'Shroud will not be easily surpassed for its combination of wit, moral complexity and compassion.
It is hard to see what more a novel could do' Irish Times Axel Vander, distinguished intellectual and elderly academic, is not the man he seems.
When a letter arrives out of the blue, threatening to unveil his secrets -- and carefully concealed identity -- Vander travels to Turin to meet its author.
There, muddled by age and alcohol, unable always to distinguish fact from fiction, Vander comes face to face with the woman who has the knowledge to unmask him, Cass Cleave.
However, her sense of reality is as unreliable as his, and the two are quickly drawn together, their relationship dark, disturbed and doomed to disaster from its very start. 'In beautiful, lucid prose John Banville describes a tragedy so strongly rooted in history and character that, like all real tragedies, it could not happen otherwise' The Times 'Banville is merciless in the details ...he has a gift for enigmatic clarity' Daily Telegraph 'The narrative frequently takes on the qualities of a dream, writhing with pursuits and escapes, peopled by shape-shifters and avatars, subject to its own climatic and topographical realities' Guardian 'A moving and shockingly intimate record of life lost and found again' Time Out
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 416 pages
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date: 04/07/2003
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780330483148
Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.
Review by dylanwolf
John Banville is a consumate writer with a rare gift to make the most monstrous characters seem, if not lovable, at least beguiling. His books are not easy reads, full of literary allusions, which often, in ignorance, pass one by unnoted. But his prose is lush, full of echoes and ghosts, memories and hidden, often corrupting, passions. In Shroud, Vander an aged intellectual with an international reputation travels from California to Turin ostensibly to attend a conference on Neitzsche although his true reason is to meet a young woman, Cass Cleave, who is threatening to expose his suspect past in occupied Belgium.John Banville will not be to everybody's taste and might be accused of being pretentious, but if one is prepared to accept the limitations of one's own intellect, he is as rewarding as Nabakov.