John Banville Books in Order

The John Banville books have become so popular over the years that generation after generation, people keep going back to them.

If you're just starting with it and want a reading list, you're in luck. Here we list out all the John Banville books in order; keeping in mind various factors like the publication year, reviews, its popularity among readers, etc.

It’s always a good idea to read such book titles in sequence so that you don't miss out on the story plot and its discussions in the book clubs.

Publication Order of Philip Marlowe Books

The Big Sleep

Chandler, Raymond 1939

The iconic first novel from crime fiction master Raymond Chandler, featuring Philip Marlowe, the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times). A dying millionaire hires private eye Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, and Marlowe finds himself involved with more than extortion.

Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in.

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Farewell, My Lovely

Chandler, Raymond 1940

Crime fiction master Raymond Chandler's second novel featuring Philip Marlowe, the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times). Philip Marlowe's about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time to get caught up in a murder that leads to a ring of jewel thieves, another murder, a fortune-teller, a couple more murders, and more corruption than your average graveyard.

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The High Window

Chandler, Raymond 1942

Crime fiction master Raymond Chandler's third novel featuring Philip Marlowe, the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times). A wealthy Pasadena widow with a mean streak, a missing daughter-in-law with a past, and a gold coin worth a small fortune—the elements don't quite add up until Marlowe discovers evidence of murder, rape, blackmail, and the worst kind of human exploitation.

"Raymond Chandler is a star of the first magnitude."  Erle Stanley Gardner "Raymond Chandler has given us a detective who is hard-boiled enough to be convincing . . . and that is no mean achievement." --The New York Times

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The Lady in the Lake

Chandler, Raymond 1943

Crime fiction master Raymond Chandler's fourth novel featuring Philip Marlowe, the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times). In The Lady in the Lake, hardboiled crime fiction master Raymond Chandler brings us the story of a couple of missing wives—one a rich man's and one a poor man's—who have become the objects of Philip Marlowe's investigation.

One of them may have gotten a Mexican divorce and married a gigolo and the other may be dead. Marlowe's not sure he cares about either one, but he's not paid to care.

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The Little Sister

Raymond Chandler 1949

Crime fiction master Raymond Chandler's fifth novel featuring Philip Marlowe, the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times). In noir master Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister, a movie starlet with a gangster boyfriend and a pair of siblings with a shared secret lure private eye Philip Marlowe into the less than glamorous and more than a little dangerous world of Hollywood fame.

Chandler's first foray into the industry that dominates the company town that is Los Angeles.

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The Long Goodbye

Chandler, Raymond 1953

Crime fiction master Raymond Chandler's sixth novel featuring Philip Marlowe, the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times). In noir master Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye, Philip Marlowe befriends a down on his luck war veteran with the scars to prove it.

Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, whom he divorced and remarried and who ends up dead. And now Lennox is on the lam and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe.

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Playback

Chandler, Raymond 1958

Crime fiction master Raymond Chandler's final novel featuring Philip Marlowe, the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times). In noir master Raymond Chandler's Playback, Philip Marlowe is hired by an influential lawyer he's never heard of to tail a gorgeous redhead, but then decides he'd rather help out the redhead.

She's been acquitted of her alcoholic husband's murder, but her father-in-law prefers not to take the court's word for it. "Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angeles with a romantic presence:" -- Ross Macdonald

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Poodle Springs

Chandler, Raymond 1989

When Raymond Chandler died in 1959, he left behind the first four chapters of a new Philip Marlowe thriller. Now three decades later, Robert B. Parker, the bestselling creator of the Spenser detective novels, has completed Poodle Springs in a full-length masterpiece of criminal passion.

"More than just an impressive homage, this is a first-rate detective novel with all of the suspense, action, and human drama that we have come to expect from the best."--PlayboyPhilip Marlowe is alive and well and living in Poodle Springs, California.

He's married to a wealthy heiress now. But living in the lap of luxury hasn't made a dent in Marlowe's cynicism--or his talent for attracting trouble. Soon he's on a trail of greed, lust, and murder as dark and cunning as any he's ever seen. Philip Marlowe is back in business.

