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The Singularities: Book summary and reviews of The Singularities by John Banville

The Singularities

A Novel

by John Banville

The Singularities by John Banville X
The Singularities by John Banville
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  • Published Oct 2022
    320 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

From the revered Booker Prize-winning author comes a playful, multilayered novel of nostalgia, life and death, and quantum theory, which opens with the return of one of his most celebrated characters as he is released from prison.

A man with a borrowed name steps from a flashy red sports car—also borrowed—onto the estate of his youth. But all is not as it seems. There is a new family living in the drafty old house: the Godleys, descendants of the late, world-famous scientist Adam Godley, whose theory of existence threw the universe into chaos. And this mystery man, who has just completed a prison sentence, feels as if time has stopped, or was torn, or was opened in new and strange ways. He must now vie with the idiosyncratic Godley family, with their harried housekeeper who becomes his landlady, with the recently commissioned biographer of Godley Sr., and with a wealthy and beautiful woman from his past who comes bearing an unusual request.

With sparkling intelligence and rapier wit, John Banville revisits some of his career's most memorable figures, in a novel as mischievous as it is brilliantly conceived. The Singularities occupies a singular space and will surely be one of his most admired works.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Banville's poetical fiction explores the implications of the theory of singularity through the human perception of memory, loss, and guilt, even as he slyly braids together characters and themes from his past novels into a meta-narrative about the haunting implications of parallel universes." - Library Journal (starred review)

"Banville's crisp wit, sardonic humor, and unique style will keep readers on edge, smiling and questioning, entranced and thoroughly entertained until the very end." - Booklist (starred review)

"Booker winner Banville revisits characters and themes from his past works in this artful and atmospheric story of redemption...Though short on plot, the book boasts some of Banville's greatest prose...Overall, it's a fine addition to a brilliant body of work." - Publishers Weekly

"Banville seems simply to revel in the delights of creativity, piling up wordplay and allusions (to Joyce, Flaubert, Lewis Carroll, Nabokov), playing the god of his literary realm, and all this with constant flashes of exquisite writing...An intriguing puzzle box that is variously enchanting and frustrating." - Kirkus Reviews

This information about The Singularities was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

John Banville Author Biography

Photo © Jerry Bauer

John Banville, the author of seventeen novels, has been the recipient of the Man Booker Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, and the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature. He lives in Dublin.

Link to John Banville's Website

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