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Ghosts ➹ [Download] ➵ Ghosts By John Banville ➼ – In this brilliantly haunting new novel John Banville forges an unforgettable amalgam of enchantment and menace that suggests both The Tempest and his own acclaimed The Book of Evidence A surreal and e In this brilliantly haunting new novel John Banville forges an unforgettable amalgam of enchantment and menace that suggests both The Tempest and his own acclaimed The Book of Evidence A surreal and exuisitely lyrical new novel by one of the great stylists writing in English today Boston Globe.

  • Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • Ghosts
  • John Banville
  • English
  • 08 November 2015
  • 9780679755128

About the Author: John Banville

Benjamin Black His first novel under this pen name was Christine Falls which was followed by The Silver Swan in Banville has two adult sons with his wife the American textile artist Janet Dunham They met during his visit to San Francisco in where she was a student at the University of California Berkeley Dunham described him during the writing process as being like a murderer who's just come back from a particularly bloody killing Banville has two daughters from his relationship with Patricia uinn former head of the Arts Council of IrelandBanville has a strong interest in vivisection and animal rights and is often featured in Irish media speaking out against vivisection in Irish university research.

10 thoughts on “Ghosts

  1. BlackOxford BlackOxford says:

    Cosmic IntersectionsThe world isn’t what goes around inside our heads but what our heads go around inside Context is contents And I don’t mean air sights and smells as context I mean other heads It is these other heads that supply us with language opinion and prejudice lots of prejudice which are the elements of the world we inhabit These other heads are even embedded in the things that surround us like in a simple cup of tea “Lives other lives a myriad of them distilled into this thimbleful of perfumed pleasure”Trying to clarify what goes on inside our heads by isolating ourselves on a small sparsely populated Irish island for example is therefore not an inherently irrational therapeutic idea in principle We then only have to cope mostly with memories supplied of course by others and dreams of other heads in other places But what happens when new heads or even an old one start invading? And what happens to the invaders’ heads? “Here is the moment where worlds collide Worlds within worlds They bleed into each other” Hanging around crazy people will make you crazyBut here’s the thing it’s not possible to sort our own head without another one to help who nonetheless is unwelcome because annoying and possibly crazy We need another head to be inserted into our own to remember our crimes; or generally to interrupt our thinking lest we enter an endless loop of memories dreams and regrets When these helpful others are absent or when they die it’s not enough to live on mere memories These heads become ghosts part of ourselves yet also independent “I am certain there is no other form of afterlife for them than this that they should live in us and through us It is our duty”Ghosts have a clear function The law calls this function restitution; psychiatric medicine calls it integration; art crticism verification They amount to the sane thing sorting the contents of one’s head that is to say the context of one’s head Never an easy job; rarely a faultless one But when they do their job ghosts have a dramatic effect They make it clear “that something had happened that something had shifted that things would never be again as they had been before” This is about as close to solving the various mysteries Banville presents as one is likely to achieveAnd as usual Banville also presents the reader with his uniue taste in vocabulary Borborygmic oneiric brumous mephitic eructations benison plumbeous tombal balneation are new to me But these are mysteries which are easier to resolve

  2. Vit Babenco Vit Babenco says:

    Everything in this world resembles something else so Ghosts vaguely echoes The Tempest by William Shakespeare And the island is something between Aeaea – Circe’s home isle and the Land of Nod – the place of Cain’s exileExtraordinary the look of things at dusk then it might have been another planet with that pale vault of sky those crouched and hesitant dreamy distances I wandered about the house going softly through the stillness and shadows and sometimes I would lose myself I mean I would flow out of myself somehow and be as a phantom a patch of moving dark against the lighter darkness all around meThose shipwrecked are personages descended from Harleuin and Columbine – the painting by Jean Antoine Watteau the disagreeable characters with their disagreeable past except the children of course – the children are bound for their disagreeable future Professor Silas Kreutznaer is a kind of Prospero and Freddie Montgomery is a sort of CalibanThis lovely world and we the only blot on the landscape We or just me? Sometimes I think I can feel the world recoiling from me as if from the touch of some uncanny cold and sticky thingThe ghosts of his past are still tormenting Freddie and he still keeps wondering how he could fall so low and turn into such a beast “What statue of myself did I erect long ago I wonder? Must have been a gargoyle”Diderot developed a theory of ethics based on the idea of the statue if we would be good he said we must become sculptors of the self Virtue is not natural to us; we achieve it if at all through a kind of artistic striving cutting and shaping the material of which we are made the intransigent stone of selfhood and erecting an idealised effigy of ourselves in our own minds and in the minds of those around us and living as best we can according to its sublime exampleWhen we all learn to sculpt our own virtues then at last we’ll become true human beings

