I’d never read anything by John Banville before but after reading The Sea I’m looking forward to reading more of his books. The story of Max looking back at a childhood memory and experience by the seaside is beautifully told. The sentences are wonderful – it feels as if he’s put time, thought and care into every single one of his sentences. Sometimes the vocabulary was a real stretch for me – it certainly opened up a lot of words I’d never heard of before – and I suspect some that John Banville just made up – and when you can write as fantastically as he can why shouldn’t you shape and fashion new words. I’ve still no idea what ‘cracaleured’ means!!!!! – but its a great word anyway. The relationships between the characters and between past and present are woven into an enjoyable narrative but it’s the poetry in the way each sentence is constructed that I loved most and that made this for me a wonderful read. I now know he’s written many other novels and I’ll hope to read them all on the strength of ‘The Sea’ – and maybe by then I’ll have discovered the meaning of ‘cracaleured’!!!!!!!