"Raymond Chandler fans, throw away your dog-eared copies of The Big Sleep...Philip Marlowe has returned!"--Milwaukee Journal

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Perchance to Dream

Parker, Robert B. 1991
In a sequel to Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, Marlowe takes on a case involving General Sternwood, who is six feet under, Vivian, who is dating a blackmailer, and Carmen, a sanitorium escapee. Reprint. Read More

The Black-Eyed Blonde

Black, Benjamin 2014

Raymond Chandler's incomparable private eye is back, pulled by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career"It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving.

The telephone on my desk had the look of something that knows it's being watched. Traffic trickled by in the street below, and there were a few pedestrians, too, men in hats going nowhere."So begins The Black-Eyed Blonde, a new novel featuring Philip Marlowe―yes, that Philip Marlowe.

Channeling Raymond Chandler, Benjamin Black has brought Marlowe back to life for a new adventure on the mean streets of Bay City, California. It is the early 1950s, Marlowe is as restless and lonely as ever, and business is a little slow. Then a new client is shown in: young, beautiful, and expensively dressed, she wants Marlowe to find her former lover, a man named Nico Peterson.

Marlowe sets off on his search, but almost immediately discovers that Peterson's disappearance is merely the first in a series of bewildering events. Soon he is tangling with one of Bay City's richest families and developing a singular appreciation for how far they will go to protect their fortune.

Only Benjamin Black, a modern master of the genre, could write a new Philip Marlowe detective novel that has all the panache and charm of the originals while delivering a story that is as sharp and fresh as today's best crime fiction.

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Only to Sleep

Osborne, Lawrence 2018

Lawrence Osborne brings one of literature’s most enduring detectives back to life—as Private Investigator Philip Marlowe returns for one last adventure. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND NPR • NOMINATED FOR THE EDGAR AND SHAMUS AWARDSThe year is 1988.

The place, Baja California. And Philip Marlowe—now in his seventy-second year—is living out his retirement in the terrace bar of the La Fonda hotel. Sipping margaritas, playing cards, his silver-tipped cane at the ready. When in saunter two men dressed like undertakers, with a case that has his name written all over it.

   For Marlowe, this is his last roll of the dice, his swan song. His mission is to investigate the death of Donald Zinn—supposedly drowned off his yacht, and leaving behind a much younger and now very rich wife. But is Zinn actually alive? Are the pair living off the spoils? Set between the border and badlands of Mexico and California, Lawrence Osborne’s resurrection of the iconic Marlowe is an unforgettable addition to the Raymond Chandler canon.

 Praise for Only to Sleep “A new case for Philip Marlowe and—have a smell from the barrel, all you gunsels and able grables —it crackles.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice) “Brilliant. Osborne and Chandler are a perfect match.

”—William Boyd, author of Any Human Heart “A Marlowe we at once know, but have never met before. As much a meditation on aging and memory as it is a crime thriller.”—Los Angeles Times “It’s the kind of book where, when you read it, it turns the world to black and white for a half-hour afterward.

It leaves you with the taste of rum and blood in your mouth. It hangs with you like a scar.”—NPR

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Publication Order of Quirke Books

Christine Falls

Black, Benjamin 2006

The hero of Christine Falls, Quirke, is a surly pathologist living in 1950s Dublin. One night, after having a few drinks at a party, he returns to the morgue to find his brother-in-law tampering with the records on a young woman's corpse. The next morning, when his hangover has worn off, Quirke reluctantly begins looking into the woman's history.

He discovers a plot that spans two continents, implicates the Catholic Church, and may just involve members of his own family. He is warned--first subtly, then with violence--to lay off, but Quirke is a stubborn man. The first novel in the Quirke series brings all the vividness and psychological insight of John Banville's writing to the dark, menacing atmosphere of a first-class thriller.

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The Silver Swan

Black, Benjamin 2007

It has been two years since the events of Christine Falls, the bestselling novel that introduced the world to an irascible Dublin pathologist named Quirke. Quirke's beloved Sarah has died, his surrogate father lies paralyzed by a stroke, and he's been sober for half a year.

