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Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Full Cast and Crew. A couple tries to repair their marriage while staying at a hotel in France.
Angelina Jolie as Angelina Jolie Pitt. Flamethrowers, WrestleMania, and Dwayne Johnson. Movies to watch from Share this Rating Title: By the Sea 5.
Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. User Polls Most Anticipated Film: Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Dress Shop Saleswoman Sarah Naudi Grocery Clerk Aldo Buontempo Hotel Receptionist Malcolm Beethans Older Couple Kathleen Beethans Older Couple Bjorn Kubin Edit Storyline Set in France during the mids, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together.
When we die on the inside, the outside is left wandering dangerously by the sea. Dolby Digital Dolby Surround 7. Edit Did You Know?
Trivia Director and writer Angelina Jolie about the period setting: Goofs When Vanessa is in the bathtub as Roland describes what is happening in the neighboring room, Vanessa is shown with the water level just above her nipples, then shown resting her head on the edge of the tub and sinking a little lower.
A few seconds later, during which her head has not moved, the water level is a couple inches below her nipples when it ought to be an inch or so above them.
He makes constant allusions to his acquired humility and wisdom but he comes across throughout the book as largely ignorant and arrogant.
Because Max is present The narrator of The Sea is an odious man. Because Max is presented as a mediocrity with artistic pretensions I was often perplexed how seriously Banville wanted us to take the rarefied outpourings of his sensibility.
At times it seemed like the ambition of this novel was to write as many pretty sentences as possible rather than a novel.
You could save yourself time by simply reading all the favourite quotes here rather than the entire novel without missing very much.
Like I said I was never sure if he was sending up his character by making a lot of his lofty musings deliberately vacuous, of no consequence whatsoever.
Neither did it explain anything. The Sea might be described as a grumpy meditation on growing old. I much preferred The Untouchables which had a plot, a sense of purpose Banville could embroider with his elegant prose.
View all 33 comments. Jun 04, Agnieszka rated it it was amazing Shelves: The past beats inside me like a second heart. Max Morden had met once gods.
They came in the guise of Grace family. Father, noisy lecherous satyr. Mother, oozing sensuality indolent goddess, will become his first erotic fascination.
Chloe, very mature for her age, feisty girl with rather strong personality and Myles, shy and impish boy. There was Rose yet, nanny or governess, a sad nymph holding a secret in her heart.
They rented at the seaside a summer house, called The Cedars. And no The past beats inside me like a second heart. And now, half a century later, widowed and lonely Max is in that place again.
I was always a distinct no-one whose fiercest wish was to be an indistinct someone as he disarmingly admits. He takes a room in the Cedars but memory plays tricks on him.
Everything has changed though seems to be the same and invariant. Only the sea appears to be unchangeable. What is he looking for here?
Alleviation, calm, death, answer, missing piece of the puzzle? This memorable summer, painted with golden sun and inky shadow, creates the first plan of the novel.
Just then Max had gained this sad knowledge that there is always a lover and a loved and which role he would be playing in that act.
There is another plan as well also given in flashbacks. These two plans are mixing alternately with his present stay at the seaside. Such is the nature of memory that one recollection leads to another gradually unveiling more and more from our past and showing intimate image of our life.
The sea then, with its tides, is a record of that process, coming to terms with loss, dismantling of memory, family, love, past. And concluding paragraph is profoundly purifying.
I do not remember well that day when the gods departed. But I know where I can find them now. They remain incessantly like insects caught in a drop of resin, like the blades of grass trapped in the amber.
They possessed for good this mythical land, that distant Arcadia of my childhood. And I believe that still have the key to that land.
View all 21 comments. Mar 07, Kathy rated it it was ok Shelves: The Sea really bugged me. The plot of the book, such as it is, finds middle-aged Max Morden retiring to a rented house by the sea, near the "chalets" where he spent his boyhood summers, The Sea really bugged me.
And besides, my book is filled with Beautiful Prose. Perhaps my favorite novel of the last thirty years Gilead relies more on character than on plot.
In the passage, Morden describes the photographs his terminally ill amateur-photographer wife has taken of fellow hospital patients -- all of whom have, apparently cheerfully, consented to expose their scars, wounds, and afflictions for the sake of.
I got stuck, as I read this passage, trying to figure out why the people in the photographs had agreed to present their private suffering in so public a fashion.
Then I realized they were props, placed on stage to be rearranged and remarked upon, to give the leading man something to do while he wows us with his method acting.
He makes him live again. It was, he says, "as if nothing had happened. Jan 19, Darwin8u rated it it was amazing Shelves: The first was given to me by a girl I liked in HS, but never got around to reading it or dating her.
I was finally inspired or moved? It was nearly perfect. It is easy to borrow images and allusions from other critics. It is a snap to fit the Banville piece in the puzzle among his Irish peers piers?
It is easy to play the literary cousin game and compare Banville to Proust or Nabokov or Henry James. These things are all true. They are also all fictions and obvious short cuts.
Two Man Bookers by Irish novelists about drowning, death and memory. I gave up when I ran out of markers.
The edge of the book looked like a colorful Stegosaurus with markers dancing up and down the pages. It is VERY rare that a writer can actually write about sex without making me want to run from the room.
