eBook The Untouchable Kindle ð Ø multi channel.co Ø

One of the most dazzling and adventurous writers now working in English takes on the enigma of the Cambridge spies in a novel of exquisite menace biting social comedy and vertiginous moral complexity The narrator is the elderly Victor Maskell formerly of British intelligence for many years art expert to the Queen Now he has been unmasked as a Russian agent and subjected to a disgrace that is almost a kind of death But at whose instigation?As Maskell retraces his tortuous path from his recruitment at Cambridge to the airless upper regions of the establishment we discover a figure of manifold doubleness Irishman and Englishman husband father and lover of men betrayer and dupe Beautifully written filled with convincing fictional portraits of Maskell's co conspirators and vibrant with the mysteries of loyalty and identity The Untouchable places John Banville in the select company of both Conrad and le CarreWinner of the Lannan Literary Award for FictionContemporary fiction gets no better than this Banville's books teem with life and humor Patrick McGrath The New York Times Book ReviewVictor Maskell is one of the great characters in recent fiction The Untouchable is the best work of art in any medium on its subject Washington Post Book WorldAs remarkable a literary voice as any to come out of Ireland Joyce and Beckett notwithstanding San Francisco Chronicle


10 thoughts on “The Untouchable

  1. i_ke|ـG1O3 g9PEL`=HnY)6â"}U`5:PwB۪Ɇ6a6ZXJ'0ѷ b+WkԭfI|К[Vor99UnjDW66eYuhm-zԘ25R`VmT`3i4x)E`, k۰s,bXVY'FVfu+ke{T+]Kհ'IZQe 'hj^N|M^1jbslh2ӓ1޻nբWėDoI޷w=YA*~z#Pl,|}^3ٺs2DZ%kw+9+Rx+}#\RV$@ @36)ڌ7**`hyQt3P!IzG1SȫYV-n+;xyPNY1rB;7kt8#sOh ;K˿Yj}۬x>+ɢ -·3Z8^5 Dj}A'AK3^r)rLİVmN4|s h2/ѲY08Ȓ<@00@P oh  @nBO\߁J0m 8VæBx T4َiwEMĭf eq1@1N ( CEMǝ{M Ml,7,mV% nDY?ژqYr3N@Q1'{9k3^4O{l‰[E%FoETӢQ""lRX]'Ilu}K`\2t]eJ5,W+׉xשQN"! 85gB_*dgefՕi4 S\b S&;uFSzXȃjtMb !TQR6Dٖ.%>*?n=FXF<W]ywE3y{y'^NKskz͈beU%Z;5mg\UJDI@ Ŋ9, ֠(߰XgQ *3>D2 gR\̫w0ɃU ֊09'g3t!