When a near-forgotten acquaintance asks him to cover up his beautiful young wife's apparent suicide, Quirke knows he should stay clear, for the sake of his sobriety and his peace of mind. But his old itch is irresistible, and before long he is probing further into the circumstances of Deidre Hunt's death, into a web of drugs and illicit sex that may have snared his own daughter, Phoebe.

With its vivid, intense evocation of 1950s Dublin, and intricate, psychologically complex storyline, The Silver Swan is "even more engrossing than last year's Christine Falls" (Entertainment Weekly).

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Elegy for April

Black, Benjamin 2010

The New York Times Bestselling Author of Christine FallsApril Latimer, a junior doctor at a local hospital, is something of a scandal in the conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. She's known for being independent, and her taste in men is decidedly unconventional.

Now April has vanished, and her friend Phoebe Griffin suspects the worst. Phoebe seeks out Quirke, her brilliant but erratic father, and asks him for help. Sober again after intensive treatment for alcoholism, Quirke follows April's trail through some of the darker byways of the city, and finds himself deeply involved in April's murky story, facing ugly truths about family savagery, Catholic ruthlessness, and race hatred.

Both an absorbing crime novel and a brilliant portrait of a father and his daughter, this is Benjamin Black at his sparkling best.

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A Death in Summer

Black, Benjamin 2011

One of The Chicago Tribune's Best Reads of 2011.One of Dublin's most powerful men meets a violent end―and an acknowledged master of crime fiction delivers his most gripping novel yet.On a sweltering summer afternoon, newspaper tycoon Richard Jewell―known to his many enemies as Diamond Dick―is discovered with his head blown off by a shotgun blast.

But is it suicide or murder? For help with the investigation, Detective Inspector Hackett calls in his old friend Quirke, who has unusual access to Dublin's elite.Jewell's coolly elegant French wife, Françoise, seems less than shocked by her husband's death.

But Dannie, Jewell's high-strung sister, is devastated, and Quirke is surprised to learn that in her grief she has turned to an unexpected friend: David Sinclair, Quirke's ambitious assistant in the pathology lab at the Hospital of the Holy Family. Further, Sinclair has been seeing Quirke's fractious daughter Phoebe, and an unlikely romance is blossoming between the two.

As a record heat wave envelops the city and the secret deals underpinning Diamond Dick's empire begin to be revealed, Quirke and Hackett find themselves caught up in a dark web of intrigue and violence that threatens to end in disaster.Tightly plotted and gorgeously written, A Death in Summer proves to the brilliant but sometimes reckless Quirke that in a city where old money and the right bloodlines rule, he is by no means safe from mortal danger.

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Vengeance

Black, Benjamin 2012

A bizarre suicide leads to a scandal and then still more blood, as one of our most brilliant crime novelists reveals a world where money and sex trump everythingIt's a fine day for a sail, and Victor Delahaye, one of Ireland's most successful businessmen, takes his boat far out to sea.

With him is his partner's son―who becomes the sole witness when Delahaye produces a pistol, points it at his own chest, and fires.This mysterious death immediately engages the attention of Detective Inspector Hackett, who in turn calls upon the services of his sometime partner Quirke, consultant pathologist at the Hospital of the Holy Family.

The stakes are high: Delahaye's prominence in business circles means that Hackett and Quirke must proceed very carefully. Among others, they interview Mona Delahaye, the dead man's young and very beautiful wife; James and Jonas Delahaye, his identical twin sons; and Jack Clancy, his ambitious, womanizing partner.

But then a second death occurs, this one even more shocking than the first, and quickly it becomes apparent that a terrible secret threatens to destroy the lives and reputations of several members of Dublin's elite.Why did Victor Delahaye kill himself, and who is intent upon wreaking vengeance on so many of those who knew him?

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Holy Orders

Black, Benjamin 2013

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST MYSTERIES OF THE YEAR BY THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.The latest Quirke case opens in Dublin at a moment when newspapers are censored, social conventions are strictly defined, and appalling crimes are hushed up. Why? Because in 1950s Ireland, the Catholic Church controls the lives of nearly everyone.

But when Quirke's daughter, Phoebe, loses her close friend Jimmy Minor to murder, Quirke can no longer play by the church's rules. Along with Inspector Hackett, his sometime partner, Quirke learns just how far the church and its supporters will go to protect their own interests.

