“Banville is a glorious stylist whose prose holds
sustaining pleasures…You keep turning the pages just to gather more of these
bouquets. But when Banville waxes philosophic he’s even better; he’s heartbreakingly
poignant…[A] rich and strange novel, as ambitious in its reach as it is
delightful to read. This god has outdone himself.”
“A major work of Shakespearean imagination,
Banville’s fifteenth novel is among his best.”
“Like Nabokov, Banville has a wide-ranging
intellect and a rather godlike view of the power of fiction—and, like Nabokov,
he’s got the goods to back it up. The
Infinities is an inventive melding of myth and realism, a sly and poignant
tale of lust and loss, but above all it is a joy to read for the sheer beauty
of its language.”
St. Petersburg Times
“Banville may have surpassed himself with the
brilliance and introspection of his writing in [this] mythic novel.”
“Banville’s best and brightest work…Masterful.”
Midsummer Night’s Dream of a story…Pure pleasure.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Intriguing, complex, and ultimately elusive, The Infinities manages, through divine
sleight of mind, to bring glimmers of possibility to its dark characters: as
such, it is a novel for our hopeless times.”
“The Infinities is a Beethoven string quartet of
a novel. It deals with huge ideas—plenty of them—and in doing so, breaks new
ground in its own medium…A masterpiece of a book.”
Daily Telegraph (London)
Infinities is rife with mischief, as well as godly/authorial omniscience,
irony, and wordplay, but what warms and anchors it is its humanity.”
“Entrancing…Banville achieves real depth in this
alternately grave and bawdy exploration of the nature of time, the legacy of
grief, and the costs and sources of inspiration.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Dazzling…Banville is, without question, one of
the great living masters of English-language prose. The Infinities is a
dazzling example of that mastery.”
Los Angeles Times
“A writer of protean powers…[Banville] retains
his standing as one of the world’s most exquisite stylists in this sublimely
acerbic and mischievous tale about the timeless mysteries of love and death…With
odd details (cars powered by seawater) and intricate musings over the
complexities of consciousness and the cosmos, Banville creates a bewitching
world in which to ponder what it is to be human.”
Booklist (starred review)
“In his first novel since the 2005 Man Booker
Prize-winning The Sea, Banville
reminds the world that he is one of the best prose stylists at work today…Choosing
introspective character description over rich plotlines, Banville here puts his
writing prowess on full display.”
“Even more pristine than his Booker-winning The Sea.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[Banville’s] latest novel…is haunting,
beautiful, and perhaps even stranger than those that preceded it…Ultimately, The Infinities is a kind of mystery
novel, one that respects its mysteries too much to try to resolve them. The
real subject of this unforgettable, beautifully written book is nothing less
than the enigma of mortal existence. And who better than a cast of lusty,
bemused, mischievous, and quite possibly imaginary immortals to cast a new
light on that?”
“In a narrative that makes intricate use of this
material’s mythic, dramatic, and philosophical possibilities while remaining
improbably comedic…Banville manages to write compassionately about his mortals
without sacrificing his deities’ exalted wit and wisdom. And always, even as
this story prepares to takes tragic turns, his agility is abundantly evident.”
New York Times
“Beautifully written, perversely entertaining,
and well worth a close look.”
Banville is, without question, one of the great living masters of English-language prose. The Infinities is a dazzling example of that mastery, as well as of the formal daring and slyly erudite humor that makes his novels among the most rewarding available to readers today . . . The Infinities surely will delight his many well-deserved admirers.
Los Angeles Times
Outstanding . . . It may be one of the 12 best books of the decade, or even several decades . . . This is unequivocally a work of brilliance.
Reading The Infinities, I fell under some kind of spell, mesmerized by its shimmering language, overflow of ideas and heady illusions to metaphysics, Greek mythology, Shakespeare, and even quantum mechanics . . . A gloriously rich and strange novel, as ambitious in its reach as it is delightful to read. This god has outdone himself.
Banville is frequently compared to such masters as Beckett and Nabokov, and for years his books have been among the most haunting, beautiful and downright strange in contemporary literature . . . If Banville is capable of writing an unmemorable sentence, he has successfully concealed the evidence . . . The real subject of this unforgettable, beautifully written book is nothing less than the enigma of mortal existence.
Composing his scenes like painterly tableaux shot through with emotion and possibility, Banville achieves real depth in this alternately grave and bawdy exploration of the nature of time, the legacy of grief, and the costs and sources of inspiration . . . Entrancing.
San Francisco Chronicle
“Banville’s best and brightest work . . . Masterful.
There’s a cast of supporting characters worthy of a modern-day Shakespeare; bathetic descriptions of using the lavatory that would have had Beckett smiling; and the gods’ playful pursuit of women that could be lifted straight from Ovid’s The Art of Love. Banville, already esteemed for the brilliance of his language, proves in this novel to have a mastery, too, of these many colliding universes.
Independent on Sunday (UK)
John Banville seems incapable of writing an inelegant sentence . . . A Midsummer Night’s Dream of a story . . . Pure pleasure.
“The Infinities is a Beethoven string quartet of a novel. It deals with huge ideas—plenty of them—and in doing so, breaks new ground in its own medium . . . A masterpiece of a book.
The Infinities is rife with mischief, as well as godly/authorial omniscience, irony and wordplay, but what warms and anchors it is its humanity.
A narrative of almost discomfiting lushness and awe-inspiring powers of observation . . . And yet the brilliance of Banville’s writing rests in something other than its sophisticated intellect or its narrative poetry. What keeps us reading is this magical writer’s superlative gift for limning the essence of our own humanity in all its ungodly imperfection.
This new book, The Infinities, borders on the divine—mysterious, warm-hearted, and elegant, with traces of such literary gods as Vladimir Nabokov and fellow Irishman Oscar Wilde . . . The gods, they must be happy with Mr. Banville.
A beautiful, immersive read, Banville’s latest novel is as smart and satisfying as ever . . . A return to what Banville does best.
Sunday Business Post (Ireland)
Banville has produced a magical book. Read it and be dazzled and purified . . . To call it a bolt from the blue is actually and absolutely accurate for once.
“Banville reminds the world that he is one of the best prose stylists at work today . . . He here puts his writing prowess on full display.
Library Journal (starred)
The Booker Prize winner retains his standing as one of the world’s most exquisite stylistics in this sublimely acerbic and mischievous tale about he timeless mysterious of love and death . . . Banville creates a bewitching world in which to ponder what it is to be human . . . [He is] a writer of protean powers.
A funny book—and one written in such saturatedly beautiful, luminous prose that every page delights, startles, and uplifts.
The Times (London)