The Infinities, Paperback
3 out of 5 (3 ratings)


'This is unequivocally a work of brilliance.' Justin Cartwright, Spectator Old Adam Godley's time on earth is drawing to an end, and as his wife and children gather at the family home, little do they realize that they are not the only ones who have come to observe the spectacle.

The mischievous Greek gods, too, have come; as tensions fray and desire bubbles over, their spying soon becomes intrusion becomes intervention, until the mortals' lives - right before their eyes - seem to be changing faster than they can cope with.

Overflowing with bawdy humour, Banville has allowed his twinkling eye to rove through memories of the past and relationships of the present in this moving family drama.

The Infinities is both a salacious delight and a penetrating exploration of the terrifying, wonderful, immutable plight of being human. 'A poetic vision of boundless possibility.' Literary Review 'Full of dark humour and written with a deft eye for detail.' GQ 'This darkly comic and fearsomely clever creation is a heady delight' Metro 'Written in such saturatedly beautiful, luminous prose that every page delights, startles and uplifts.' The Times




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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Not a very pleasurable experience. Attempts at humour rarely succeeded with me. Some lovely writing in parts but I just wanted to get to the end. mercifully it is not a lengthy book...

Review by

Old Adam Godley, a theoretical mathematician whose theories about the infinite universes that surround and intersect our own have revolutionized the way physicists and mathematicians conceive of the world, lies dying. Paralyzed and comatose, he lies in state in the upper room of his English country manor while around him, his disfunctional family goes about the business of living in the presence of death. Godley’s son, also named Adam, is a giant in stature but has always been overshadowed by his famous father’s metaphorical height. Adam’s supermodel-lovely wife, Helen, is an actress by profession and walking the stage in her daily life as well. Shrill daughter Petra is damaged inside and out by a turbulent, morbid, and obsessive mind; and wife Ursula is fragile and secretly (or not so secretly) alchoholic. But the family is not alone on this momentous day, when old Adam may or may not die. Flitting amongst them are the inhabitants of one of old Adam’s “infinities,” known to us as the gods of the Greek pantheon. The narrator is Hermes (unless perhaps he is old Adam himself), and he is joined in his observation of the Godley family by his lascivious father Zeus (who’s only there because of the gorgeous Helen) and the mischievous Pan in the guise of Benny Grace, an old business associate of Adam’s. Bewitching and, at times, bewildering, “The Infinities” is a luminous meditation on desire, fragility, and identity. Light on plot and heavy on a sort of wry philosophy, the book is worth the ride for the sheer beauty of the language itself.

Review by

How did I love listening to The Infinities? Let me list the ways:1. has Hermes as a narrator. I love Greek divinities.2. Zeus and Pan show up. Zeus is kind of a jerk, as we all thought. Pan saves the day3. the language flows like rivers, like endless green river banks, like chocolate fountains4. has a very sly sense of humor5. has a really great dogOnly problems: the women are all lame and there are no goddesses. Well, most of the men are pretty lame too.I wouldn't recommend reading it, but the Book on CD narrator is outstanding.

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