In Holy Orders, Benjamin Black's inimitable creation, the endlessly curious Quirke brings a pathologist's unique understanding of death to unlock the most dangerous of secrets.

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Even the Dead

Black, Benjamin 2015

A suspicious death, a pregnant woman suddenly gone missing: Quirke's latest case leads him inexorably toward the dark machinations of an old foePerhaps Quirke has been down among the dead too long. Lately the Irish pathologist has suffered hallucinations and blackouts, and he fears the cause is a brain tumor.

A specialist diagnoses an old head injury caused by a savage beating; all that's needed, the doctor declares, is an extended rest. But Quirke, ever intent on finding his place among the living, is not about to retire. One night during a June heat wave, a car crashes into a tree in central Dublin and bursts into flames.

The police assume the driver's death was either an accident or a suicide, but Quirke's examination of the body leads him to believe otherwise. Then his daughter Phoebe gets a mysterious visit from an acquaintance: the woman, who admits to being pregnant, says she fears for her life, though she won't say why.

When the woman later disappears, Phoebe asks her father for help, and Quirke in turn seeks the assistance of his old friend Inspector Hackett. Before long the two men find themselves untangling a twisted string of events that takes them deep into a shadowy world where one of the city's most powerful men uses the cover of politics and religion to make obscene profits.

""" "" Even the Dead"--Benjamin Black's seventh novel featuring the endlessly fascinating Quirke--is a story of surpassing intensity and surprising beauty.

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Publication Order of The Revolutions Trilogy Books

Doctor Copernicus

Banville, John 1976

Sixteenth century Europe is teeming with change and controversy: wars are being waged by princes and bishops and the repercussions of Luther are being felt through a convulsing Germany. In a remote corner of Poland a modest canon is practicing medicine and studying the heavens, preparing a theory that will shatter the medieval view of the universe.

In this astonishing work of historical imagination, John Banville offers a vivid portrait of a man of painful reticence, haunted by a malevolent brother and baffled by the conspiracies that rage around him and his ideas. For, in a world that is equal parts splendor and barbarism, an obscure cleric who seeks “the secret music of the universe” poses a most devastating threat.

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Kepler

Banville, John 1981

In a brilliant illumination of the Renaissance mind, acclaimed Irish novelist John Banville re-creates the life of Johannes Kepler and his incredible drive to chart the orbits of the planets and the geometry of the universe. Wars, witchcraft, and disease rage throughout Europe.

For this court mathematician, vexed by domestic strife, appalled by the religious upheavals that have driven him from exile to exile, and vulnerable to the whims of his eccentric patrons, astronomy is a quest for some form of divine order. For all the mathematical precision of his exploration, though, it is a seemingly elusive quest until he makes one glorious and profound discovery.

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The Newton Letter

Banville, John 1982

A historian, trying to finish a long-overdue book on Isaac Newton, rent a cottage not far by train from Dublin for the summer. All he need, he thinks, is a few weeks of concentrated work. Why, he must unravel, did Newton break down in 1693? What possessed him to write that strange letter to his friend John Locke? But in the long seeping summer days, old sloth and present reality take over.

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Publication Order of The Cleave Trilogy Books

Eclipse

Banville, John 2000

In his first novel since The Untouchable, John Banville gives us the intensely emotional story of a man discovering for the first time who he has been and what he is becoming.Alexander Cleave—a famous actor who “took to the stage to give myself a cast of characters to inhabit who would be .

. . of more weight and moment than I could ever hope to be”—faces the almost certain collapse of his thirty-year career. In physical and psychological retreat, he returns to his abandoned childhood home, believing that, away from his wife and daughter, away from the world at large, alone, without an audience of any kind, he might finally stop performing, catch himself in the act of living, and simply be.

But the house is unexpectedly populated. There are Cleave’s memories, which seem to rise up out of the house itself: of the years during his childhood when his mother took in boarders; of the beginnings, and the beginnings-of-the-end, of his career and his marriage; of the course of his relationship with his now estranged daughter; and of his father, who committed suicide when Cleave was still a boy.