  3. David David says:

    here is the thing about banville about the perfection of his prose you can be 38 pages into this book and read I too was eager already for change for disorder for the mess and confusion that people make of thingsCompany that was what we wanted the brute warmth of the presence of others to tell us we were alive after all despite appearances and you will close the book and run your hand over the cover and stare off into the distance at a tree the way the light hits it in a suare illuminating it there you will be reminded of your mother one thousand miles away on a couch drifting in and out of sleep after chemotherapy you will be remembering her at niagara falls and how she lifted you up on the railing to get a better view when you were four and one thousand miles away you will see that great cataract but importantly you will see the rail and feel her hands on you holding you secure it's the railing the railing that was put there one hundred years ago by some lost hand and the connotations of that railing not the falls but your mother holding you and though you never saw her face looking intently instead at the rush of water know that she was smiling at your blonde hair and feeling your chest rise and fall with the wonder of it all

  4. Asghar Abbas Asghar Abbas says:

    Some people are ghosts even when they are alive This is what makes this a horror story; people When it is the usual stream of consciousness fare that it is Who writes beautiful prose than Banville? Absolutely no oneThis isn't actually a ghost story of course But if you love rare words and uniue writing and Ireland as I do then this is the book for you as it was for me

  5. ☕Laura ☕Laura says:

    Ratings 1 to 5Writing 4Plot 2Characters 2Emotional impact 2Overall rating 25NotesFavorite charactersFavorite uotes the wind of something that was almost happiness wafted through them all p7He had a disjointed improvised air as if he had been put together in haste from disparate bits and pieces of other people p12fear always holds at its throbbing centre that little thin unuenchable flame of pleasure p114Other notes I was really impressed by this book initially I loved the author's way of describing the characters and setting and was intrigued by the premise As the book progressed though the plot began to feel very disjointed to me and I could never uite get a hold of it somehow

  6. Lyn Lyn says:

    Confusingly This guy gets a lot of grief on here for being pretentious But to me it is an authentic pretentiousness like art is Very unlike David Foster Wallace who tries to sound cooler than you or Michael Chabon who tries to sound smarter and who prolly are

  7. Quiver Quiver says:

    Worlds within worlds They bleed into each other I am at once here and there then and now as if by magic I think of the stillness that lives in the depths of mirrors It is not our world that is reflected there It is another place entirely another universe cunningly made to mimic ours Anything is possible there even the dead may come back to life Flaws develop in the glass patches of silvering fall away and reveal the inhabitants of that parallel inverted world going about their lives all unawares And sometimes the glass turns to air and they step through it without a sound and walk into my worldThis is Banville at his rather strange I expected a somewhat conventional seuel to The Book of Evidence and was caught unawares like an inhabitant of the mirror The narrative switches between an omniscient god fly on the wall point of view and first person and it is only during the paragraph above—which I called aptly enough the mirror moment—that the two perspectives twine and vaguely connect That happens about a fifth of the way through but the feeling of disjointedness persists to the end Deliberately I would say though perhaps not entirely necessarily If I was not convinced by the story I was in awe of the prose Sentence for sentence Banville is nothing short of brilliant and I have lavished the margins with copious commentry I continue to be a devoted fan

