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John Banville

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ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2010 | By Tim Rutten
Though John Banville likes to say that he writes in "a literary patois" he calls "Hiberno-English," the Irish novelist and critic is, without question, one of the great living masters of English-language prose. "The Infinities" -- his 15th novel and first work of literary fiction since "The Sea," which won the 2005 Man Booker Prize -- is a dazzling example of that mastery, as well as of the formal daring and slyly erudite humor that make his novels among the most rewarding available to readers today.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Little, Brown confirmed Sunday that "The Cuckoo's Calling," a well-reviewed crime novel, was secretly written by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The book was written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Another book using that pen name is coming next year. "The Cuckoo's Calling" was published by Little, Brown imprint Mulholland Books on April 30. “A reprint of the book is under way and will carry a revised author biography, which reads, 'Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling,' ” Reagan Arthur, publisher of Little, Brown, said in a statement.  Little, Brown confirmed Rowling's authorship of the book after the Sunday Times of London revealed  the secret.
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BOOKS
July 2, 1995 | Frederick Busch, Frederick Busch's most recent book is "The Children in the Woods: New and Selected Stories."
In his 10th novel, John Banville returns to the protagonist of his eighth ("The Book of Evidence"), a sad, homicidal monologuist who tells and tells and tells us his troubles. Banville is an elegant, witty writer whose prose is intelligent, deft, often gripping. Freddy Montgomery, the first and, really, only person in "Athena," is endowed, for all his bumbling, fumbling ineptitude, with his author's great gifts.
NEWS
August 8, 2012 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Call me dubious. When Henry Holt announced Tuesday that it would be reviving Raymond Chandler's detective hero Philip Marlowe - 54 years after the author's final Marlowe novel, “Playback” - I was (to put it mildly) underwhelmed. Partly, that's because the idea isn't new: Robert B. Parker did it 20-some years ago, first with “Poodle Springs,” a novel Chandler started before his death in 1959, and then with “Perchance to Dream,” a sequel to “The Big Sleep.” If the notion of writing a sequel to the first novel in a series seems a bit redundant, then you're beginning to see the source of my skepticism.
BOOKS
June 8, 2003 | Jack Miles, Jack Miles, senior advisor to the president at the J. Paul Getty Trust, is the author of "Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God."
Of a certain kind of soprano, it is said in tones of reverence tinged with pity that she never draws attention to her voice but always subordinates it to the requirements of the score. The tinge of pity comes from the fact that such a soprano is always of the second rank. One can no more ask a Wagnerian prima diva like Jane Eaglen not to draw attention to her voice than one can ask Shaquille O'Neal not to draw attention to his size. So it is with the prose style of John Banville in "Shroud."
BOOKS
November 7, 1993
Call me Ishmael. No. It's not that Melville needs us to say "yes" right at the start, so that he and we can get on with Moby Dick. "Maybe" or "let's see" will do; the "yes" can take its time. "I" in a first-person narrative invites us to a game and must charm, puzzle, annoy or even terrify us into wanting to play; but not immediately. What would stop things dead is a "no." The invitation extended by the narrator of "Ghost" is all too easy for the reader to turn down.
NEWS
August 8, 2012 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Call me dubious. When Henry Holt announced Tuesday that it would be reviving Raymond Chandler's detective hero Philip Marlowe - 54 years after the author's final Marlowe novel, “Playback” - I was (to put it mildly) underwhelmed. Partly, that's because the idea isn't new: Robert B. Parker did it 20-some years ago, first with “Poodle Springs,” a novel Chandler started before his death in 1959, and then with “Perchance to Dream,” a sequel to “The Big Sleep.” If the notion of writing a sequel to the first novel in a series seems a bit redundant, then you're beginning to see the source of my skepticism.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Little, Brown confirmed Sunday that "The Cuckoo's Calling," a well-reviewed crime novel, was secretly written by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The book was written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Another book using that pen name is coming next year. "The Cuckoo's Calling" was published by Little, Brown imprint Mulholland Books on April 30. “A reprint of the book is under way and will carry a revised author biography, which reads, 'Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling,' ” Reagan Arthur, publisher of Little, Brown, said in a statement.  Little, Brown confirmed Rowling's authorship of the book after the Sunday Times of London revealed  the secret.
BOOKS
March 4, 2007 | Mark Rozzo, Mark Rozzo is a critic living in New York.