There are the corporeal, but illicit, inhabitants of the house: the caretaker, an unsettling presence “with the ageless aspect of a wastrel son,” and the fifteen-year-old housekeeper, a “voluptuary of indolence.” And there are the apparitions (ghosts? premonitions? visitations?)—a woman, a child, and a third, ill-defined figure—who Cleave feels are “intricately involved in the problem of whatever it is that has gone wrong with me.

”Struggling to determine what exactly has gone wrong, and to understand what part the apparitions play in his life and he in theirs, Cleave slowly comes to see the ways in which things and people—himself included—are not what they seem, and the ways in which, inevitably, they reveal what they are.

Brilliantly conjured and realized, Eclipse is John Banville at his unique best.

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Shroud

Banville, John 2002

Axel Vander is an old man, in ill health, recently widowed, a scholar renowned for both his unquestionable authority and the ferocity and violence that often mark his conduct. He is known to be Belgian by birth, to have had a privileged upbringing, to have made a perilous escape from World War II–torn Europe—his blind eye and dead leg are indelible reminders of that time.

But Vander is also a master liar (“I lied to lie”), his true identity shrouded under countless layers of intricately connected falsehoods. Now a young woman he doesn’t know, and whom he has dubbed “Miss Nemesis,” has threatened to expose the most fundamental and damaging of these lies.

Vander has agreed to travel from California to meet her in Italy—in Turin, city of the most mysterious shroud—believing that he will have no difficulty rendering her harmless.But he is wrong. This woman—at once mad and brilliant, generous and demanding—will be the catalyst for Vander’s reluctant journey through his past toward the truths he has hidden, and toward others even he will be shocked to discover.

In Shroud—as in all of his acclaimed previous novels—John Banville gives us an emotionally resonant tale, exceptionally rich in language and image, dazzling in its narrative invention. It is a work of uncommon power.

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Ancient Light

Banville, John 2012

Is there a difference between memory and invention? That is the question that haunts Alexander Cleave as he reflects on his first, and perhaps only, love—an underage affair with his best friend’s mother. When his stunted acting career is suddenly, inexplicably revived with a movie role playing a man who may not be who he claims, his young leading lady—famous and fragile—unwittingly gives him the opportunity to see, with startling clarity, the gap between the things he has done and the way he recalls them.

Profoundly moving, Ancient Light is written with the depth of character, clarifying lyricism, and heart-wrenching humor that mark all of Man Booker Prize-winning author John Banville’s extraordinary works.

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Publication Order of Frames: The Freddie Montgomery Trilogy Books

The Book of Evidence

John Banville 1989
Freddie Montgomery, a thirty-eight-year-old one-time scientist, returns to his native Ireland to reclaim a seventeenth-century Dutch school painting which he believes to be part of his patrimony, committing a ghastly murder along the way Read More

Ghosts

Banville, John 1993

In this brilliantly haunting new novel, John Banville forges an unforgettable amalgam of enchantment and menace that suggests both The Tempest and his own acclaimed The Book of Evidence. "A surreal and exquisitely lyrical new novel by one of the great stylists writing in English today.

"--Boston Globe.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Athena

Banville, John 1995
This is the story of a man who hides a dark secret from his past. Despite the fact that he has served his time and changed his name, there are too many people around who have not forgotten that Morrow is a murderer. He is pursued by a collection of strange characters. Read More

Publication Order of Tax Free Books

Tax Free

Black, Benjamin 2008

Illegal Evasion is the first book in the Tax Free series. With elements of morality, family, friendship, love, sex, drugs, crime and politics, Illegal Evasion sets the gold standard for modern fiction. The Tax Free series is a crime-fiction work that illustrates how the current federal payroll and income tax structure in the United States actually encourages the evasion of taxes—both legally and illegally—and also promotes the flow of money, investments and jobs out of the country and not into collected tax revenue.

Illegal Evasion sheds light on this hypocritical state of affairs by following the formative years (15-22) of the main character, Robert Talte, and his struggle to climb the so-called socioeconomic ladder. Illegal Evasion is an inspiring story that will leave you questioning the way your government does business.

