The Untouchable

The Untouchable One of the most dazzling and adventurous writers now working in English takes on the enigma of the Cambridge spies in a novel of exquisite menace biting social comedy and vertiginous moral complexit

One of the most dazzling and adventurous writers now working in English takes on the enigma of the Cambridge spies in a novel of exquisite menace, biting social comedy, and vertiginous moral complexity The narrator is the elderly Victor Maskell, formerly of British intelligence, for many years art expert to the Queen Now he has been unmasked as a Russian agent and subjecOne of the most dazzling and adventurous writers now working in English takes on the enigma of the Cambridge spies in a novel of exquisite menace, biting social comedy, and vertiginous moral complexity The narrator is the elderly Victor Maskell, formerly of British intelligence, for many years art expert to the Queen Now he has been unmasked as a Russian agent and subjected to a disgrace that is almost a kind of death But at whose instigation As Maskell retraces his tortuous path from his recruitment at Cambridge to the airless upper regions of the establishment, we discover a figure of manifold doubleness Irishman and Englishman husband, father, and lover of men betrayer and dupe Beautifully written, filled with convincing fictional portraits of Maskell s co conspirators, and vibrant with the mysteries of loyalty and identity, The Untouchable places John Banville in the select company of both Conrad and le Carre.Winner of the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction Contemporary fiction gets no better than this Banville s books teem with life and humor Patrick McGrath, The New York Times Book Review Victor Maskell is one of the great characters in recent fiction The Untouchable is the best work of art in any medium on its subject Washington Post Book World As remarkable a literary voice as any to come out of Ireland Joyce and Beckett notwithstanding San Francisco Chronicle

Untouchable Sep , Untouchable Directed by Ursula Macfarlane With Erika Rosenbaum, Nannette Klatt, Ken Auletta, Ronan Farrow A look at the rise and fall of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein featuring interviews with former colleagues and those who accused him of sexual misconduct. Untouchable Apr , Untouchable Directed by David Feige After discovering his daughter has been sexually abused, the most powerful lobbyist in Florida pushes the toughest sex offender laws in the county, with surprising and troublesome consequences. Untouchable Lovers Untouchable Lovers Chinese pinyin Fng qi hung is a Chinese television series based on the novel Feng Qiu Huang A Tale of Two Phoenixes by Tianyi Youfeng The series is produced by Yu Zheng and stars Guan Xiaotong and Song Weilong It aired on Hunan TV from January to April , Untouchable Lovers has a . rating on Douban from over , users. Lemar goes from the Atletico Madrid transfer list to Jun , One of the key features of Diego Simeone s time as Atletico Madrid coach has been his ability to get the best out of his players.In the current squad there are Atletico Madrid LaLiga Lemar goes from the Atletico Jun , Lemar goes from the Atletico Madrid transfer list to untouchable Has turned his Atletico Madrid career around and is now key for Diego Simeone Simeone gives Lemar instructions EFE ES. Man charged with harassment calls Eugenie Bouchard s May , She was an untouchable symbol an attempt to get close and she kept the door open and that brings us to today When Bouchard testified on The luckiest unlucky man to ever live Frane Selak YouTube Strange but true, this is the story of Frane Selak.Voice over Artist John Block mrhnblock gmail

  • The Untouchable Best Read || [John Banville]
    387 John Banville
The Untouchable

  1. Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland His father worked in a garage and died when Banville was in his early thirties his mother was a housewife He is the youngest of three siblings his older brother Vincent is also a novelist and has written under the name Vincent Lawrence as well as his own His sister Vonnie Banville Evans has written both a children s novel and a reminiscence of growing up in Wexford.Educated at a Christian Brothers school and at St Peter s College in Wexford Despite having intended to be a painter and an architect he did not attend university Banville has described this as A great mistake I should have gone I regret not taking that four years of getting drunk and falling in love But I wanted to get away from my family I wanted to be free After school he worked as a clerk at Aer Lingus which allowed him to travel at deeply discounted rates He took advantage of this to travel in Greece and Italy He lived in the United States during 1968 and 1969 On his return to Ireland he became a sub editor at the Irish Press, rising eventually to the position of chief sub editor His first book, Long Lankin, was published in 1970.After the Irish Press collapsed in 1995, he became a sub editor at the Irish Times He was appointed literary editor in 1998 The Irish Times, too, suffered severe financial problems, and Banville was offered the choice of taking a redundancy package or working as a features department sub editor He left Banville has been a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books since 1990 In 1984, he was elected to Aosd na, but resigned in 2001, so that some other artist might be allowed to receive the cnuas.Banville also writes under the pen name Benjamin Black His first novel under this pen name was Christine Falls, which was followed by The Silver Swan in 2007 Banville has two adult sons with his wife, the American textile artist Janet Dunham They met during his visit to San Francisco in 1968 where she was a student at the University of California, Berkeley Dunham described him during the writing process as being like a murderer who s just come back from a particularly bloody killing Banville has two daughters from his relationship with Patricia Quinn, former head of the Arts Council of Ireland.Banville has a strong interest in vivisection and animal rights, and is often featured in Irish media speaking out against vivisection in Irish university research.