IN the Dublin of Benjamin Black's "Christine Falls," a stubborn chill pervades the air, hangovers are a national pastime and chimneys always seem to be "dribbling smoke." We encounter a stodgy tea at the Shelbourne Hotel, the stink of burning peat and the "shabby sweep of Upper Mount Street" that leads to the Peppercanister Church, an ecclesiastical landmark set at an off-kilter angle.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2008 | Tim Rutten, Times Staff Writer
Do yourself a favor: If you're the sort inclined to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this month, skip the badly pulled pint of Guinness, the hordes of amateur drinkers and the warmed-over Republican ballads at some local faux-Irish bar. Instead, go to a bookstore; buy Benjamin Black's new mystery novel, "The Silver Swan." Go directly home. If you live with others, send them away. Pour yourself a quiet drink and settle into your best chair for an authentic dose of Irish angst and wit, wondrous writing and about as undiluted an evening's pleasure as reading can provide.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2010 | By Tim Rutten
Though John Banville likes to say that he writes in "a literary patois" he calls "Hiberno-English," the Irish novelist and critic is, without question, one of the great living masters of English-language prose. "The Infinities" -- his 15th novel and first work of literary fiction since "The Sea," which won the 2005 Man Booker Prize -- is a dazzling example of that mastery, as well as of the formal daring and slyly erudite humor that make his novels among the most rewarding available to readers today.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2008 | Tim Rutten, Times Staff Writer
Do yourself a favor: If you're the sort inclined to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this month, skip the badly pulled pint of Guinness, the hordes of amateur drinkers and the warmed-over Republican ballads at some local faux-Irish bar. Instead, go to a bookstore; buy Benjamin Black's new mystery novel, "The Silver Swan." Go directly home. If you live with others, send them away. Pour yourself a quiet drink and settle into your best chair for an authentic dose of Irish angst and wit, wondrous writing and about as undiluted an evening's pleasure as reading can provide.
BOOKS
March 4, 2007 | Mark Rozzo, Mark Rozzo is a critic living in New York.
IN the Dublin of Benjamin Black's "Christine Falls," a stubborn chill pervades the air, hangovers are a national pastime and chimneys always seem to be "dribbling smoke." We encounter a stodgy tea at the Shelbourne Hotel, the stink of burning peat and the "shabby sweep of Upper Mount Street" that leads to the Peppercanister Church, an ecclesiastical landmark set at an off-kilter angle.
BOOKS
November 6, 2005 | Jack Miles, Jack Miles is senior advisor to the president of the J. Paul Getty Trust.
IN Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw," the narrator, a governess secretly drawn to her employer, is tormented by Flora and Miles, a pair of precocious but evil children entrusted to her care. Their uncanny corruption, she realizes with mounting horror, is due to their possession by the ghosts of two disgraced servants from the household's recent past.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2005 | Susan Salter Reynolds, Times Staff Writer
The Man Booker Prize, the world's most prestigious award for new fiction, was awarded here Monday to Irish writer and critic John Banville. In a closed news conference prior to a gala dinner at London's historic Guildhall, the five Booker judges said their decision to honor Banville's "The Sea" followed "an extraordinarily closely contested last round in which judges felt the level of the short-listed novels was as high as it had ever been."
TRAVEL
April 25, 2004 | Christopher Reynolds, Times Staff Writer
Prague Pictures: Portraits of a City; John Banville; Bloomsbury: 240 pp., $16.95 * Even seen through the clearest lens, Prague looks murky and quirky: home to perhaps the most beloved bridge in Europe (the 14th century Charles); inspiration to author and master of alienation Franz Kafka; and launching pad for a playwright whose works took him first to prison and then to the presidency (Vaclav Havel) of the Czech Republic.
BOOKS
March 4, 2001 | JONATHAN LEVI, Jonathan Levi is a contributing writer to Book Review
Nothing in the theater is more terrifying in the eyes of the audience than when an actor forgets his lines. Nothing. Not a missed lighting cue nor a popped bodice. Even the onstage death of one of the singers at the Metropolitan Opera during a performance of "The Makropoulos Affair" a few years ago was merely horrible. At the start of Irish writer John Banville's latest novel, "Eclipse," hero Alexander Cleave, famous thespian, feels this particular terror and thrill.
BOOKS
November 6, 2005 | Jack Miles, Jack Miles is senior advisor to the president of the J. Paul Getty Trust.
IN Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw," the narrator, a governess secretly drawn to her employer, is tormented by Flora and Miles, a pair of precocious but evil children entrusted to her care. Their uncanny corruption, she realizes with mounting horror, is due to their possession by the ghosts of two disgraced servants from the household's recent past.
BOOKS
June 8, 2003 | Jack Miles, Jack Miles, senior advisor to the president at the J. Paul Getty Trust, is the author of "Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God."
Of a certain kind of soprano, it is said in tones of reverence tinged with pity that she never draws attention to her voice but always subordinates it to the requirements of the score. The tinge of pity comes from the fact that such a soprano is always of the second rank. One can no more ask a Wagnerian prima diva like Jane Eaglen not to draw attention to her voice than one can ask Shaquille O'Neal not to draw attention to his size. So it is with the prose style of John Banville in "Shroud."
BOOKS
March 4, 2001 | JONATHAN LEVI, Jonathan Levi is a contributing writer to Book Review
Nothing in the theater is more terrifying in the eyes of the audience than when an actor forgets his lines. Nothing. Not a missed lighting cue nor a popped bodice. Even the onstage death of one of the singers at the Metropolitan Opera during a performance of "The Makropoulos Affair" a few years ago was merely horrible. At the start of Irish writer John Banville's latest novel, "Eclipse," hero Alexander Cleave, famous thespian, feels this particular terror and thrill.
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