Monday, May 20, 2024

John Banville’s new Murder Mystery begins like a game of clues


What distinguishes Strafford from almost all of his colleagues in Irish police Garda is that he is from the same class as The Osbournes, the family he is investigating, and the Protestants. Banville plays great with this pairing. Strafford confuses The Osbournes. He is one of them, but he is also a potential enemy of them. The family is strange and full of mutual hostility. Colonel Osborne is a widowed soldier. His second wife is grumpy and mentally ill and is probably addicted to morphine. His daughter and son hate their stepmother. Various holders help maintain status.

Strafford must enter their world and determine which of them may have committed such a frustrated murder. The Colonel thinks someone has invaded the house. Slowly but surely, family hostility and inside stories point Strafford in a particular direction.

It does not reveal how thick the plot will be. The portrayal of Banville, a young republic where Ireland was then (true independence came only in 1937) is fascinating. More obvious about Strafford’s research is how the Roman Catholic Church had a great deal of political and emotional turmoil towards the country and its people, which has only recently diminished. James Joyce describes the Irish people of the early 20th century as “the race of unfortunate priests,” and Wexford County in Banville believes this is true in the 1950s.

The novel has two bizarre shifts that dramatically break Strafford’s point of view. One reveals a strange and disturbing sexual encounter. The other is the first-person confession, which effectively gives up most of the game. Readers of the warning, who picked up the clues that Banville had dropped, would have been very close to telling what the motive for the murder would have been without this confession. These corners in the story remind us that we are reading a novel by John Banville. It’s not Ed McBain’s procedure or Dorothy L. Sayers’ Whodunit. In “Snow,” Banville’s involvement in the crime and detective novel genres is partial. His ambitions for his novel are more complicated.

Banville himself was born in 1945 in Wexford. During his youth in the 1950s, he would have known the world of The Osbournes and the local Irish community in the countryside and how they interacted. This book sings in real and Bambiria metaphors. It is full of very accurate descriptions of clothes and appearance. Writers are especially focused on the human eye. The smell makes him crazy. He indulges in anthropomorphism. The bookshelf “stares”, the book shows a “silent grudge” attitude, and the tree “moves forward with desperate enthusiasm.” Banville is one of the great stylists of English fiction, and “Snow” enables the clear rhythm of his prose-free domination.

“It was as if he fell asleep for a moment and soon fell into the midst of a powerful and deep dream. The moment he awoke, his sense of importance, the afterglow, remained, but all the details. Is now transparent. “

It may be entertainment, but it’s very rich and sophisticated.

Ebenezer Robbins
Ebenezer Robbins
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.

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