The Book of Evidence is a 1989 novel by John Banville. The narrator is a psychopath, and life from his viewpoint is a heartless experience. The writing carries you in the wake of his destruction, as he seems to be completely oblivious to the results of his actions. The Paris Review has an excerpt.
from the back of the book:
After free-falling through the indolence of California and the Mediterranean's sleazy seaside dives, Irish ex-patriot Frederick Charles St. John Venderveld Montgomery is going home. And in the dull, familiar confines of his hometown, Freddie becomes obsessed with a novelty: a three-hundred-year-old oil painting. Deciding to steal it to raise money, he senselessly murders an innocent woman along the way.The New York Times opens their review with this:
Shocking and provocative, The Book of Evidence is Freddie Montgomery's chilling first-person account, a confession not only to n act of savagery but to the emptiness of his very existence. From his memories to his crime, to his capture and confrontation with the law, this is the story of a man without a soul -enigmatic, terrifying, and one you will never forget.
Here is an astonishing, disturbing little novel that might have been coughed up from hell. A first-person narrator confesses to a murder. It's soon apparent, though, that the crime was not inspired by greed, revenge or any other discernible motive. The narrator is a sort of accidental killer - Everyman as monster.Kirkus Reviews concludes by calling it, "A novel of high moral seriousness, gracefully written--one that lingers on in the mind long after it is read." Publishers Weekly opens, "Comparisons with Camus's The Stranger and Dostoyevski's Crime and Punishment are not lightly made, but spring irresistibly to mind after finishing Banville's dazzling novel" and concludes, "It is difficult to imagine a reader who would not find The Book of Evidence both terrifying and moving."
I have read other books by this author, including The Untouchable and The Sea.
I haven't read any of his books - shame on me - I am not a fan of this genre,the most of the Irish writers are not after my taste, even though he got so many awards - I remember that he got our National Austrian State Prize for European Literature. But maybe I shoud try it now again as I am now older. Will notice him - I often find fabulous books at our thrift store. I will give Mr. Banville a second chance...I like your reviews!ReplyDelete
Happy Day Divers
The Sea has been my favorite so far. It won the Booker back in 2005. I loved the way it was written, and that's why I started looking for books by him in my used book store. I need to check out the library.Delete
Thx for the compliment :)
It sounds gruesomely intriguing. I'll see if I can find it in our library.ReplyDelete
He's a good author. Maybe if they don't have this they'll have something else by him. This character is intriguing. It's hard to really understand people like this.Delete
Thank for providing good information for site,Thanks for your sharing.ReplyDelete
You're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed it.Delete
I'll save this one for a dark and gloomy day. Right now the sun is shining and I am looking for something simple and happyReplyDelete
This is definitely not a happy read. But it might make a gloomy day unbearable!Delete