They either make it too clinical like a doctor popping zits or too silly like the cover of a romance novel or too ethereal like clouds copulating.
Joyce could do it. Nabokov could do it. View all 19 comments. Mar 13, Seemita rated it really liked it Shelves: The silence about me was heavy as the sea.
Sitting by the sea, I am trying hard to evade the embrace of camphoric memories that hover schemingly, stroked by the amorous waves.
Often this colossal sapphire vial of solitude, seduced by a flicker of cuprous sky or a kiss of the timorous breeze, changes colour and instead of heaping balms of comfort, loathes me with a vision so sharp that a part of me detaches with a vile force and travels into the dense, supine but thorny gardens of bygone land.
And then begins a passionate journey between these two warriors who might belong to the same clan but having grown under two vastly different masters, have acquired their traits — past and present do not let any pupil off easily.
In present , he checks into a prime room that oversees the jeweled crust of the sea-line, enameled with stony webs and insensitive tourists.
In past , this epoch room was one with his vision of infinite pool, sinking in whose bosom with an acerbic joy was his indomitable dream. In present , he gingerly maneuvers the kitchen maze and noiselessly slips into the dining chair with a cerebral ray of sunlight keeping him painfully agile.
In past , that very table held his lean legs and strong arms to heighten his nubile passion for Mrs. Grace and idolatrous love for Mrs.
As the gusts of past hurl at the present , heavy boulders of questions, flanked by incredulity and guilt, the present retaliates with a torrid shower of indifference and futility, armed with occasional pelting of tranquil hailstones.
The crystal clear mirror that his life had become was merciless in throwing his reflections which neither seemed to fit the past mantle nor could adorn the present portico.
But despite such denouncement, Morden keeps the mirror in utmost care, as if his life depended on it. And that is no surprise.
We all have a small box, tucked carefully under a bed or inside an old cupboard, whose only purpose in our lives is to reshuffle it.
And no part which plays that part is ever worth giving up. So, it beseeches the stormy nights when we witnessed our cold hearts and we let it; it invokes those blinding days when our burning pursuits ensnarled us and we let it; it inspires us with unbelievable vignettes of our audacity; it vanquishes us with equally unbelievable imprints of our timidity.
Its flickering pulse does enough to keep our life monitors active and we simply take solace in the fact that it adorns our life; much like a vintage clock that does not show the right time any more but the time it shows cannot be displayed by any modern timepiece.
I return my glance to the sea and wonder if it ever felt the need to demerge past and present to keep the belligerent duo from infiltrating the fragile fabric of human heart that comes to its arms in search of aching succor.
Has this not always been my aim, is this not, indeed, the secret aim of all of us, to be no longer flesh but transformed utterly into a gossamer of un-suffering spirit?
View all 49 comments. This book is narrated by Max, a man with childhood memories of time spent by the sea, with a family that greatly influenced him.
Max has recently lost his wife, and goes back to the place by the sea where the childhood memories took place. View all 27 comments. The title says it all: No, the main point of this novel is the sea.
The sea and the tides, the sea and its threat, the sea and its beauty, the sea and its sounds. After the death of his wife, Max returns to the scene of his childhood, a summer in particular.
He made friends with a neighboring family: Everything The title says it all: Everything is going well, almost.
John Banville delicately captures the little things that break the apparent harmony, a sleeping woman, a girl a little too far away, an unexpected confidence.
And the drama we feel is not the one we believe. A novel to be tasted softly, of great sensitivity, which makes you want to discover the other books of the author.
But of course this was bad in entirely more ambitious, pretentious ways than Frey could ever achieve. Numerous times, Banville shows a sudden amnesia for common objects, which comes off as implausible after he has put so much attention showing off his knowledge.
An example was his not knowing a common tree: And what is that tool we use to record our thoughts? I had the distinct sense Banville wrote this with a thesaurus in one hand and his cock in the other I apologize to younger readers of this review.
What shocked me was that, when I looked up all four definitions of one word, not one of them made sense in the context in which it was used, and it was not a term that could possibly be used as a symbol or metaphor, due to the specific nature of the word.
Unfortunately, I forget which it was, but for a while, Frank and I did have a game of testing our memory of the various words Banville used.
So the book ended on a high note of grief? So that the book of loose ends is tied up and made whole? What was most surprising was that, when I picked up "Christine Falls," which Banville felt it necessary to publish under the name Benjamin Black dare his reputation as a serious writer be tarnished, I discovered he could in fact write properly and engagingly without the above devices.
Does that point to my having more common tastes? I trust my intelligence enough to say that this discovery merely points to the fact that Banville has lost sight of what "impressive writing" is.
View all 16 comments. When Max Morden returns to the coastal town where he spent a holiday in his youth he is both escaping from a recent loss and confronting a distant trauma.
The Grace family appear that long ago summer as if from another world. Drawn to the Grace twins, Chloe and Myles, Max soon finds himself entangled in their lives, which are as seductive as they are unsettling.
What ensues will haunt him for the rest of his years and shape everything that is to follo Real Rating: What ensues will haunt him for the rest of his years and shape everything that is to follow.
