A lifetime of being in love with literature has brought with it a fair share of dilemmas. Aside from those that originate with my posse, how to weigh the relative merit of a book recommendation? When is it time to abandon an author? Which genres have grown tired for me or, are no longer useful to me as a thinker or, don't have much to teach me as an aspiring writer?
Finishing John Banville's masterful 1997 novel The Untouchable helped fortify the newest dilemma in Act Three of my reading life: How many new-to-me authors can reasonably be added to my list of "keepers"? I mean, without being too specifically morbid, at seventy-one + years, it's probably time to begin making my keeper list manageable, no? I knew right after finishing Snow - Banville's most recent novel as well as my first exposure to him - that he deserved a return visit. But after two gems in a row, my newest dilemma loomed large. Do I now place Banville on that more select list? Those of you sharing my literature lust and residing in Act Three, please give me some help here. Act Two and share that lust? Be forewarned of what might lie ahead. Pretty sure I have few readers in Act One but just in case - see Act Two.
" I am aware of a ceaseless hubbub of voices loudly saying things no one seemed in the least inclined to listen to." In my experience, if an author doesn't provide a sparkling or wise sentence like that early in a book, no matter how good the story or how rich the characters, that author is not going on my keeper list. So Act Three dilemma aside - given that sentence is on page thirteen of The Untouchable - Banville is now on my not-so-manageable keeper list. At least, until the first time he disappoints me.