εSиtkv;k5Gj* d׹LֹQa4y{Ikk=՚0r5 Cus MAIӄ05ڠU$`04ϐՇn콅j*tC^E5i3f&14dloC?D~y!zU*MCl8pf٧OM9uiU39b5uUn" +Z7FآyXJ벖 oy2 kk14ދ!n&FgXnލVOIXe#:zwdt~Ӯ m V#2x=ZY[uf|RXvF Wnf=G5Փ懹8H{ 2);YD&…WћjlZQLB `Z/,]2 0BF0n%^>2h@19NC%Tщ eT(όu+ge]쵎štaQIBYHfՠxO%|nvM:/)W`WD=طԲL%{y:iX\=J>kkV?mE 4TY4Z-Ԇ;\EebvP8w2DRqdQusYȣv=J(X/GMPܯ"̝Cl$R^^xmĸ@R=vyyGw TLM|QJKOh5͍i\LOn;;u'@pl#kuiCe ƹ,B7^^̦ezB˓SpMq,Tw!'O`U›~κ"Z'a_a90y$#29ND PL$U4A*[)EcdPUp17̑)V6 H%%8D:+`0CiP'){%0#\8F0:2 bm~1,,1t G% B--Y`!qURI ĜH8b7ېhCxf:9z((񍲁ɕeU8 cFFvkH*׺8`]LTYZdeZ: +mBQ [gȌHJVJ[o:@(v!k4 QTUc]o#jUU8Ռ%TWM·XUNx #0hUbVFij0`LX@o ,‹ DHnWBNvwcD@A@@HDPT@\`dHlpt| A䨰ܠX/h $ PH?JLfHr(d c|#{mXߥ`^;*&W`HS9ȧpNcKSݪ%\Q)Ɔ,KDܻKlrQ?lO_Ba2)@,~\"wVn}oQ󹶫-(;Fߩ/Gt2-+4(Q|Utpj2©t:tvUQm_=XGXҙ[!bdఠY9u>Y E7*'VgEVɆ%i /M[< xGGv_ug ]傥m¨q }ve\ޑ౪4C Wف%_ѝE-8,wT_Wwn^YѝY.Ϧj;~ Mpk1؏@|7qAq8,ue dqXM%7cFjs\gUjt퉱\ýd|TI[^ [ ?"7q ځn~e|2EvH7Y޴udV Af*|+T u_AɮVCs7Z2#ڄEsV.Z;M<rudZc!,0#.\…bqLiU&jk Dm_(uhP_a^p *ttQ6m/hL8sA7Z " *ِJ H!';Z6m=zK^+ȸMx8.'$J4"@\Ն\һ@9DYϺY~2&mW^VZ7& tr0pVPЏ@j(ވ_u$M]^$ޚ3cZlvF<$p!,P_Xrei @]Y 2 lUJ%w[<eQWͣ[C^jmkѵŴ& "Qj{ݞJgtcUi 8UӚD,߷*% sZCY7'D&]3yU+/5>K|JذN)L#j)*(:(շs߂ ; Ab ʹKmej.a hwƋFyUScIΑؓ@G0E_z]ԣz:V%(ΦٵV7++#t}gERxkĀTsLM`) <ϞH) =υN<'0폲0uE&OrsiTSUVMךaYW!%k:w')s]k+cg.Gѻ)8^]U,^?SV:GJW 6qV8`M5Cv9,7mZKPP~kLԨ 5|S jxՒ ܕbk[ѭ9*s{;-w).# ã1ܢ%OzƷ'wivWPCU 5OrXį @LrPcnCzoDQ[4m Gv}zo@zLe;XUS~:C+  @{7!=&ʡ~ZW&DئN.ٸ\9Lc 6zVO(kwCMWrZ.Nw%<}^ YxUℜEm:r~&: }-U&  ȌЧi GF?^\uPNnf*O7`ꬎ(OmtyyL+ 7mܚCꪻHKm函u-&!U9YWk ^),ۻOwYhƨAFf(MdPAUO5 ުNy*vrU%5>C-W| QYv)\@a 00Ph dZ;EK({TI a93y엙>J3e7F C,˅_:&@jHrH o,.$G 0gPl }b-᭭C@:P*q ϫ57E^*b\n[LΪNV_es#6˱4Uq$뫴 9%U#mA]I{{ 9(5viZ^?sWȯF|1M _r&8[i ۣ2"R81V**8^ʯv]Q[? }wѻf:ABӢ-DꜘÉˬaܕ c1X)o8T^3mgJS6=D+-ZG(h+C}mAC' .0RPedxEE9N[1یak SRʞgrCl7 #t6+FdoB5B?ΗD+`yxG2;Bld^ɑkhYB"FzKV.+^sj6@9u73`u]Dod'N9Zo[eo6̻ ̈́/Dv+݄1:3ݧf#+ڪ\4=t jedn>L+YVp§*@Fem re?w܎԰NCOdiϐrBR6y]u0r +}fݖ -/H,x:&u3t;L.zT|7m3NϡtJi;YW0cwh%=i:K-_-@̰aż]}7ݼ0>WDȎg€j( PKXAUEuiWT4p,WDk(y6\et< #ȟ)E2)uz Nܾ8Vrc76NVuT9VUj1LBR#_Kۉb9l-ųڤKFXi5QCqIvj~.ZYC=c,+# # İe˛{Pwmx+/𕽸~_H Ϫ5)d.