John Banville is one of the most sublime writers working in the English language. Utterly compelling, profoundly moving and illuminating, The Sea is quite possibly the best thing he has ever written.
The experience of reading Banville is akin to the experience of going to a whole museum dedicated to Renoir or Monet: At first, the awestruck lip-smacking chin-drooling moaning of readerly joy: They departed, the gods, on the day of the strange tide.
All morning under a milky sky the waters in the bay had swelled and swelled, rising to unheard-of heights, the small waves creeping over parched sand that for years had known no wetting save for rain and lapping the very bases of the dunes.
The rusted hulk of the freighter that had run aground at the far end of the bay longer ago than any of us could remember must have thought it was being granted a relaunch.
I would not swim again, after that day. The seabirds mewled and swooped, unnerved, it seemed, by the spectacle of that bowl of water bulging like a blister, lead-blue and malignantly agleam.
There is a great change coming, there is something to contrast this soft and lovely tone, this unsettling beauty, this pastry cream in a pool of custard frosted with whipped cream with.
Could we, could I, have done otherwise? Could I have lived differently? Of course I could, but I did not, and therein lies the absurdity of even asking.
Anyway, where are the paragons of authenticity against whom my concocted self might be measured? In those final bathroom paintings that Bonnard did of the septuagenarian Marthe he was still depicting her as the teenager he had thought she was when he first met her.
Why should I demand more veracity of vision of myself than of a great and tragic artist? One longs for a smudge of dirt on the painting, or a misplaced modifier in the sentence, or even no modifier at all.
No indeed, there is no surcease, and therefore there is surfeit. Now if the assembled company will pardon me, I am off to eat plain zweiback, drink tap water, and stare at a blank wall for a while, until my senses are defatted.
View all 9 comments. It cries within like a whimpering child as if it is made purely of emotions, and it roars in insurmountable outrage at the shore which is in a constant tussle to bind it.
But it also retreats like a capricious child and sometimes shimmers like a model posing for a portrait. Not only in the photographs, but also in our lives it acts as a backdrop, tailoring a distinct bookmark for each of our memories.
Or so it happened with Max Morden and his implacable past that beat in him like a second heart. For, when we are in the mind of a character and sifting through his memories anachronistically, we only see the still images speaking to us from various corners.
For example, An old empty eatery by the sea with sun rays slashing through an open window as if trying to brighten the somber air and a gush of wind pushing a stray piece of paper across the floor for someone to pick up and make a conversation.
Such are the images I am left with after putting this book down. I found answers to certain questions in the form of crude revelations as if I always knew them but never thought of them in such a pristine manner.
She looked out at the trees a while and then turned back to me again and smiled again and patted my hand. We were human beings, after all.
And when Max tries to explain how his identity was defined through his wife in a relative way like a rose is red only for the eyes that sees it, or like if a tree falls in a forest, the sound is heard only by the dwellers and no one else.
He also made me realize that memory is quite precarious, it gains its strength only by retelling or reminiscing. It also has an element of fantasy with the actual which makes it a little iffy because it vanishes or amends itself whilst encountering the reality again.
But most of all, it most assuredly has a character of its own, like a person living in our heads. This day when I find myself indulged so completely in my memories and how similarly or differently I look at them as compared to Max, I realize the multitudes of spaces, dimensions, emotions, and time that we are capable of traversing and transcending.
It is truly overwhelming. Jul 22, Jay rated it really liked it Recommended to Jay by: Man Booker Winner. When my wife died suddenly in from a cerebral aneurysm, one of the things that I did in the wake of her death was to begin to reconnect with people and places that had meaning both for us as a couple and for me alone.
In many cases, I ended up returning to places from my own childhood and reconnecting with people whom I had not contacted for years. Both the process itself and the actual reconnections to past places and friends helped me cope with the loss.
It also activated memories that I When my wife died suddenly in from a cerebral aneurysm, one of the things that I did in the wake of her death was to begin to reconnect with people and places that had meaning both for us as a couple and for me alone.
It also activated memories that I had either forgotten or had feared I would be unable to recall. For Max Morden, the journey to his past was certainly more focused.
And his reawakening memories swirled around a family, the Graces, he had met during a single summer when he was around 11 years old.
For Max, mystery and tragedy were deeply embedded in his youthful past. At one point, toward the end of the novel, Max reflects: There are times, they occur with increasing frequency nowadays, when I seem to know nothing, when everything I did know seems to have fallen out of my mind like a shower of rain, and I am gripped for a moment in paralyzed dismay, waiting for it all to come back but with no certainty that it will.
That feeling I know well. I more generally read fiction to open up new horizons for me, new worlds—to help me see and understand with the eyes of others the world around me.
The Sea , however, was a far more personal adventure: Here Max describes a moment when he and the Graces are at the beach: The sand around me with the sun strong on it gave off its mysterious, catty smell.
Out on the bay a white sail shivered and flipped to leeward and for a second the world tilted. Someone away down the beach was calling to someone else.
A wire-haired ginger dog. The sail turned to windward again and I heard distinctly from across the water the ruffle and snap of the canvas. Then the breeze dropped and for a moment all went still.
