Mefisto (1986)

Is there a numerical solution to the quest for the meaning of life? A brilliant reworking of the classic Dr Faustus theme,Mefisto focuses on the mathematically gifted Gabriel Swan, who seeks a numerical solution to his quest for order and meaning in life.

‘Mefisto renders all superlatives woefully inadequate . . . Undisputed master of language, the laconic pause and the blackly comic, Banville is a supreme stylist . . . He is a magician . . . Another expectedly astonishing and very daring display from this richly, almost wickedly, gifted artist’
— Time Out

‘An excellent novel, beautifully written. The sort of thing you have to read more than once – wonderful stuff’
— Punch

‘Few writers in Ireland today can arouse such expectation by the advent of a new novel . . . A profound beauty of words displayed by their lover . . . Banville’s great enterprise does not falter . . . read Mefisto straight through; it deserves it’
— The Irish Times