Monday 19 February 2018

Banville to end 'Fifty Shades' love affair

John Spain Books Editor

JOHN Banville's new novel about an affair between a teenage boy and his best friend's mother is challenging 'Fifty Shades of Grey' in the book charts.

While the 'Fifty Shades' trilogy has dominated the bestseller charts in Ireland for the past 13 weeks, Banville is now hot on its heels. His book 'Ancient Light' was at number five in the charts yesterday, with the 'Fifty Shades' trilogy again at the top.

Extensive media coverage of Banville's book has helped drive sales -- as it focuses on an affair between the boy and a married woman in small-town 1950s Ireland.

The narrator in the book remembers his summer of love as a 15-year-old boy with his best friend's mother, their grapplings in the back of her car, and their love making sessions in an abandoned cottage outside the town.

Banville describes in beautiful prose the allure of the woman and the intensity of the boy's feelings.

Although the novel is about much more than the affair -- it also deals with memories and illusions -- the taboo relationship is proving to be a big hit with readers.

The difference between the sales performance of this book and his previous offering 'The Infinites' is striking. His last book was his first after winning the Booker Prize but 'Ancient Light' is selling two-and-a-half times faster than 'The Infinites'.

Irish Independent

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