(6a Z_GH@,H~-jH`@*mER @8g'] uivkt,c}Xz(V3CH;m9+hmLpd,j$VԨ-ygҢϩIp|ˌW/2q`!M]pUy]xjdqhU]E623eylޣD |Jz]vfy=Qr:GY|ҏINlj٘;5߈Ж> P,{5}&*c˕1`S[<Xgpbͽ :ɉ燡)~kEu4R5aaUUE6c)U` oKEC%1ńXc0)}x JM&6&.x/U{+ #x@um:`?xF95ZK,>e0]zWpR(*q^5K̐K RK/Yǁ]-l7+d tP 13P [.1E9\UN)vvT6c8ml\]w/dܢ FVsZV>гAݮ!h9Ӓu}%/XoCrrˏ=%К+ǏH]efܧB+vǥrbg+ FXߚtE;|zD1Y,t9wsC%%olc ؼjU@=&bhk/Z{aw|`QeM׶"%fUW{@7opueO=cq\yuYpY7}*Cl[6SWS4^*B9szV(VtWC+и!Q7tK>ŏVzGa,.]_?l sVAkX2X1U(+Z@c2W%X>{2Bj4͟ս86,1:pwU.\ pxzoUpAǜN%N,TliFXѬ_aoaDo^5"tcL6Onh=$N"6w]H',*Ғ ]yļԲތ&Aa,CK pSi7*Žcy|ŅE/ Pi_9[yz9 M}db =pQS 7n="n,R.>cb$ܴ(\}<c ")6,'# 'rC?Si8ouT|B:M2:avbP7w%7po=Z)Tc Q/*W18ơ`qؐfAh-⧫_c-`& lBv•-2b(b04Xa2gA:E ~؞ `,qFqG ^3Gbi"3{XJP@zSNipS6i0Ҝr9ӘzpD)+"M2EQ3pLf:Xs[ztyO2 =8"Ŏi X0\C42z<˵'i":G2vxs݋l6撆gi@j2E>;=87k֋%}'m*<4<:ގs 6R0M ⦉g+:ӋAfVx![S#,5n+8 l,! UH T9welO+A-a FZ9<~8<1Df娦+q#ȁ@t%H.)1B7ꧠ{`}`KFg\RAFH+sY4/=,Q8a}JbXp# ;Hzqd!su3u^L}Ժ'͇~_U,G@a`mtgF\X`S`HvꕭLlQ5 p853_~05xq\EYY>. յ"4|h} jk9QM`N(nn 1OQI )&Eidf{zԗrqX#6Ck3J5EYP|ZN,.Uk/U>VI /,.=<8;s߇@/?.I5qOcGJ>2`=Iroip$w!U4vycLֳ8 Z]dwLvedxpyFHz`/TAfEJ ۛ 2Ggo.`𣖞+4#xsT$tޠ24Pp=R/l0Nvp;*>Ҍx"N,qgC9x@N: ``vN8ThXИ$CQq6օŘ sA} OrB4RA? F2TOezk1ym `tNcD1AQ /@!p~b kӾ`{Vz1D^1Lq1\ux:s{U) e%SJzͼs)zmQ0AZr%f,Pװ m[(&a}9lgs g$W3THrw輑%maw56wd0 U4NhcRD<1 @s+Jl --M8j߅(P: |)v>G1 H/ n;pn:~as RKb68W,t>2TE'8q=(GTCDi{IU9Y;Y!rWiBq1Kٝ3RS#pF+*W-_d; d^CreȆ"&±)o+bx :qA@Vd@T"O0Ã,6'u z4f4Bpz.qz;Y1O[`Kx!TZ\ L')Kc{r eۭ3%IpppNsR5ب|zw)Qg =\nL-X^.)1.yQq'8 jO'W}* ¡*Тo}g<O`.VjzGsµgiQ,RKal 04:u@A4]kvv'bOk'#5D7 C !@ Շ*CyuT=§;˜:2GOS%@.G׌DՅѐ?\**w 0]U€89"!~HaXꡐG ) 7H_1>kY3f?,FQ(cRJw6. {ĖEIQSOh(EL]`2U&͵H] 㶹TCN 4uG@/' @h3>n Ae?$\Mk~67TK3^Sdg5I1QJ4#zJwp8-Aqǭ(;(4fX$9v˵7`)3'aCUZiR $]ð-Rb %!=kE D kxK` MizłdH@ Smd  hLV^$&$#D*&!id]Ahp8=gQڑJiג۔qO%3d6h8#Cn} bQyl.")7e&vLgRZJ ވ>I9k\R{ku-ywkB_砲eK f*vfxQo4wti*V lkDp0:CCgS7&k!Dƻ6 bUN!csn,;,uCHpTt}P$7F!Pg^<@LUlru~.9) Trv2DùE%GqD% P 3lvyܡ M+Ӆ1م~^ԔÔޣM 4kZYO+Ag$IĔITFחdJqe(W垣PD T]߹VV09An_z~1 O 0:5_D  DIAFGD  KLɉ NJ  ?