486 Reply to “The Untouchable”

  1. It took a while for the magic of this to work on me Initially I thought Banville s prose had the quality of bracken on a forest floor the light picks out some beautiful tones and textures but there was a pervading sense of brittle lifelessness I felt he wrote like someone who never leaves his study or perhaps never leaves his head But, then, all of a sudden, just before world war two arrives, it jumped into life and I very much doubt if I ll read a beautifully written novel this year It s not g [...]


  2. After reading something written so well, it s a disappointment having only my own less eloquent words available to praise it Maybe it s better to let Banville s passages sell themselves I ll get to those soon, but first a bit of context The book, I learned only today, is a Roman a clef or less a true account of the infamous Cambridge spies disguised as a novel The focus is on Victor Maskell, a composite figure based primarily on real life Anthony Blunt It s structured as a memoir by Victor in h [...]


  3. ALL HIGH TALK AND LOW FROLICS Part I My Other Secret Life I first encountered the Judge, professionally, in Court.Early in my career, I appeared in the Family Court 400 times over two years 50 or so appearances would have been before him.He was a precise and impatient judge He had little tolerance for fools or the lazy or the unprepared My reputation, some of which he would have contributed to, was that I anticipated what a judge wanted and I gave it to him I use the masculine pronoun, because a [...]


  4. Victor Maskell started spying as a flight from ennui and a search for diversion A marvellously bleak and cynical tale.


  5. As readers we have all experienced or come across books that either make a siren call to us, which we can t ignore, or speak to us in a way that makes us drown within its pages, or even sing to us, a beautiful melody that soothes our spirit and enthralls us in a way nothing else does This book had a combination of all those whilst also painting vivid pictures that would definitely give artists around the world a run for their money Honestly, I am not exaggerating when I say this, as it was my ow [...]


  6. This is my second try with John Banville Once again, he impresses me with his ability to write nearly perfect prose and characters who are as flesh and blood and flawed as any who ever breathed, while completely boring me That s strike two, Mr Banville, and two is all most authors get from me.Banville is a serious Literary Dude, and this is a serious Literary Dude s novel The Untouchable is written as a memoir by one Victor Maskell, who is based on real life Cambridge spy Anthony Blunt although [...]


  7. I ve been spending the last month reading novels written by John Banville It s fun with authors that have multiple works to stick with them one after another for a while to glimpse their depth and soak their craft If at all possible the author should be wise and a good artist so that you see a little better where you are and maybe, if you are so inclined, refine your own attempts at expression through the absorption of their rhythms, their vocabulary I started off with The Sea and then read The [...]


  8. It seems like I have been reading this forever The story is confusing, but the writing is glorious Reading Banville is like reading a text book for writers But you have to read slowly, savoring the word choices and images It s best to read on kindle, with dictionary at hand.



  9. What forces a person to betray his country Where do all the spies come from What makes them ticking Some true espionage stories are much stranger than fiction, especially when the tale is told by such master as John Banville To take possession of a city of which you are not a native you must first fall in love there To achieve our own ideals we are ready to betray any ideals of the others.


  10. A book I d like to erase from my mind to be able to experience it all over again.As an espionage thriller it has the mood and tawdry realism of The Spy Who Came In from the Cold But with the greatest love and admiration for early John le Carr this is much than a genre novel I ve seen Banville compared to Vladimir Nabokov and on the evidence of The Untouchable the comparison is not overblown In fact I d go as far as to submit that this as good as Lolita in the way it uses a heinous crime treason [...]


  11. I liked the first part of this book than the latter half There is an odd sense of oh do let s be done with this in the back half of this book, although there are still some great passages in the latter half What I enjoyed most in this book was the richness of Banville s language The other main point for me was the inversion of the typical espionage story One rarely gets the traitor as protagonist, and in this case such an unpalatable character It was refreshing, in a way.


  12. This is a terrific reimagining of the life of Anthony Blunt, but although many of the historical events are shared, much of Victor Maskell s life and character is clearly fictional I found it a bit difficult to get started, but once Maskell s mixture of stylish erudition, humour and ruthlessness became familiar, I found it enjoyable and entertaining one of Banville s best creations.


  13. Read because Yanagihara praised it in a recent Guardian interview a fictionalized account from the 1st person of one of the Cambridge spies in this case a Protestant Irish immigrant who became a comfortable member of the upper class in London, a curator of the royal art collection and a major art historian, specialist in Poussin one of whose pictures, The Death of Seneca, he keeps at home, though it seems to be fake This a long story of his movement in various circles, the glimpses of the Spanis [...]


  14. This is a great novel based on a blending of the lives of several real life British men, The Cambridge Five, who were spies for the Soviets in the 1930 s through the 1950 s Our main character, given the name Victor Maskell, is a gay man who found out he was gay only after being married and having two kids This was a time when homosexuality was a crime in Britain and gay men had to resort to meetings in public restrooms One character commits suicide after he was arrested in police sting.Despite t [...]



