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Publisher's Summary

From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea and Ancient Light, a new novel - at once trenchant, witty, and shattering - about the intricacies of artistic creation and theft, and about the ways in which we learn to possess one another and to hold on to ourselves. Equally self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating, our narrator, Oliver Otway Orme, is a painter of some renown and a petty thief who does not steal for profit and has never before been caught. But he's pushing 50, feels like a hundred, and things have not been going so well lately. Having recognized the "man-killing crevasse" that exists between what he sees and any representation he might make of it - any attempt to make what he sees his own - he's stopped painting. And his last purloined possession - the last time he felt the "secret sliver of bliss" in thievery - has been discovered. The fact that it was the wife of the man who was, perhaps, his best friend has compelled him to run away: from his mistress, his home, his wife, from whatever remains of his impulse to paint and from the tragedy that haunts him, and to sequester himself in the house where he was born, trying to uncover in himself the answer to how and why things have turned out as they have. Excavating memories of family, of places he's called home, and of the way he has apprehended the world around him ("no matter what else is going on, one of my eyes is always swiveling toward the world beyond"), Ollie reveals the very essence of a man who, in some way, has always been waiting to be rescued from himself.

©2015 John Banville (P)2015 Penguin Books Limited

What listeners say about The Blue Guitar

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Entertaining and well performed

Gerry O’Brien gives a superb performance in this introspection by the narrator. Banville embroiders an evocative work, an eruption of imagination, and crafted that affirms his masterful reputation. He is one of my favorite authors. I read this novel in awe and enjoyment.

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weird vocabulary

this author is either really really good or really hard to listen to depending on your background. not for me.

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Literally Awsum

Every sentence is a story of rich quality....some made up and some resounding in many pictures. May need to listen again!

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Masterful

Such an intimately scathing critique of the modern ontological crisis, in all its ridiculous self consciousness, that is both symptom and effect, can only be portrayed by one as gifted(and afflicted?) as Banville.

3 people found this helpful