The Singularities: A novel (Hardcover)
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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.
About the Author
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.
“A feast for Banville superfans and newbies alike, The Singularities is a multiverse triumph.”
—Adrienne Westenfeld, Esquire (Best Books of Fall)
“Banville gives readers an exquisite and mischievously voyeuristic view into the lives of others . . . 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.”
—George Kendall, Booklist (starred)
“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)
“An intriguing puzzle box . . . 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 artful and atmospheric story of redemption . . . With penetrating psychological insight, Banville tracks the private struggles of these mismatched trespassers . . . The book boasts some of Banville’s greatest prose . . . A fine addition to a brilliant body of work.”