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More Confessions from a Serial Tax Cheat

Black, Benjamin 2009

More Confessions from a Serial Tax Cheat is the second and final book in The Tax Free Series—a fictional compilation that illustrates the perversity of the current federal tax code. Robert Talte has finally made it. He’s graduated college atop his class, he’s got a flashy car, and he’s also got a beautiful girlfriend from a wealthy family.

With the world seemingly at his fingertips, Robert has vowed to put his lawbreaking and tax-subverting ways behind him once and for all. Or so he had hoped. After an unimaginable turn of events, Robert finds himself in a set of circumstances that leave him no other option than to delve back into the fray of illicit activity.

This time, however, it’s not about self-promotion. It’s about family. It’s about honor. It’s about self-preservation.

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Nightspawn

Banville, John 1971

The title of Banville's first novel, Nightspawn (1971), involves a pun: "night spawn," "night's pawn," and "knight's pawn," heralding the ludic nature of the whole book. Nightspawn plays with literary conventions in order to show their exhaustive nature.

It is an inside-out novel, one of the very few metanovels to have come out of Ireland. Ben White tells of a coup d'etat in Greece and his embroilment therein. White is a writer and he succeeds in working his account into a gripping thriller. But Nightspawn is anything but a straitlaced thriller; it is a parody of the narrative genre.

Most scenes end in farce. Behind all the parodying, the playful turning upside-down of conventions and self-reflexive commenting, there lies a most serious intention: the age-old desire of the artist to express the things in their essence, to transfix beauty and truth.

Like Beckett's narrators, White permanently urges himself on 'to express it all.' But he fails, is bound to fail, because every artist must

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Birchwood

Banville, John 1973

An early classic from the Man Booker-prize winning author of The Sea. I am therefore I think. So starts John Banville’s 1973 novel Birchwood, a novel that centers around Gabriel Godkin and his return to his dilapidated family estate. After years away, Gabriel returns to a house filled with memories and despair.

Delving deep into family secrets—a cold father, a tortured mother, an insane grandmother—Gabriel also recalls his first encounters with love and loss. At once a novel of a family, of isolation, and of a blighted Ireland, Birchwood is a remarkable and complex story about the end of innocence for one boy and his country, told in the brilliantly styled prose of one of our most essential writers.

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Mefisto

Banville, John 1986
A work of dazzling imagination that takes as its theme the price the true scientist or artist must pay for his calling in terms of his own humanity, his ability to live fully. Read More

The Untouchable

Banville, John 1997

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 Carre.Winner of the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction"Contemporary fiction gets no better than this.

.. Banville's books teem with life and humor." - Patrick McGrath, The New York Times Book Review"Victor 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 World"As remarkable a literary voice as any to come out of Ireland; Joyce and Beckett notwithstanding.

" -San Francisco Chronicle

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The Sea

Banville, John 2005

*Winner of the Man Booker Prize*A luminous novel about love, loss, and the unpredictable power of memory. In this “extraordinary meditation on mortality, grief, death, childhood and memory" (USA Today), John Banville introduces us to Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman who has gone back to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child to cope with the recent loss of his wife.

It is also a return to the place where he met the Graces, the well-heeled family with whom he experienced the strange suddenness of both love and death for the first time. What Max comes to understand about the past, and about its indelible effects on him, is at the center of this elegiac, gorgeously written novel — among the finest we have had from this masterful writer.

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The Infinities

Banville, John 2009

On a languid midsummer’s day in the countryside, the Godley family gathers at the bedside of Adam, a renowned mathematician and their patriarch. But they are not alone in their vigil. Around them hovers a clan of mischievous immortals—Zeus, Pan, and Hermes among them —who begin to stir up trouble for the Godleys, to sometimes wildly unintended effect.

The Infinities—John Banville’s first novel since his Booker Prize-winning and bestselling The Sea—is at once a gloriously earthy romp and a wise look at the terrible, wonderful plight of being human.

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The Blue Guitar

Banville, John 2015

John Banville, the Man Booker Prize–winning author of The Sea and Ancient Light, now gives us a new novel—at once trenchant, witty, and shattering—about the intricacies of artistic creation, about theft, and about the ways in which we learn to possess one another, and to hold on to ourselves.