Banville fills his novel with the kinds of descriptions that pull the reader directly into the story, seeing, hearing and smelling with the protagonist.
Banville, as Ted Gioia emphasizes in his review of The Sea , also builds his story with words that will send most readers to a dictionary: It is that use of an elegantly mature vocabulary that seems to off put many readers.
He is clearly in his selection of words not an Ernest Hemingway. But he is a different type of stylist than Hemingway. Reading The Sea is not effortless.
View all 13 comments. The world is not real until it is pushed through the mesh of language. It is a way of validating reality for myself.
There are enough outstanding reviews about this book on GR. With a lack of literary background and English linguistic skills, I will merely express my simple opinion of an outstanding read.
An utterly contemporary novel that nonetheless could only have come from a mind steeped in the history of the novel and deeply reflective about what makes fiction still worthwhile.
John Banville deserves his Booker Prize. His fourteenth novel, The Sea, has so many beautifully constructed sentences that every few pages something cries out to be underlined.
He cannot write an unpolished phrase, so we read him slowly, relishing the stream of pleasures he affords. An elderly grieving man, Max Morden, recalls his childhood memories, after the passing of his wife.
But it was the events at their holiday bungalow one fateful year, that inspired him many years later to revisit the place where he was forced to become a man long before he was destined to be one.
The prose is lyrical, often poetical. With a brutal honesty he recalls the events with a dollop of wry, dark humor in between.
Since most reviewers approach the novel with an intellectual savoir fair , or academic onslaught, to keep the experience as sterile as possible, a vital component of the tale is missed - the emotional investment of both the characters and the readers.
I read this book subjectively. I was emotionally involved, like I was with the other lonely old curmudgeons in novels such as: Max Morden is in conversation with himself.
Therefore, his thoughts and words are devoid of any pretentiousness, or social decoupage. Like our own thoughts and words when we hit our fingers with a hammer, or look in a mirror and despise what we see.
We all pretend to be someone we are not until such time when we have to confront ourselves, or acknowledge our other side.
All the protagonists in the books mentioned above, have one thing in common: Misunderstood, they are, and often curmudgeon as a result.
Banvilles protagonists are all men. In an interview he explained that they all forged a new persona for themselves hiding behind masks and when a crisis or catastrophe occurs in their lives, they feel exposed, and start to look for places, solid ground, to stand on, some place where they themselves, or some versions of themselves, will be real; where they stop to even in old age feel like delinquent boys.
The Cedars was such a place for Max Morden. It was the place where he met his friends Chloe and Myles Grace, with their parents Carlo and Constance, and their nanny, Rose.
It was the place where children used laughter as a neutralizing force to tame terror. Here is a few quotes from the book in which either his vulnerabilities, or sense of humor shows: This can only be considered a joke in bad taste on the part of polyglot fate.
It could have been worse. Now inside it the door opened and an elderly young woman appeared and stopped behind the glass and considered me warily.
Who in these parts would have conferred on their child a name so delicately vernal? The woman dips her fingertips in the font, mingling traces of tenacious love-juice with the holy water.
Under their Sunday best their thighs chafe in remembered delight. They kneel, not minding the mournfully reproachful gaze the statue of their Saviour fixes on them from the cross.
Yes, I was that kind of boy. Or better say, there is part of me still that is the kind of boy that I was then. A little brute, in other words, with a filthy mind.
As if there were any other sort. We never grow up. I never did, anyway. What a vessel of sadness we are, sailing in this muffled silence through the autumn dark.
Or I might retire into a monastery, pass my days in quiet contemplation of the infinite, or write a great treatise there, a vulgate of the dead.
My life seemed to be passing before me, not in a flash as it is said to do for those about to drown, but in a sort of leisurely convulsion, emptying itself of its secrets and its quotidian mysteries in preparation for the moment when I must step into the black boat on the shadowed river with the coin of passage cold in my already coldening hand.
Like many famous authors, John Banville used pathetic fallacies to set the tone of the events. Outside, a uniformly white sky sat sulkily immobile.
An extremely slow-moving plot is built around a mystery. The denouement comes as a huge surprise. It lead me to the conclusion that the author knew exactly how to play his readers.
So yes, it is a brilliant winner of the Man Booker Prize A literary piece of art. He is outspoken and to the point in both his personal life and novels.
But it is also a deeply humane story if you want to skip an academic analysis and delve into the core of the characters. There is a highly successful evil darker persona, says Banville, behind the writer Benjamin Black.
Banville is compared to Kafka and Dostoevsky. Wikipedia describes his writing style as Recognised for his precise, cold, forensic prose style, Nabokovian inventiveness, and for the dark humour of his generally arch narrators, Banville is considered to be "one of the most imaginative literary novelists writing in the English language today.
These interviews shed more light on John Banville as writer, as gentle romantic, and human being. View all 23 comments. L F Ordered last copy from Amazon.
Sitting on my bed stand will start this afternoon. I hope you enjoy it! Jul 20, Duane rated it really liked it Shelves: This review may contain spoilers.
Max Morden, recently widowed and father of a grown daughter, has traveled back to the sea, back to the seaside property that was the scene of a tragic event some fifty odd years ago.