*zvoCuB|dE1ex@fVl!f*,r`,Qn4qqHU<хɽC}3>b1'hLazysFW 6D'mt[w 3[&`n/tH8[aiIH1U8oPLdhqLL% s.%tt znd"ًdH##\n4 \ ,h:>$bn ,Nh@km()!ǽ=&N{ӈ6!L ݔB(p"djD" rYrYse&@ 0r@C qQEMᚈg=ld S'hÑ(j/U\9!# .5$ _d" srcset=">d`l$$( ( ,,$,(,,,8@0(,4L\T@Pi_ke|ـG1O3 g9PEL`=HnY)6â"}U`5:PwB۪Ɇ6a6ZXJ'0ѷ b+WkԭfI|К[Vor99UnjDW66eYuhm-zԘ25R`VmT`3i4x)E`, k۰s,bXVY'FVfu+ke{T+]Kհ'IZQe 'hj^N|M^1jbslh2ӓ1޻nբWėDoI޷w=YA*~z#Pl,|}^3ٺs2DZ%kw+9+Rx+}#\RV$@ @36)ڌ7**`hyQt3P!IzG1SȫYV-n+;xyPNY1rB;7kt8#sOh ;K˿Yj}۬x>+ɢ -·3Z8^5 Dj}A'AK3^r)rLİVmN4|s h2/ѲY08Ȓ<@00@P oh  @nBO\߁J0m 8VæBx T4َiwEMĭf eq1@1N ( CEMǝ{M Ml,7,mV% nDY?ژqYr3N@Q1'{9k3^4O{l‰[E%FoETӢQ""lRX]'Ilu}K`\2t]eJ5,W+׉xשQN"! 85gB_*dgefՕi4 S\b S&;uFSzXȃjtMb !TQR6Dٖ.%>*?n=FXF<W]ywE3y{y'^NKskz͈beU%Z;5mg\UJDI@ Ŋ9, ֠(߰XgQ *3>D2 gR\̫w0ɃU ֊09'g3t!εSиtkv;k5Gj* d׹LֹQa4y{Ikk=՚0r5 Cus MAIӄ05ڠU$`04ϐՇn콅j*tC^E5i3f&14dloC?D~y!zU*MCl8pf٧OM9uiU39b5uUn" +Z7FآyXJ벖 oy2 kk14ދ!n&FgXnލVOIXe#:zwdt~Ӯ m V#2x=ZY[uf|RXvF Wnf=G5Փ懹8H{ 2);YD&…WћjlZQLB `Z/,]2 0BF0n%^>2h@19NC%Tщ eT(όu+ge]쵎štaQIBYHfՠxO%|nvM:/)W`WD=طԲL%{y:iX\=J>kkV?mE 4TY4Z-Ԇ;\EebvP8w2DRqdQusYȣv=J(X/GMPܯ"̝Cl$R^^xmĸ@R=vyyGw TLM|QJKOh5͍i\LOn;;u'@pl#kuiCe ƹ,B7^^̦ezB˓SpMq,Tw!'O`U›~κ"Z'a_a90y$#29ND PL$U4A*[)EcdPUp17̑)V6 H%%8D:+`0CiP'){%0#\8F0:2 bm~1,,1t G% B--Y`!qURI ĜH8b7ېhCxf:9z((񍲁ɕeU8 cFFvkH*׺8`]LTYZdeZ: +mBQ [gȌHJVJ[o:@(v!k4 QTUc]o#jUU8Ռ%TWM·XUNx #0hUbVFij0`LX@o ,‹ DHnWBNvwcD@A@@HDPT@\`dHlpt| A䨰ܠX/h $ PH?JLfHr(d c|#{mXߥ`^;*&W`HS9ȧpNcKSݪ%\Q)Ɔ,KDܻKlrQ?lO_Ba2)@,~\"wVn}oQ󹶫-(;Fߩ/Gt2-+4(Q|Utpj2©t:tvUQm_=XGXҙ[!bdఠY9u>Y E7*'VgEVɆ%i /M[< xGGv_ug ]傥m¨q }ve\ޑ౪4C Wف%_ѝE-8,wT_Wwn^YѝY.Ϧj;~ Mpk1؏@|7qAq8,ue dqXM%7cFjs\gUjt퉱\ýd|TI[^ [ ?"7q ځn~e|2EvH7Y޴udV Af*|+T u_AɮVCs7Z2#ڄEsV.Z;M<rudZc!,0#.\…bqLiU&jk Dm_(uhP_a^p *ttQ6m/hL8sA7Z " *ِJ H!';Z6m=zK^+ȸMx8.'$J4"@\Ն\һ@9DYϺY~2&mW^VZ7& tr0pVPЏ@j(ވ_u$M]^$ޚ3cZlvF<$p!,P_Xrei @]Y 2 lUJ%w[<eQWͣ[C^jmkѵŴ& "Qj{ݞJgtcUi 8UӚD,߷*% sZCY7'D&]3yU+/5>K|JذN)L#j)*(:(շs߂ ; Ab ʹKmej.a hwƋFyUScIΑؓ@G0E_z]ԣz:V%(ΦٵV7++#t}gERxkĀTsLM`) <ϞH) =υN<'0폲0uE&OrsiTSUVMךaYW!%k:w')s]k+cg.Gѻ)8^]U,^?SV:GJW 6qV8`M5Cv9,7mZKPP~kLԨ 5|S jxՒ ܕbk[ѭ9*s{;-w).