Ancient Light

Ancient Light

Audiobook CD - 2012
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The Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea gives us a brilliant, profoundly moving new novel about an actor in the twilight of his life and his career: a meditation on love and loss, and on the inscrutable immediacy of the past in our present lives.

Is there any difference between memory and invention? That is the question that fuels this stunning novel, written with the depth of character, the clarifying lyricism and the sly humor that have marked all of John Banville's extraordinary works. And it is the question that haunts Alexander Cleave, an actor in the twilight of his career and of his life, as he plumbs the memories of his first--and perhaps only--love (he, fifteen years old, the woman more than twice his age, the mother of his best friend; the situation impossible, thrilling, devouring and finally devastating) . . . and of his daughter, lost to a kind of madness of mind and heart that Cleave can only fail to understand. When his dormant acting career is suddenly, inexplicably revived with a movie role portraying a man who may not be who he says he is, his young leading lady--famous and fragile--unwittingly gives him the opportunity to see with aching clarity the "chasm that yawns between the doing of a thing and the recollection of what was done."

Ancient Light is a profoundly moving meditation on love and loss, on the inscrutable immediacy of the past in our present lives, on how invention shapes memory and memory shapes the man. It is a book of spellbinding power and pathos from one of the greatest masters of prose at work today.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Random House Audio, p2012.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9780449013427
Characteristics: 8 compact discs (ca. 9.5 hrs.) :,digital ;,12 cm.
Additional Contributors: Sachs, Robin


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Cdnbookworm Dec 15, 2012

This short novel is told from the point of view of Alexander Cleave, a stage actor nearing the end of his career who is called unexpectedly to take a film role. The novel moves back and forth as Alex reflects on his memories of his first love, and finds connections to his present.
Alex's first love occurred when he was fifteen and had an affair with his best friend's mother, twenty years his senior. Their illicit couplings, the places they met, his feelings around it, and his devastation at its end are all memories looked back on, and he finds gaps and discrepancies that trouble him. He is also still reeling years after his daughter's suicide in Italy.
His film role pairs him with another troubled young woman and they find shared grief. The role he plays also raises questions in him around his daughter's death.
This is a book about memory, and its unreliability. A book about loss and about love. As Alex reflects and mulls over his past, we see the effect on him, and his outlook on life.

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