  8. Hamish Hamish says:

    Yet again upon rereading a Banville novel I am somewhat embarrassed about my original review particularly the comment about his style being unoriginal a factual inaccuracy the plot does not continue in Athena and a misreading of the plot and structure in general I still do not feel like I completely get what Banville is going for here but I picked up on a number of implications that I had inexplicably missed on my first read through regarding the castaway characters and our narrator's reliability It's an odd novel but intriguingly soFor anti posterity my prior reviewOn some level I guess I get the complaint that Ghosts doesn't really have a plot and that it sets up a premise and then mostly ignores it though I think that's missing the point For one it seems pretty clear that most of the plot points will be picked up in the next book Athena but importantly it's a book that isn't really terribly concerned with plot anyway Like Nabokov's Glory or The Gift there I go comparing Banville to N again it's a slow meditation and the enjoyment comes from the writing itself which is masterly and from becoming immersed in Freddie Montgomery's thoughts on life after jail Sure it moves slowly but it allows you to savor the prose and the details and I can't stress enough how good Banville is at those things What did surprise me was just how emotionally effecting Freddie's meditations are I didn't mind watching what appeared to be the main plot fade to the background as the first person narration came to the fore as the latter interested me far As with other Banville novels his style isn't particularly original but it doesn't change the fact that he still executes it perfectly and this type of writing reuires a novelist of the highest talent to pull off without sounding self indulgent or masturbatory Regardless of what some might argue I don't think Banville is ever either of those things

  9. Bruce Bruce says:

    A very intriguing beautifully written novel but not what I ever thought I'd like There's no plot it's rambling emotionally diffuse and self indulgent so why did I like it so well that I'm going to start the seuel Athena immediately? The wit wrenching self exploration and poetical expression of the narrator Freddie Montgomery are enormously affecting both aesthetically and empatheticallyIn The Book of Evidence Freddie committed murder and Ghosts can be likened to Crime and Punishment if it had continued after Raskalnikov went to jail Freddie's struggle with his own guilt and all its ramifications is very powerful I'm wondering if Banville will locate Freddie's redemption if indeed he ever finds it in religion as did Dostoevsky For as Freddie realizes he cannot atone for his crime it seems the only solution is grace a forgiveness not based on his merits And isn't Freddie an everyman in this respect? As Hamlet affirms use every man after his desert and who shall scape whipping?

  10. Lukasz Pruski Lukasz Pruski says:

    The past was gathering even thickly around me I waded through it numbly like a greased swimmer waiting to feel the chill and the treacherous undertowIt was not supposed to be like this I would have never expected that I would have to struggle to get through a John Banville's book Yet I did It took me three weeks to read Ghosts 1993 and the first hundred pages were the most difficult Despite Banville's trademarks extraordinarily accomplished prose and the underlying wisdom shining through page after page I could not connect with the text I did not understand the events and the characters sounded artificial to me like empty templates promises of something that might possibly come in the future For instance Alice and Flora what are they about? Why should I care about seven castaways from a ship grounded on a coast of an island? Or about their intersecting the lives of Professor Kreutznaer and his faithful companion Licht?Later things began making a little sense A connection to Banville's The Book of Evidence is revealed The motif of a fictitious French painter Vaublin and his Le monde d'or emerges There are extraordinary passages of prose like The world was luminous around him Everything shone out of itself shaking in its own radiance There was movement everywhere; even the most solid objects seemed to seethe the table under his hands the chair on which he sat the very walls themselves And he too trembled as if his whole frame had been struck like a tuning fork against the hard bright surface of things or And somehow by being suddenly herself like this she made the things around her be there too In her and in what she spoke the world the little world in which we sat found its grounding and was realized It was as if she had dropped a condensed drop of colour into the water of the world and the colour had spread and the outlines of things had sprung into bright relief The thread of travel with Billy first to the narrator's house then to the ship and eventually to the island will captivate the reader's attention As will the cool story about a mayor of a Spanish village sitting for a paintingNaturally I don't regret that I persevered and finished the novel While I am probably too obtuse to fully comprehend its meaning I suspect that the author gives the reader a hint in the following passage I would look out the window and see that little band of castaways toiling up the road to the house and a door would open into another world Oh a little door hardly enough for me to sueeze through but a door all the same The charming story of the narrator's relationship with Mrs Vanden reminds me of Cees Nooteboom to me the best writer of literature for adults Still the beauty of prose remains the best aspect of Ghosts Mr Banville makes a worthy companion to James Joyce Patrick White or Vladimir Nabokov among the most accomplished masters of the English language I still have a lot Banville to readThree stars

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