# ã1ܢ%OzƷ'wivWPCU 5OrXį @LrPcnCzoDQ[4m Gv}zo@zLe;XUS~:C+  @{7!=&ʡ~ZW&DئN.ٸ\9Lc 6zVO(kwCMWrZ.Nw%<}^ YxUℜEm:r~&: }-U&  ȌЧi GF?^\uPNnf*O7`ꬎ(OmtyyL+ 7mܚCꪻHKm函u-&!U9YWk ^),ۻOwYhƨAFf(MdPAUO5 ުNy*vrU%5>C-W| QYv)\@a 00Ph dZ;EK({TI a93y엙>J3e7F C,˅_:&@jHrH o,.$G 0gPl }b-᭭C@:P*q ϫ57E^*b\n[LΪNV_es#6˱4Uq$뫴 9%U#mA]I{{ 9(5viZ^?sWȯF|1M _r&8[i ۣ2"R81V**8^ʯv]Q[? }wѻf:ABӢ-DꜘÉˬaܕ c1X)o8T^3mgJS6=D+-ZG(h+C}mAC' .0RPedxEE9N[1یak SRʞgrCl7 #t6+FdoB5B?ΗD+`yxG2;Bld^ɑkhYB"FzKV.+^sj6@9u73`u]Dod'N9Zo[eo6̻ ̈́/Dv+݄1:3ݧf#+ڪ\4=t jedn>L+YVp§*@Fem re?w܎԰NCOdiϐrBR6y]u0r +}fݖ -/H,x:&u3t;L.zT|7m3NϡtJi;YW0cwh%=i:K-_-@̰aż]}7ݼ0>WDȎg€j( PKXAUEuiWT4p,WDk(y6\et< #ȟ)E2)uz Nܾ8Vrc76NVuT9VUj1LBR#_Kۉb9l-ųڤKFXi5QCqIvj~.ZYC=c,+# # İe˛{Pwmx+/𕽸~_H Ϫ5)d.(6a Z_GH@,H~-jH`@*mER @8g'] uivkt,c}Xz(V3CH;m9+hmLpd,j$VԨ-ygҢϩIp|ˌW/2q`!M]pUy]xjdqhU]E623eylޣD |Jz]vfy=Qr:GY|ҏINlj٘;5߈Ж> P,{5}&*c˕1`S[<Xgpbͽ :ɉ燡)~kEu4R5aaUUE6c)U` oKEC%1ńXc0)}x JM&6&.x/U{+ #x@um:`?xF95ZK,>e0]zWpR(*q^5K̐K RK/Yǁ]-l7+d tP 13P [.1E9\UN)vvT6c8ml\]w/dܢ FVsZV>гAݮ!h9Ӓu}%/XoCrrˏ=%К+ǏH]efܧB+vǥrbg+ FXߚtE;|zD1Y,t9wsC%%olc ؼjU@=&bhk/Z{aw|`QeM׶"%fUW{@7opueO=cq\yuYpY7}*Cl[6SWS4^*B9szV(VtWC+и!Q7tK>ŏVzGa,.]_?l sVAkX2X1U(+Z@c2W%X>{2Bj4͟ս86,1:pwU.\ pxzoUpAǜN%N,TliFXѬ_aoaDo^5"tcL6Onh=$N"6w]H',*Ғ ]yļԲތ&Aa,CK pSi7*Žcy|ŅE/ Pi_9[yz9 M}db =pQS 7n="n,R.>cb$ܴ(\}<c ")6,'# 'rC?Si8ouT|B:M2:avbP7w%7po=Z)Tc Q/*W18ơ`qؐfAh-⧫_c-`& lBv•-2b(b04Xa2gA:E ~؞ `,qFqG ^3Gbi"3{XJP@zSNipS6i0Ҝr9ӘzpD)+"M2EQ3pLf:Xs[ztyO2 =8"Ŏi X0\C42z<˵'i":G2vxs݋l6撆gi@j2E>;=87k֋%}'m*<4<:ގs 6R0M ⦉g+:ӋAfVx![S#,5n+8 l,! UH T9welO+A-a FZ9<~8<1Df娦+q#ȁ@t%H.)1B7ꧠ{`}`KFg\RAFH+sY4/=,Q8a}JbXp# ;Hzqd!su3u^L}Ժ'͇~_U,G@a`mtgF\X`S`HvꕭLlQ5 p853_~05xq\EYY>. յ"4|h} jk9QM`N(nn 1OQI )&Eidf{zԗrqX#6Ck3J5EYP|ZN,.Uk/U>VI /,.=<8;s߇@/?.I5qOcGJ>2`=Iroip$w!U4vycLֳ8 Z]dwLvedxpyFHz`/TAfEJ ۛ 2Ggo.