  15. Vita interiore di un apostoloL incontro con questo libro stato eccellente, perch scritto in modo brillante e il protagonista un critico d arte inglese l arte mi affascina e il Regno Unito anche, per quello che ho visto Procedendo nella lettura, l ho trovato un po incredibile il protagonista uno studente di Cambridge, colto, indeciso se dedicarsi alla matematica o all arte, sceglie l arte Affascinante, imparentato con la regina madre, frequenta clubs esclusivi e la societ degli Apostoli, un ristr [...]


  16. Like many of Banville s narrators, Victor Maskell, the eponymous untouchable , is an art historian The details surrounding Maskell s life roughly correspond to a conflation of Anthony Blunt 1907 83 , who was exposed in 1979 as a former Soviet spy, and the Belfast born poet, Louis MacNeice 1907 63 The form of the novel is a fictionalised memoir, written out by Maskell in the last year of his life, detailing his rise from Cambridge undergrad in the early 30s to member of the Royal Household as Sur [...]


  17. I enjoyed this book very much and I think the ending is terrific Fascinating to read about Anthony Blunt and find how very closely his career is followed in this fictionalisation of his life.Banville s writing is beautiful and the pace is perfect Highly recommended.


  18. In the end, I found the book chilling in its portrayal of a man without authentic emotional ties He is alienated from his children Apparent friends have betrayed him He doesn t even seem particularly tied to the politics that have supposedly driven him into his life as a double agent.


  19. I first read John Banville several years ago when I picked up a mystery, Christine Falls, written under a pseudonym By now, I remember little of that story, but I still remember that the writing was of close to literary quality rather than the somewhat less quality that is usual in the genre I wasn t disappointed here in The Untouchable Several GR members have this shelved as spy thriller, and, with the GR description, I was sort of expecting something in that vein Well, it isn t This is written [...]


  20. Ambitious saga chronicling the disaffected, alienated generation coming of age in the WWI thirties upper class, well educated, with no anchor and their often successful wooing by already converted dons in their respective ivied universities such as Cambridge, Eton, Oxford LeCarre has already covered this ground somewhat, but this book is a life of such a young man, played into his seventies and brutally illustrating the cost benefits balance sheet of an existence predicated upon duplicity to oth [...]


  21. Well, I have finally read a Banville novel, and it did not disappoint The complexity of the language was exquisite, his philosophical musing on love, relationships, friendship, social structure and the need for Stoicism in our lives was interesting, to say the least He spent the whole novel referencing his beloved Death of Seneca by Poussin, I wasn t sure if this was simply a literary device to keep referencing stoicism, since Seneca was one of the great stoic philosophers, but Banville skillful [...]


  22. An auspicious introduction for me, to this very intelligent author In this very well crafted novel the author takes us through a fictional account of the life of a Cambridge spy during the time around World War II The protagonist leads a double life in almost every sense of the meaning, and finds thrills in his deception, the same way he finds comfort in art, which is his another of his loves His identity is built on lies, and those lies are both his security, and potentially his undoing Now for [...]



  23. The novel is the memoir of Victor Maskell, scion of the estate of Carrickdrum in Northern Ireland, an Art Historian, expert on Poussin and a spy for the USSR since his time at Cambridge in the 1930s His journal is written down as if for Miss Serena Vandeleur, a journalist who comes to him after his exposure to the press long, long after the Security Services had become aware of his treacherous activities He thus bears a than superficial resemblance to Anthony Blunt but doubtless the parallels a [...]


  24. rating A One of my Best Books of the Year for 2017 What a series of tricks Mr Banville has pulled off He is just a showman that loves to showoff, though he does it so offhandedly it appears subtly accidental I just love Banville even if he uses large sorry, perhaps archaic is accurate words and his plots are not always focused except this one was a better novel for plotters , he still has a magical way with language I have noticed that what he enjoys most is describing light Anyways, this novel [...]


  25. Racing through this it is so so brilliant Incredible writing, the story of an expose spies life which is largely based around Anthony Blunt There are some fold in elements taken from Louis MacNeice s life which are fine but sort of sit a little oddly that s my only complaint Otherwise this is a huge treat intelligent, waspishly funny, the snobbishness is played to the hilt As the novel moves into its second half Maskell s lies about himself slip out of the narrative I m thinking about the sectio [...]


  26. Meh, started this cuz I wanted to read something that didn t remind me of my current life situation at ALL And then ironically the book turns out to be about a Russia scandal LOLWouldn t recommend Couldn t tell the characters apart, couldn t really follow the plot, the writing was good but not really my style and I got really tired of it halfway through Laughably bad sex scenes.


  27. John Banville is a fascinating writer This is my second try at his novels, and there seems to be quite a pattern The writing is gorgeous, the plot interesting and gratifyingly complex, and all of the characters utterly and profoundly unsympathetic I get the sense that the author feels a bit like it would be giving in to cheap standards to give his principle character any redeemable personality traits Victor Maskell, the Cambridge spy around which the story revolves, is selfish and vain almost be [...]


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