Review: The Sea – John Banville (2005 winner)

The Sea

The Sea – library book

Some thoughts on the book:

The Sea is a story about Max Morden, a man coming to terms with his wife’s death, and life and death in general.

“Perhaps all of life is no more than a long preparation for leaving it”

The books skips between the protagonist’s childhood memories, the recent past during his wife’s illness and the present.  In the present time Max has returned to a seaside town where he spent his summers as a child in an attempt to reconcile himself with what has happened recently and in the past – to the extreme of staying in a boarding house where a wealthy family he spent most of his time with during those long summers were staying.

The book has a strange structure – there are no chapters (call me careless but it took me over 100 pages  to realise this)  However I think this reflects how the story is following Max’s fluid thoughts which move in different directions at a quick pace.

I struggled to get in to the book until over half way through, and wouldn’t say I was really into it at any point but there proves to an interesting end to the book which I think makes it worth reading.

On happiness:

“Happiness was different in childhood. It was so much than a matter simply of accumulation, of taking things – new experiences, new emotions – and applying them like so many polished tiles to what would someday be the marvellously finished pavilion of the self” 

Format read: Hardback [borrowed from Surbiton library – for free!]

Date finished:  14 January 2014

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