`𣖞+4#xsT$tޠ24Pp=R/l0Nvp;*>Ҍx"N,qgC9x@N: ``vN8ThXИ$CQq6օŘ sA} OrB4RA? F2TOezk1ym `tNcD1AQ /@!p~b kӾ`{Vz1D^1Lq1\ux:s{U) e%SJzͼs)zmQ0AZr%f,Pװ m[(&a}9lgs g$W3THrw輑%maw56wd0 U4NhcRD<1 @s+Jl --M8j߅(P: |)v>G1 H/ n;pn:~as RKb68W,t>2TE'8q=(GTCDi{IU9Y;Y!rWiBq1Kٝ3RS#pF+*W-_d; d^CreȆ"&±)o+bx :qA@Vd@T"O0Ã,6'u z4f4Bpz.qz;Y1O[`Kx!TZ\ L')Kc{r eۭ3%IpppNsR5ب|zw)Qg =\nL-X^.)1.yQq'8 jO'W}* ¡*Тo}g<O`.VjzGsµgiQ,RKal 04:u@A4]kvv'bOk'#5D7 C !@ Շ*CyuT=§;˜:2GOS%@.G׌DՅѐ?\**w 0]U€89"!~HaXꡐG ) 7H_1>kY3f?,FQ(cRJw6. {ĖEIQSOh(EL]`2U&͵H] 㶹TCN 4uG@/' @h3>n Ae?$\Mk~67TK3^Sdg5I1QJ4#zJwp8-Aqǭ(;(4fX$9v˵7`)3'aCUZiR $]ð-Rb %!=kE D kxK` MizłdH@ Smd  hLV^$&$#D*&!id]Ahp8=gQڑJiג۔qO%3d6h8#Cn} bQyl.")7e&vLgRZJ ވ>I9k\R{ku-ywkB_砲eK f*vfxQo4wti*V lkDp0:CCgS7&k!Dƻ6 bUN!csn,;,uCHpTt}P$7F!Pg^<@LUlru~.9) Trv2DùE%GqD% P 3lvyܡ M+Ӆ1م~^ԔÔޣM 4kZYO+Ag$IĔITFחdJqe(W垣PD T]߹VV09An_z~1 O 0:5_D  DIAFGD  KLɉ NJ  ?*zvoCuB|dE1ex@fVl!f*,r`,Qn4qqHU<хɽC}3>b1'hLazysFW 6D'mt[w 3[&`n/tH8[aiIH1U8oPLdhqLL% s.%tt znd"ًdH##\n4 \ ,h:>$bn ,Nh@km()!ǽ=&N{ӈ6!L ݔB(p"djD" rYrYse&@ 0r@C qQEMᚈg=ld S'hÑ(j/U\9!# .5$ _d" class="avatar avatar-100 photo amp-wp-enforced-sizes" height="100" width="100" layout="intrinsic"> says:

    It took a while for the magic of this to work on me Initially I thought Banville’s prose had the quality of bracken on a forest floor – the light picks out some beautiful tones and textures but there was a pervading sense of brittle lifelessness I felt he wrote like someone who never leaves his study or perhaps never leaves his head But then all of a sudden just before world war two arrives it jumped into life and I very much doubt if I’ll read a beautifully written novel this year It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea The narrator is just about as world weary and cynical as any voice in literature I’ve come across The mood is very much autumnal Banville has created a fictitious Anthony Blunt one of the Cambridge spies and told his story in the form of a memoir – what used to be called a roman a clef but now seems to be known as biographical fiction I guess the first question one asks is why bother giving Blunt a fictitious name? It gives