Ah, yes, the book. Now I shall open it at page one...
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
John Banville in Bloomsbury
Hot on the heels of J.M. Coetzee's Summertime comes another new novel from a contemporary master of fiction, John Banville. I have only just acquired The Infinities so I have nothing yet to say about its content but Banville himself was in London last night at the London Review Bookshop in Bury Place, Bloomsbury talking to a sell-out audience and reading from the book. Banville was on sparkling and witty form, and, after reading a self-contained section of the book he answered questions with great aplomb. Aplomb and tact, one might add, as the inevitable bores who are attracted to this kind of event put their long-winded and self-regarding "questions" to him. In a sense these "meet the author" sessions have little to do with the book (which most people would not have had the chance to read) and everything to do with the author's performance and my own reasons for being there were, I imagine, no different from most people's: to get a squint at a writer I have admired for many years. Engaging and funny with lots of pithy comments and lively opinions, Banville gave us our money's worth and we all dispersed into the muggy Bloomsbury night air clutching our signed copies of the book.