He would remember meeting the Grace family and becoming emotionally attached to the mother, Mrs. Grace, and to falling in love with her daughter Chloe.
This is my first Banville book and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The prose was so flowing and beautiful, although slightly above my reading level.
Dec 18, Laysee rated it really liked it. The Sea by John Banville began with an enigmatic mention of an unforgettable day in the life of the narrator, Max Morden.
My reactions to this book that won the Man Booker Prize in were strangely lukewarm. I admired it for its impeccable prose, sensitive handling of overwhelming emotions, and traces of wry humor.
I was, uncharitably, impatient with the slow unravelling of The Sea by John Banville began with an enigmatic mention of an unforgettable day in the life of the narrator, Max Morden.
Perhaps, if I had read this book while on vacation at some soothing seaside resort, I might have felt differently.
The story moved back and forth between the present, the distant past and the more recent past, a narrative style that demanded concentration.
Max returned to Cedars to cope with bereavement and live in the present. Further back in his memory were carefree summers spent with the Grace family at the Cedars: There was a reason why these memories were co-mingled but you had to wait to the end to find out.
Max, the narrator, was hard to like. The other characters did not fare any better although their physical traits and idiosyncrasies were captured with extraordinary vividness.
Arrived home, we sat outside the house in the car for a long time, loath of venturing in upon the known, saying nothing, strangers to ourselves and each other as we suddenly were… I marvelled, not for the first time, at the cruel complacency of ordinary things.
But no, not cruel, not complacent, only indifferent, as how could they be otherwise? It was so much then 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.
All brims, brackish and shining. Water-beads break and fall in a silver string from the tip of an oar. I see the black ship in the distance, looming imperceptibly nearer at every instant.
The Sea is my first novel by John Banville, another Irish writer whose work I wish to read more of in the new year.
View all 24 comments. Alla fine cosa potevo fare? Valutare il libro una stella e scrivere un commento che esternasse il profondo schifo che mi aveva suscitato la lettura?
Il libro si regge su una portante malinconica, su un ostinato sottofondo di tristezza dovuta principalmente alla lenta elaborazione di un lutto.
Il protagonista rivede la sua vita passando in continuazione tra la sua infanzia, il suo presente, il suo passato prossimo con un effetto molto coinvolgente, ma solo a patto di cogliere quella portante dolorosa di cui accennavo prima.
Un libro bellissimo, se letto nel momento giusto. Banville uses a lot of intricate prose but it really struggled to take off for the first half of the book.
The story is centred on Max Morden who returns to the seaside holiday village where he had spent time in his childhood. During his childhood stays he got close to a family who was also staying there but in a more privileged position than Max.
As usual for a teenage boy he enjoys the closeness of his new found friends, Myles and Chloe, but a more unusual relationship is had with the mother, Mrs.
Max finds himself becoming quite infatuated with her although his teenage love remains unrequited and mostly unknown. Over time he moves his attention to Chloe who eventually becomes his girlfriend.
The Sea rocks between the present and passed as once again Max is visiting but now in his adult years. He reflects upon his life in the town thirty years ago and the similarities to what has happened in his life in recent times.
To make the whole experience complete he comes to stay in the same house that his friends, the Grace family, stayed.
As the story unravels it picks up the pace in the interest stakes and becomes quite a tragic tale, both for Max in the past and for Max at present.
John Banville can mesmerize with he prose and in some cases, I feel it is a little overdone. It builds the scene for the first half of the book and I found it quite slow but admit it was worth the read in the end.
Mar 28, Steve rated it liked it. You get your fill of that with this one. Hell, the main character is named Max Morden, so what do you expect?
Unfortunately, the better written an elegiac novel is, the sadder it seems. This one got him a Booker Prize, so, lit cred out the wazoo, right?
I love playing the lowbrow in the face of such splendid erudition. Actually, I can see how highbrows might value The Sea for its craft.
It had sentences with lots of commas and a discernably tuneful cadence. It was structured well, too, switching often among settings: The atmosphere was dense in a foggy sort of way.
Apr 03, Michael rated it liked it Shelves: In the face of so many sublime reviews of this book I come up short.
After the loss of his wife, Max comes adrift and seeks some kind of fertilization from visiting the seaside town of holidays in his childhood.
Nice immersion in people and memories, but ultimately the book came off as too bland as Max had too little at stake, too little impetus to reshape his vision of the world, and not enough angst to take real risks.
The Sea by John Banville 3 16 Jan 18, The Sea 1 6 Apr 03, John Banville - A short parody 1 36 Apr 07, Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland. His father worked in a garage and died when Banville was in his early thirties; his mother was a housewife.
He is the youngest of three siblings; his older brother Vincent is also a novelist and has written under the name Vincent Lawrence as well as his own.
Despite having intended to be a painter and an architect he did not attend university. Banville has described this as "A great mistake.
I should have gone. I regret not taking that four years of getting drunk and falling in love.
The soft and loud of it. Comedian ISMO on what separates a boot from a trunk. How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts.
Huddle around your screen. Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way. Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram. Other Words from sea sea adjective.
Synonyms for sea Synonyms blue , brine , deep , Neptune , ocean , seven seas Visit the Thesaurus for More. Examples of sea in a Sentence the seas of the Southern Hemisphere millions of plants and animals live in the sea.