Banville licence to make things up – which means you end up curious about Blunt than feeling secure he’s been explained to you This was a little about annoying as if I now have to read another book about him At the same time Banville’s character is one of the most memorable and thought provoking I’ve encountered for ages He's given us a brilliantly complex portrait of a man who defines many characteristics and contradictions of the age in which he lived The most fascinating thing about Banville’s Blunt is that there’s nothing passionate about his politics He doesn’t at any point come across as a man driven by ideology It’s like being a spy for the communists is a thrilling dangerous game for him And that the subterfuge fulfils a deep need of his nature Blunt was also homosexual and the two “occupations” have many parallels – the need of a bogus convincing façade the necessity of whispering of being vigilant to your surroundings of gravitating towards dark secret places of carrying around the tension of imminent catastrophic betrayal at every moment At the heart of this novel is a painting Blunt buys and loves as a young man It’s believed to be a Poussin but has never been authenticated The authenticity or not of this painting becomes and related to the authenticity of Blunt himself as the novel progresses – is there any connection between his inner and outer life? Does he even have an inner life? At times it seems not He takes no interest in his children I don’t think Anthony Blunt had a wife or children in real life he is driven by lust not love he is a snob he notices surfaces especially weather but seems to have little empathy for people His only true passion is for art and particularly Poussin who he writes about and becomes an expert on So you have the sense that the only thing holding Blunt together is the hope that his painting is authentic It’s an exciting moment in the novel when we find out if it’s authentic or not