Eclipse: A Novel

Front Cover
Alfred A Knopf, 2001 - Fiction - 211 pages
13 Reviews
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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
6
4 stars
3
3 stars
3
2 stars
0
1 star
1

Review: Eclipse

User Review  - Elaine Kozak - Goodreads

Astonishingly beautiful prose effectively evokes the hollowing out of a man's soul. Read full review

Review: Eclipse

User Review  - Tom McDade - Goodreads

"Banville has an uncanny ability to pinpoint and record sensations rarely brought to consciousness...Eclipse wakes up to things we should have noticed," -- San Francisco Chronicle Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
27
Section 3
43
Copyright

8 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

John Banville is the author of ten novels, including the Man Booker-prize winning novel "The Sea," He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

"From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bibliographic information