Equally self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating, our narrator, Oliver Otway Orme (“O O O. An absurdity. You could hang me over the door of a pawnshop”), is a painter of some renown and a petty thief who has never before been caught and steals only for pleasure.

Both art and the art of thievery have been part of his “endless effort at possession,” but now he’s pushing fifty, feels like a hundred, and things have not been going so well. Having recognized the “man-killing crevasse” that exists between what he sees and any representation he might make of it, he has stopped painting.

And his last act of thievery—the last time he felt its “secret shiver of bliss”—has been discovered. The fact that the purloined possession was the wife of the man who was, perhaps, his best friend has compelled him to run away—from his mistress, his home, his wife; from whatever remains of his impulse to paint; and from a tragedy that has long haunted him—and to sequester himself in the house where he was born.

Trying to uncover in himself the answer to how and why things have turned out as they have, excavating memories of family, of places he has called home, and of the way he has apprehended the world around him (“one of my eyes is forever turning towards the world beyond”), Olly reveals the very essence of a man who, in some way, has always been waiting to be rescued from himself.

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Prague Nights

Black, Benjamin 2017
Prague Nights Read More

Mrs. Osmond

Banville, John 2017

From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea, a dazzling and audacious new novel that extends the story of Isabel Archer, the heroine of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady, into unexpected territory.Isabel Archer is a young American woman, swept off to Europe in the late nineteenth century by an aunt who hopes to round out the impetuous but naïve girl's experience of the world.

When Isabel comes into a large, unexpected inheritance, she is finagled into a marriage with the charming, penniless, and—as Isabel finds out too late—cruel and deceitful Gilbert Osmond, whose connection to a certain Madame Merle is suspiciously intimate.

On a trip to England to visit her cousin Ralph Touchett on his deathbed, Isabel is offered a chance to free herself from the marriage, but nonetheless chooses to return to Italy. Banville follows James's story line to this point, but Mrs. Osmond is thoroughly Banville's own: the narrative inventiveness; the lyrical precision and surprise of his language; the layers of emotional and psychological intensity; the subtle, dark humor.

And when Isabel arrives in Italy—along with someone else!—the novel takes off in directions that James himself would be thrilled to follow.

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Snow

Banville, John 2020

LOOK FOR BANVILLE'S NEXT GREAT CRIME NOVEL, "APRIL IN SPAIN," COMING FALL 2021*NATIONAL BESTSELLER*A Globe and Mail Best Book of the YearA New York Times Editors’ Choice Pick“Banville sets up and then deftly demolishes the Agatha Christie format…superbly rich and sophisticated.

”—New York Times Book Review The incomparable Booker Prize winner’s next great crime novel—the story of a family whose secrets resurface when a parish priest is found murdered in their ancestral homeDetective Inspector St. John Strafford has been summoned to County Wexford to investigate a murder.

A parish priest has been found dead in Ballyglass House, the family seat of the aristocratic, secretive Osborne family.The year is 1957 and the Catholic Church rules Ireland with an iron fist. Strafford—flinty, visibly Protestant and determined to identify the murderer—faces obstruction at every turn, from the heavily accumulating snow to the culture of silence in the tight-knit community he begins to investigate.

As he delves further, he learns the Osbornes are not at all what they seem. And when his own deputy goes missing, Strafford must work to unravel the ever-expanding mystery before the community’s secrets, like the snowfall itself, threaten to obliterate everything.

Beautifully crafted, darkly evocative and pulsing with suspense, Snow is “the Irish master” (New Yorker) John Banville at his page-turning best.Don't miss John Banville's next novel, April in Spain!

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Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

God's Gift

Banville, John 2001

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Long Lankin

Banville, John 1970

A collection of short stories from the early years of Man Booker Prize-winning author John Banville’s career, Long Lankin explores the passionate emotions—fear, jealousy, desire—that course beneath the surface of everyday life. From a couple at risk of being torn apart by the allure of wealth to an old man’s descent into nature, the tales in this collection showcase the talents that launched Banville onto the literary scene.

Offering a unique insight into the mind of “one of the great living masters of English-language prose” (Los Angeles Times), these nine haunting sketches stand alone as canny observations on the turbulence of the human condition.

