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Download The Sea Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Sea, 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 (8,915 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Banville Narrator: John Le Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The narrator is Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman who, soon after his wife’s death, has gone back to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child—a retreat from the grief, anger, and numbness of his life without her. But it is also a return to the place where he met the Graces, the well-heeled vacationing family with whom he experienced the strange suddenness of both love and death for the first time. The seductive mother; the imperious father; the twins—Chloe, fiery and forthright, and Myles, silent and expressionless—in whose mysterious connection Max became profoundly entangled, each of them a part of the “barely bearable raw immediacy” of his childhood memories. 

Interwoven with this story are Morden’s memories of his wife, Anna—of their life together, of her death—and the moments, both significant and mundane, that make up his life now: his relationship with his grown daughter, Claire, desperate to pull him from his grief; and with the other boarders at the house where he is staying, where the past beats inside him “like a second heart.”

What Max comes to understand about the past, and about its indelible effects on him, is at the center of this elegiac, vividly dramatic, beautifully written novel—among the finest we have had from this extraordinary writer.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With his fastidious wit and exquisite style, John Banville is the heir to Nabokov…The Sea [is] his best novel so far.”

    Sunday Telegraph

  • The Sea offers an extraordinary meditation on mortality, grief, death, childhood and memory…Undeniably brilliant.”

    USA Today

  • “A gem…[The sea]is a presence on every page, its ceaseless undulations echoing constantly in the cadences of the prose. This novel shouldn’t simply be read. It needs to be heard, for its sound is intoxicating….A winning work of art.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Winner of the 2005 Man Booker Prize
  • A 2005 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lucy | 2/20/2014

    " Hovering between three and four stars....rather too slight a work to be a Booker Prize winner, I'd have thought, but what he set out to do, he did well. He is rather inclined to use a phrase where a word would do, and some of the words maybe are obscure for the sake of it - but it's a sound story, well told, and it hangs together. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Natasha | 2/13/2014

    " It was really good. The language was absolutely beautiful with some incredible imagery and metaphors. There were some words that I hadn't even heard before and this left me wondering if John Banville always writes like this or if this was part of the character in the novel. I will be trying his other books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Aniko | 2/10/2014

    " Although the story itself was somewhat interesting (though even that, only moderately), I found the language unbearably pompous. As if Banville was embellishing every single sentence only for the sake of showing off the impressive active vocab he has at his command. Less would often be much more... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mirko | 2/8/2014

    " Not my typical genre - liked it though... "

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