Recent Examples on the Web Hers is fuller: The Sweat and Cries of Humankind," 11 Jan. Smith, Ars Technica , "The skulls of ancient pearl divers come with abnormal ear canal bone growths," 28 Dec.
First Known Use of sea before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a. Learn More about sea. Sit or lie somewhere comfortable, quiet, and dark.
Then remember or imagine touches: Now add sights and sounds: You can see and hear and feel it all. But smell and taste?
Think of a favourite food siu mai. You can see it, you can feel its texture, and hear the sound as you bite into it. But can you describe, let alone experience its taste and smell?
Back to the book Max and Alex narrate in exactly the same rambling, occasionally introspective, self-centred, curmudgeonly, largely guilt-free, and invariably misogynistic voice.
The writing is sweet and sour. There would be no other way to live with death. His muteness was a pervasive and cloying emanation.
As an art historian, Max is familiar with touching up portraits: They both have a problematic daughter, referred to by two names beginning with C.
Both had, or fantasised about, a youthful relationship with a mother figure, the similarly named Mrs Grace and Mrs Gray. And in this case, the inadvertent temptress even offers him an apple.
Most importantly, both have past and present tragedies, and revisit the former to understand and cope with the latter. The ending is rushed too many events and revelations and I do not like Max or Alex - to the extent I almost wonder why I like these books: I liked in particular… the cheesy tang in the crevices of her elbows and knees… In general she gave off… a flattish, fawnish odour, like that which comes out of, which used to come out of, empty biscuit tins in shop.
Being here is just a way of not being anywhere. Only they were in my way, obscuring my view of the future. In time I would be able to see right through them, my transparent parents.
Now and then a breeze from outside would wander in absent-mindedly. She accepted me as a supplicant at her shrine with disconcerting complacency… Her willful vagueness tormented and infuriated me.
Originally recommended by Dolors, in relation to The Sense of an Ending. Her review of this is here: View all 62 comments. Jun 09, BlackOxford rated it really liked it Shelves: The Depths of Vocabulary John Banville loves words just as they are.
Words like losel, and finical, gleet, scurf, bosky, cinerial, and merd that will really screw up your spell-checker. Add his ability to put these words together in velvet sentences, and combine sentences into exquisite narrative, and voila: Inspired by Henry James?
Very possibly, particularly by The Turn of the Screw and its permanent mystery. Nonetheless, uniquely and unmistakeably Banville. View all 40 comments.
Dec 02, Robin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Nude in the Bath and Small Dog, Pierre Bonnard, What has this luminous painting of a female bather to do with a book called "The Sea", you might ask?
More than you might think. We can see by virtue of the recognisable images of female form and bathtub, the general gist of the painting.
But the image goe Nude in the Bath and Small Dog, Pierre Bonnard, What has this luminous painting of a female bather to do with a book called "The Sea", you might ask?
The moment is almost certainly of a younger Marthe, though. These memories and images are as elusive, as distorted, as tricky as the painting.
But when brought together, they capture the luminosity, pain and newness of a pivotal summer in his youth. His aching melancholy is always felt, an aging man who can only look back and piece together as best he can, a story that is at once innocent and vaguely sinister.
This exploration of memory, grief and loss washes over you with many waves, dragging you under to the murky depths. Reading John Banville is like gazing at a painting.
His poetic style is incredibly evocative and visual. He brings his readers to the scene, right up close to his subjects.
We can smell their breath, we can see the little imperfections. At the same time, we are not entirely sure how this person got there, were they wearing a blue dress or a floral one?
He meanders between past and present, revealing just enough, a trail of literary breadcrumbs. Each brushstroke works with the next to complete the story.
This Booker Prize winner is gorgeous, a masterpiece, delineating the difference between literature and just plain fiction. View all 57 comments.
Drowning in the grief which comes with the vast and ruthless sea of loss, he decides to seclude himself in the little coastal village where he spent his summers as a boy.
A flood of unavoidab "And I, who timidly hate life, fear death with fascination. A flood of unavoidable memories charged with haunted emotion and digressive meditations recreate that dreamy atmosphere that only childhood can nurture.
New found memories which serve to wash away his conflicting emotions between the impotence of witnessing life quietly fading away and the cruel complacency of ordinary things allowing death to happen indifferently.
We are human beings after all. And the guilt and the anger and the violence which come after our beloved have been irrevocably usurped from us, leaving us alone with all that self-disgust, with no one to save us from ourselves, hating them, the gone, even more.
Banville threads a complex pattern between the gratuitous dramas of memory, past traumas and an intolerable present which engages in eternal conflict with the enduring intensity of the natural world which, with all its ruthless beauty and nonchalance, mocks at our human insignificance.
Memories may say nothing but they are never silent , pulling and pushing, futilely turned the wrong way, urging us to be drowned and get lost in them, never to return.
But somehow these little vessels of sadness, these sinking boats we all are, sailing in muffled silence in this hollow sea of impotence and disregard, manage to catch the smooth rolling swells coming from the deeps only to be lifted and carried away towards the shore as if nothing had happened.