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The Supreme Fictions of John Banville

McMinn, Joseph 1999

McMinn updates his 1991 John Banville: A Critical Study to incorporate subsequent developments in the postmodern writer's fiction and the significant growth in critical literature on it. He looks at 11 novels and the two dramatic pieces The Broken Jug and Seachange .

US distribution is by St. Martin's Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Publication Order of Plays

Conversation in the Mountains

John Banville 2020
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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Possessed of a Past: A John Banville Reader

Bell, Raymond 2012

The material collected here is a treasure trove, a fine retrospective and a comprehensive guide to the work of Ireland's greatest living novelist, John Banville. Selections are drawn from all of his novels, up to and including 2012's Ancient Light; each piece standing alone, short-story-like, but also resonating with those around it and representing the novel from which it comes.

There are radio plays, some published in print for the first time here. There is a judicious selection of his essays and reviews. Perhaps most beguiling of all are the pieces of memoir, the early work (including Banville's first-ever piece of published fiction, from 1966) and the chance to see facsimiles of the handwritten first draft of the opening section of The Infinities.

Possessed of a Past is an extraordinary document of the writer's life and work across nearly fifty years of practice, simultaneously offering the perfect introduction to Banville's sublime art and manna to devoted readers.

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Time Pieces

Banville, John 2016

From the internationally acclaimed and Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea and the Benjamin Black mysteries--a vividly evocative memoir that unfolds around the author's recollections, experience, and imaginings of Dublin.As much about the life of the city as it is about a life lived, sometimes, in the city, John Banville's "quasi-memoir" is as layered, emotionally rich, witty, and unexpected as any of his novels.

Born and bred in a small town a train ride away from Dublin, Banville saw the city as a place of enchantment when he was a child, a birthday treat, the place where his beloved, eccentric aunt lived. And though, when he came of age and took up residence there, and the city became a frequent backdrop for his dissatisfactions (not playing an identifiable role in his work until the Quirke mystery series, penned as Benjamin Black), it remained in some part of his memory as fascinating as it had been to his seven-year-old self.

And as he guides us around the city, delighting in its cultural, architectural, political, and social history, he interweaves the memories that are attached to particular places and moments. The result is both a wonderfully idiosyncratic tour of Dublin, and a tender yet powerful ode to a formative time and place for the artist as a young man.

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Publication Order of Anthologies

Imagined Lives

Banville, John 2010

• Published on the occasion of a new display at the National Portrait Gallery, London from 3 December - August 2012• Features two new pieces by award winning author Alexander McCall Smith and Tarnya Cooper, 16th Century Curator and Deputy Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London• A major collaboration between the National Portrait Gallery, postgraduate students at the University of Bristol and the National Trust, and includes new research into the identities of the sittersIn Rosy, Tracy Chevalier writes of a handsome young man with a flushed complexion as the object of homosexual desire.

Minette Walters writes a poignant letter from a despairing wife. Julian Fellowes has created a biography of a resourceful woman whose husband was executed during Henry VIII's reign.Sarah Singleton relates the adventures of a spice merchant and amateur musician struggling to make his way in the world, despite his illegitimate status.

Joanna Trollope tells a touching tale about the offer of a marriage proposal in the form of a letter from the sitter's intended bride. By contrast, the fantasy writer Terry Pratchett has written an amusing tale about an explorer who presented Elizabeth I with a skunk.

And John Banville has seen, in the features of a man on his deathbed, the face of an admired officer serving with Cromwell's New Model Army.These short, fictional narratives build brilliantly on what can be seen in each portrait, thereby providing a new and entertaining way of looking at these intriguing images.

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Best European Fiction 2013

Hemon, Aleksandar 2012

2013 may be the best year yet for Best European Fiction. The inimitable John Banville joins the list of distinguished preface writers for Aleksandar Hemon's series, and A. S. Byatt represents England among a luminous cast of European contributors. Fans of the series will find everything they've grown to love, while new readers will discover what they've been missing!

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And that's the end of the complete list! Now that you have it - the next step for you is to of course purchase them and dive into reading John Banville books. Worry not, we've done the tedious job for you and added amazon direct book links including AudioBook, Kindle, Paperback and Hardcover versions as applicable.

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