Shroud

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Shroud

by John Banville

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | June 8, 2004 | Trade Paperback

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One part Nietzsche, one part Humbert Humbert, and a soupcon of Milton's Lucifer, Axel Vander, the dizzyingly unreliable narrator of John Banville's masterful new novel, is very old, recently widowed, and the bearer of a fearsome reputation as a literary dandy and bully. A product of the Old World, he is also an escapee from its conflagrations, with the wounds to prove it. And everything about him is a lie.

Now those lies have been unraveled by a mysterious young woman whom Vander calls "Miss Nemesis." They are to meet in Turin, a city best known for its enigmatic shroud. Is her purpose to destroy Vander or to save him-or simply to show him what lies beneath the shroud in which he has wrapped his life? A splendidly moving exploration of identity, duplicity, and desire, Shroud is Banville's most rapturous performance to date.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: June 8, 2004

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 037572530X

ISBN - 13: 9780375725302

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

Shroud

Shroud

by John Banville

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 272 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: June 8, 2004

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 037572530X

ISBN - 13: 9780375725302

About the Book

One part Nietzsche, one part Humbert Humbert, and a soupcon of Milton's Lucifer, Axel Vander, the dizzyingly unreliable narrator of John Banville's masterful new novel, is very old, recently widowed, and the bearer of a fearsome reputation as a literary dandy and bully. A product of the Old World, he is also an escapee from its conflagrations, with the wounds to prove it. And everything about him is a lie.
Now those lies have been unraveled by a mysterious young woman whom Vander calls "Miss Nemesis." They are to meet in Turin, a city best known for its enigmatic shroud. Is her purpose to destroy Vander or to save him--or simply to show him what lies beneath the shroud in which he has wrapped his life? A splendidly moving exploration of identity, duplicity, and desire, Shroud" is Banville's most rapturous performance to date.

Read from the Book

Who speaks? It is her voice, in my head. I fear it will not stop until I stop. It talks to me as I haul myself along these cobbled streets, telling me things I do not want to hear. Sometimes I answer, protest aloud, demanding to be left in peace. Yesterday in the baker’s shop that I frequent on the Via San Tommaso I must have shouted out something, her name, perhaps, for suddenly everyone in the crowded place was looking at me, as they do here, not in alarm or disapproval but simple curiosity. They all know me by now, the baker and the butcher and the fellow at the vegetable stall, and their customers, too, hennaed housewives, mostly, plump as pigeons, with their perfume and ugly jewellery and great, dark, disappointed eyes. I note their remarkably slender legs; they age from the top down, for these are still the legs, suggestively a little bowed, that they must have had in their twenties or even earlier. Clearly I interest them. Perhaps what appeals to them is the suggestion of the commedia dell’arte in my appearance, the one-eyed glare and comically spavined gait, the stick and hat in place of Harlequin’s club and mask. They do not seem to mind if I am mad. But I am not mad, really, only very, very old. I feel I have been alive for aeons. When I look back I see what seems a primordial darkness, scattered with points of cold, hard light, immensely distant, each from each, and from me. Soon, in a few months, we shall enter the final decade of this millennium
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From the Publisher

One part Nietzsche, one part Humbert Humbert, and a soupcon of Milton's Lucifer, Axel Vander, the dizzyingly unreliable narrator of John Banville's masterful new novel, is very old, recently widowed, and the bearer of a fearsome reputation as a literary dandy and bully. A product of the Old World, he is also an escapee from its conflagrations, with the wounds to prove it. And everything about him is a lie.

Now those lies have been unraveled by a mysterious young woman whom Vander calls "Miss Nemesis." They are to meet in Turin, a city best known for its enigmatic shroud. Is her purpose to destroy Vander or to save him-or simply to show him what lies beneath the shroud in which he has wrapped his life? A splendidly moving exploration of identity, duplicity, and desire, Shroud is Banville's most rapturous performance to date.

From the Jacket

One part Nietzsche, one part Humbert Humbert, and a soupcon of Milton''s Lucifer, Axel Vander, the dizzyingly unreliable narrator of John Banville''s masterful new novel, is very old, recently widowed, and the bearer of a fearsome reputation as a literary dandy and bully. A product of the Old World, he is also an escapee from its conflagrations, with the wounds to prove it. And everything about him is a lie.
Now those lies have been unraveled by a mysterious young woman whom Vander calls "Miss Nemesis." They are to meet in Turin, a city best known for its enigmatic shroud. Is her purpose to destroy Vander or to save him--or simply to show him what lies beneath the shroud in which he has wrapped his life? A splendidly moving exploration of identity, duplicity, and desire, Shroud" is Banville''s most rapturous performance to date.

About the Author

John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His first book, Long Lankin, was published in 1970. His other books are Nightspawn, Birchwood, Doctor Copernicus, Kepler, The Newton Letter, Mefisto, The Book of Evidence (which was shortlisted for the 1989 Booker Prize), Ghosts, Athena, The Untouchable, and Eclipse. He lives in Dublin.

Editorial Reviews

“Hypnotic. . . . As much as any author today, [Banville] demonstrates the continuing relevance of words like ‘artistry’ and ‘masterpiece.’” – The New York Times Book Review “The style—the voice—is a phenomenon, a wonder in itself. . . . Shroud is full of . . . secrets that change everything once you notice them. . . . Dazzling.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review “Glittering, far-reaching intelligence. . . . Sentences, paragraphs, pages that by their exact and passionate beauty transport the reader and make the world new.” –The Boston Globe “A seductive narrator. . .a writer of fastidious skill who captures the most delicate registers of feeling and mood with an often sublime precision.” – Newsday “A virtuoso tale of grief, loss and salvation. His dazzling lyricism and extraordinary language resonate long after the story ends. . . . This dreamlike novel . . . glows with the subdued brilliance of its author’s searching intellect. The long stretches of breathtaking prose, addictive and illuminating, are what make this Shroud just shy of miraculous.” — The Oregonian “A ravishingly beautiful writer. His prose is clean and unfussy. . .and his images and metaphors have a visionary keenness that’s almost violent; they strike the readers like blows.”– Salon “Shroud shocks its reader. . . . It throbs along powerfully . . . until
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