Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review: The Blue Guitar by John Banville



Review: The Blue Guitar
John Banville
Vintage Books
2015

Product DetailsIt’s pretty brazen of me to write any sort of review for an accomplished author, but I had to because some of the reviews for this book confuse me.  For me this author portrayed so many of the people I know right this minute, young and old.  They live the good life until it craters and then wonder how they ended up in the mess they find themselves.  Maybe the objections to the protagonist have something to do with looking into the mirror?  Others think another of his books has a better plot.  That may be the case for that other book, but is this book designed to have anything like the other?  It doesn’t seem that way to me.  

Whatever the case may be I liked this book for a number of reasons, not the least of which is Banville’s writing itself.  I found it a joy to read and intend to re-read it in the near future.  Yes, Orme drifts into painterly type language often in an effort control what is before him, but then he snaps back to realize some of his motives.  He’s in and out of blame and pride trying to understand himself.  Even to the very end of the book.  No spoilers, though.  But I will say the last few pages can touch you deeply.  

Beyond the writing itself is the look inside a character that you want to like and will until you don’t and then you will again.  He’s one of us in many ways.  The other characters could tell similar stories if the book had been based from their own points of view.   As it’s written they are weak supporting cast members intentionally since Orme’s the center of his own life. 
One last note, the title has meaning and it will become obvious toward the end.

I enjoyed this book and I think you will too. 

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