And as our feet touch the ground we realize that our lives have been, in spite of everything, in spite of ourselves, acts of pure love and only for that, they are worth living.
View all 93 comments. May 17, Lizzy rated it really liked it Shelves: Night, and everything so quiet, as if there were no one, not even myself.
I cannot hear the sea, which on other nights rumbles and growls, now near grating, now afar and faint. I do not want to be alone like this.
Why have you not come back to haunt me? Is the least I would have expected of you. Why this silence day after day, night after interminable night?
It is like a fog, this silence of yours. An infinite weave of contemplative and melancholic fee Night, and everything so quiet, as if there were no one, not even myself.
An infinite weave of contemplative and melancholic feelings of a man lost in his sufferings. It is about the impossibility of hope; the harshness of loss, and the inescapability of pain.
A convulsive probe into the past, it revisits times gone by that sets it all adrift. Constant guilt for what could not have been changed, accounts of resentments, and the restraints and combat of a man to the intimacy of grief.
All coupled with constant images and metaphors of a turbulent and immeasurable sea. There were things of course the boy that I was then would not have allowed himself to foresee, in his eager anticipations, even if he had been able.
The story is narrated by Max, a retired art critic, who is mourning the death of his wife, Anna, and now living at The Cedars, which he remembers from his youth.
Whether recalling those days when he lived with his family in more modest surroundings and gawked eagerly into the house and its inhabitants, the Graces.
John Banville impresses with his beautiful, splendid and brittle writing. His protagonist Max is governed by his whims, which twists and weakens before its sorrowfulness, his mourning, the sutures of old dislikes, and the trace of his fossilized tears.
These days I must take the world in small and carefully measured doses, it is a sort of homeopathic cure I am undergoing, though I am not certain what this cure is meant to mend.
Perhaps I am learning to live among the living again. But no, that is not it. Among meditations on losses and presages of death, we encounter once in a while a specter of happiness, might we dream of hope?
Like the sun that steals a chance to come through on an overcast and dark sky, with its rays reflecting alluringly in the tumultuous sea.
How does Banville present us with a scene not so wistful, how can he, amidst so such melancholy, bring up moments of joy? His only escape is through remembrances of a long gone past: Those moments invariably invoke the sea with its vastness and its depths, along with its mysterious personal allure.
Still that day of license and illicit invitation was not done. Grace, stretched there on the grassy bank, continued softly snoring, a torpor descended on the rest of us in that little dell, the invisible net of lassitude that falls over a company when one of its number detaches and drops away into sleep.
Suddenly she was the centre of the scene, the vanishing-point upon which everything converged, suddenly it was she for whom these patterns and these shades had been arranged with such meticulous artlessness: All is not darkness; the memories bring back those long ago days of lightness.
Thus, there are furtive moments of carefree recollection that appear to console our protagonist: Happiness was different in childhood.
It was so much a matter of simply of accumulation, of taking things - new experiences, new emotions - and applying them like so many polished tiles to what would someday be the marvelously finished pavilion of the self.
I have always loved the sea with its ever changing tides and undercurrents, and its massive waters always invoked sentiments of peace or turbulence in me; never of melancholy and sorrow.
Thus, Banville through Max seems to view a different sea from mine. No matter what sea we contemplate: Could a more austere sea invoke the sentiments Max tells us in his narrative?
No, I do not think it comes from the sea but from inside. However, there are rare moments of peace and hopefulness, even if short lived. And ultimately he returns to his sufferings and the loss that so ravaged him.
We forgave each other for all that we were not. What more could be expected, in this vale of torments and tears?
Do not look so worried, Anna said, I hated you, too, a little, we were human beings, after all. Yet for all that, I cannot rid myself of the convictions that we missed something, that I missed something, only I do not know what it might have been.
Thus, Anna tried to liberate Max of his guilt. Yes, we are allowed to hate those we love; and if we can hate is solely because we loved. However, Max was not ready to give up on his guilt that still hangs on together with his memories of Anna.
Still drowning in his grief, from his hard and recent loss, we read and feel for its inevitability, like the tide that stops for nothing, and Max unavoidable memories hurt and haunt him.
His memories only escalate his sentiment of gloom and remorse. I have to confess that this was one of the scattered moments where I read more than the beauty of Banville well-chosen words; his suffering with the loss of his wife touched me deeply.
I sat in the bay of the window and watched the day darken. Bare trees across the road were black against the last flares of the setting sun, and the rooks in a raucous flock were wheeling and dropping, settling disputatiously for the night.
I was thinking of Anna. I make myself think of her, I do it as an exercise. She is lodged in me like a knife and yet I am beginning to forget her.
However, Max not ready yet to let Anna go, calls for her in his immense sadness, like a sinking boat that is missing the saving grace of a gracious wind that picks up on the waves of forgetfulness, which would push him to a safe shore and acceptance.
Yes, I was carried away by his lyricism and kept going between quotes. Banville mostly gives us poetry in prose.
There was no storyline, no plot and it worked perfectly. I ended loving it for its poetry but not loving it so much for his characters.
Yes, Max is not the kind of protagonist I appreciate. Yes, the themes are explored to the fullest. Yes, Banville tells his tale alluringly, with a delightful language that few writers can glue together.
