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Download Ancient Light Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Ancient Light, by John Banville Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (727 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Banville Narrator: Robin Sach Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea gives us a brilliant, profoundly moving new novel about an actor in the twilight of his life and his career: a meditation on love and loss, and on the inscrutable immediacy of the past in our present lives.

Is there any difference between memory and invention? That is the question that fuels this stunning novel, written with the depth of character, the clarifying lyricism and the sly humor that have marked all of John Banville’s extraordinary works. And it is the question that haunts Alexander Cleave, an actor in the twilight of his career and of his life, as he plumbs the memories of his first—and perhaps only—love (he, fifteen years old, the woman more than twice his age, the mother of his best friend; the situation impossible, thrilling, devouring, and finally devastating)…and of his daughter, lost to a kind of madness of mind and heart that Cleave can only fail to understand. When his dormant acting career is suddenly, inexplicably revived with a movie role portraying a man who may not be who he says he is, his young leading lady—famous and fragile—unwittingly gives him the opportunity to see with aching clarity the “chasm that yawns between the doing of a thing and the recollection of what was done.”

Ancient Light is a profoundly moving meditation on love and loss, on the inscrutable immediacy of the past in our present lives, on how invention shapes memory and memory shapes the man. It is a book of spellbinding power and pathos from one of the greatest masters of prose at work today.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Liz | 2/19/2014

    " Ancient Light was a slow reading novel because I had to go back and re-read paragraphs to savor the language. Banville's writing makes for serious reading. The plot basics are that the protagonist had an affair with is best friend's mother when he was fifteen. His memories of the affair are beautifully crafted scenes that even the character admits, could be revisions of what he actually saw and felt fifty years ago when the couple stole away to a deserted cottage. The tone of the novel reminded me of Julian Barnes's 2011 Man Booker Prize winning book, The Sense of an Ending. How accurately do we remember the past? What do we do with it as we age and reflect back? Should we have done something different and most importantly, how did our actions affect other people? Banville plays with these notions quite seriously and more heavily than Barnes did in is 150-page book. Both novels gave me pause, as a great novel should. I felt more weighed down with Banville's story but I am certainly glad I read it. His work is to be cherished. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Paul Stewart | 2/13/2014

    " Banville doing what he usually does - so something of a return to form after The Infinities. Lovely intertextual relation to the rest of his works. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Hao | 1/30/2014

    " He's a wonderful writer, but you're better off moving onto his other books. The first person narrator is difficult to tolerate. This is a meditation on memory and the narratives we tell ourselves, but concept alone doesn't excite. Banville's the Untouchable has a similar conceit, but is far far better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rachel Goldberg | 1/18/2014

    " Stunning language, entrancing narrative, but ultimately a frustrating vagueness at the end. I'll definitely read more by Banville, though, because of the beauty of his prose. "

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