Book Recommendation

THE SEA – by John Banville – (Knopf, 2005) – Excerpt:

“Strange, is it not, the way they lodge in the mind, the seemingly inconsidered things? Behind the Cedars, where a corner of the house met the tussocked lawn, under a crooked black drainpipe, there stood a water butt, long gone by now, of course. It was a wooden barrel, a real one, full-size, the staves blackened with age and the iron hoops eaten to frills by rust. The rim was nicely beveled, and so smooth that one could hardly feel the joins between the staves; smoothly sawn, that is, and planed, but in texture the sodden grain-end of the wood there was slightly furry, or napped, rather, like the pod of a bulrush, only tougher to the touch, and chillier, and more moist. Although it must have held I do not know how many scores of gallons, it was always full almost to the brim, thanks to the frequency of rain in these parts, even, or especially, in summer. When I looked down into it the water seemed black and thick as oil. Because the barrel listed a little the surface of the water formed a fat ellipse, that trembled at the slightest breath and broke into terror-stricken ripples when a train went past.”

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