Review – A Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists, 1854-1967 by Rachel Cohen

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

A Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists, 1854-1967 by Rachel Cohen 388pp, Cape

Brief encounters: John Banville is charmed by Rachel Cohen’s study of American artistic friendships, A Chance Meeting . . .

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Review – Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions by John Gray

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions by John Gray 200pp, Granta,

Beyond dentistry: John Gray highlights faith in progress as the fundamental error of our age in his collection of essays, Heresies, says John Banville . . .

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Review – Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment by James R Gaines

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

 

Strange meeting: When J S Bach met Frederick the Great the Middle Ages collided with the Enlightenment. Sparks fly in James R Gaines’ Evening in the Palace of Reason . . .

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Review – Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed by Simon Blackburn

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

Truth: A Guide for the Perplexedby Simon Blackburn 210pp, Allen Lane

Whose truth? John Banville follows Simon Blackburn on the ultimate philosopher’s quest in Truth . . .

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Review – Beckett Remembering, Remembering Beckett edited by James and Elizabeth Knowlson

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

Beckett Remembering, Remembering Beckett, edited by James and Elizabeth Knowlson

Beckett on the couch: James and Elizabeth Knowlson’s collection of interviews, Beckett Remembering, Remembering Beckett, gives a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the great dramatist, says John Banville . . .

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Review – Everyman by Philip Roth

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

Everyman by Philip Roth 192pp, Jonathan Cape

Grave thoughts from a master: A blank style masks the magical craft of Philip Roth in Everyman, says John Banville . . .

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Review – The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of a Universe by Michael Frayn

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of a Universe by Michael Frayn 704pp, Faber, £20

Making ourselves up: John Banville enjoys Michael Frayn’s lesson on the appeal of uncertainty . . .

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Review – Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia by John Gray

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

Buy Black Mass at the Guardian bookshop

Rocky road to utopia: John Gray’s brilliant analysis of religion in politics leaves John Banville invigorated despite its bleak truths . . .

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Review – Vincent van Gogh: The Letters edited by Leo Jansen, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

Sketch of Van Gogh’s painting The Bedroom, sent with a letter to his brother, Theo, 16 October 1888. Van Gogh Museum

A remarkable new edition of Vincent van Gogh’s letters reveals him to be an artist inspired as much by joy as despair, discovers John Banville . . .

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Review – The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe by Andrew O’Hagan

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by admin

llustration by Clifford Harper/agraphia.co.uk

John Banville admires Andrew O’Hagan’s act of canine ventriloquism . . .

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