Shroud by John Banville

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One part Nietzsche, one part Humbert Humbert, and a soupcon of Milton’s Lucifer, Axel Vander, the dizzyingly unreliable narrator of John Banville’s masterful new novel, is very old, recently widowed, and the bearer of a fearsome reputation as a literary dandy and bully. A product of the Old World, he is also an escapee from its conflagrations, with the wounds to prove it. And everything about him is a lie.

Now those lies have been unraveled by a mysterious young woman whom Vander calls “Miss Nemesis.” They are to meet in Turin, a city best known for its enigmatic shroud. Is her purpose to destroy Vander or to save him—or simply to show him what lies beneath the shroud in which he has wrapped his life? A splendidly moving exploration of identity, duplicity, and desire, Shroud is Banville’s most rapturous performance to date.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About John Banville

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John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His first book, Long Lankin, was published in 1970. His other books are Nightspawn, Birchwood, Doctor Copernicus, Kepler, The Newton Letter, Mefisto, The Book of Evidence (which was shortlisted for the 1989 Booker Prize), Ghosts, Athena, The Untouchable, and Eclipse. He lives in Dublin.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shroud

Publishers Weekly

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Alex Vander is a fraud, big-time. An elderly professor of literature and a scholarly writer with an international reputation, he has neither the education nor the petit bourgeois family in Antwerp

Jan 27 2003 | Read Full Review of Shroud

The Guardian

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In the marbled piazzas of Turin, Vander and Cassandra - now embarked on a troubled love affair - promenade like Harlequin and Columbine, while Vander's mind conjures up violent images like "an emaciated, gape-mouthed figure, stooped and naked, running with uplifted arms through a landscape of bur...

Oct 04 2002 | Read Full Review of Shroud

The Guardian

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Vander's animation is huge even when he is lamenting his terminal decline, and Banville has learnt, perhaps from Nabokov, to calibrate charm so that it transforms the most compromising admission: 'There sits at the centre of the by now practically leafless maze of my sensual imagination a small, ...

Oct 12 2002 | Read Full Review of Shroud

The Sunday Times

SHROUD by John Banville (Picador £15.99 pp408) John Banville has compared writing novels to having a dream and trying to share it with his readers, not simply by relating the dream but by attempting to re-create the experience of dreaming it.

Oct 13 2002 | Read Full Review of Shroud

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