Ian Critchley at Literary Review:
John Banville once told an interviewer that he absolutely hates being John Banville. He was contrasting his productivity as a literary novelist with his achievements writing crime fiction under the name Benjamin Black. ‘On a good day,’ he said, ‘Banville can’t write more than four hundred words … With Black it’s ten times more.’ Banville’s literary novels may be painstaking to write, but the results are usually worth it. Full of exquisite prose, humour and stunning flights of fancy, they have secured his reputation as one of the best stylists of his generation.
His new novel returns to Arden House, a crumbling old pile that was the setting of 2009’s The Infinities. In that earlier novel, scientist and ‘thoroughgoing shit’ Adam Godley was nearing the end of his life; The Singularities picks up the story several years later.