended the world around him ("no matter what else is going on, one of my eyes is always swivelling towards the world beyond"), Ollie reveals the very essence of a man who, in some way, has always been waiting to be rescued from himself. (Goodreads Synopsis)

I appreciate the reflective nature of Banville's writing, and The Blue Guitar is no exception. We drift to and fro in time as we follow Orme's thoughts and recollections, and, as always, character is key. This piece spoke to me on many levels, not least because some of things Orme ponders are things I myself have been thinking of lately. Another masterful piece from Banville that really captures human spirit.

No comments:

Post a Comment