His insights are certainly great literature. But it left me wanting more, wanting a protagonist I could fully comprehend and grasp.
Perhaps it is not so terrible to be left wanting more, hence do not judge me harshly for my dissatisfaction.
View all 38 comments. Jun 08, Fabian rated it really liked it. I just have to say it: The narrator chronicles, basically, two points in his life which left him devastated.
His first ever, and his latest, all revolve around the I just have to say it: He meditates on the last one of these presages of death, that looming event itself, so final and sad—and the end really is like dynamite.
The poetry which had been glimpsed at before creates a lasting impact on the reader at its speedy conclusion. Here is a paramount example of how the ending makes the book.
View all 8 comments. Oct 05, Will Byrnes rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
To view it, click here. This is a Booker Prize winner. The language in this short novel is very, very rich, evocative and annoyingly, sent me to the dictionary far too many times for comfort.
Banville is just showing off, descending into literary affectation perhaps. Two time-lines interweave as Max, a retired art critic, now living at The Cedars, a grand house of note from his youth, recalls those days when he lived with his family in much more modest surroundings and peered longingly into this place.
Of course, it wa This is a Booker Prize winner. Of course, it was not wealth per se that drew his 11 year old interest, but the presence of The Graces, not a religious fascination, but a family.
A pan-like, goatish father, Carlo, an earth mother, Constance, white-haired and thus summoning Children of the Damned notions twins, a strange mute boy, Myles, who is sometimes comedic and sometimes sinister, a maybe-sociopathic girl, Chloe, and another girl, Rose, who appeared to be a mere friend, but was their governess.
That this is left unclear for much of the book seems odd. Young Max enjoys the social step up he gets by hanging out with the twins, and is quite willing to go along with their cruelties to subservient locals, but is most taken with Constance Grace, pining for her in an awakening sexual way, until, of course, his heart, or some bodily part, is stolen by Chloe.
There is a scent here of Gatsby-ish longing, and Max is indeed a social climber. Death figures very prominently in The Sea. I will spare you the final death scene, but Max does indeed cope with death, the passing of his wife, Anna, contemplation of his own ultimate demise and how death, as personified by the sea, not only affected his life, but seems always with us.
This is I suppose a novel of coming and going of age. Banville is quite fond of deitific references, finding a different god or goddess for each of his characters.
And his art-critic narrator sprinkles the narration with references to paintings. Sadly for me, I am completely unfamiliar with the works noted, so may have missed key references.
Max is not a nice person. I was almost satisfied with the ending, which recalls the most significant event of his youth, but I felt that it left unsatisfactorily unexplained the reasons for its occurrence.
I was also frustrated by the slowness of the book. Although it is a short novel, it seemed to take a long time to get going.
And the central characters do not call out for any of us to relate to them. All that said, while I might not award it a Booker, I would recommend it.
The language is sublime tote a dictionary while you read. You will need it. View all 18 comments. Oct 06, Jim Fonseca rated it it was amazing Shelves: A gentleman reflects on his life, especially his youth, after the death of his wife.
He returns to the formative landscape of his childhood, a modest seaside town and inn in Ireland. It is also the site of the formative tragedy of his childhood.
In effect, we have a coming-of-age novel as reflected upon in later life. Instead of the psychological depth of Danish author Jens Grondahl reflecting on his marriage in Silence in October, we get lush descriptions and beautiful turns of phrase.
Thoughtf A gentleman reflects on his life, especially his youth, after the death of his wife. Thoughtful, slow reading; a treasure with many lines to savor.
View all 10 comments. Sep 16, Vessey rated it really liked it Recommended to Vessey by: I wish to thank my wonderful friend Seemita, who is truly an amazing reviewer, for inspiring me to read this book.
It is a special kind of language. The language of the dead, of those long gone, of the forgotten, the misunderstood, the hurt, the mad and, sometimes, the content.
What do they tell me? What does silence tell me? What does it tell Max Morden? It tells him a story. The story of his life.
It embraces him, caresses him, whispers to hi I wish to thank my wonderful friend Seemita, who is truly an amazing reviewer, for inspiring me to read this book.
It embraces him, caresses him, whispers to him of everyone and everything lost. He holds on to it. It is his only companion, his only friend, the lover that will never tire of him.
It is his secret path to a better world. The world of the past. He knows and understands it like he has never known and understood anybody, including himself.
I know so little of myself, how should I think to know another? Has he truly wanted to? The past or the present? And when we cannot find refuge in the past, the present is painful, the future unattainable, unimaginable, where is the sanctuary?
Is it within us? What does lay within us besides ourselves? Those whom we refuse to let go of? Max believes that no one is truly gone as long as they are remembered.
We die, yet, we go on living. Time passes, nobody can escape change. And the more we walk within the realms of our own minds, the more we realize that we are like the sea.
We are cruel and merciful, placid and tempestuous, generous and harsh, known and mysterious. But unlike it, we are boundless.
Retrieved 13 August Archived from the original on 16 August Retrieved 2 August Retrieved 29 June Retrieved 26 July The Sea is a well-acted but lethargic exploration of memory".
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