Mrs. Osmond by John Banville audiobook

Mrs. Osmond: A novel

By John Banville
Read by Amy Finegan

Random House Audio
12.05 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $22.50
    or 2 Credits

    ISBN: 9780525588214

From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea, a dazzling and audacious new novel that extends the story of Isabel Archer, the heroine of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady, into unexpected territory. Isabel Archer is a young American woman, swept off to Europe in the late nineteenth century by an aunt who hopes to round out the impetuous but naïve girl's experience of the world. When Isabel comes into a large, unexpected inheritance, she is finagled into a marriage with the charming, penniless, and—as Isabel finds out too late—cruel and deceitful Gilbert Osmond, whose connection to a certain Madame Merle is suspiciously intimate. On a trip to England to visit her cousin Ralph Touchett on his deathbed, Isabel is offered a chance to free herself from the marriage, but nonetheless chooses to return to Italy. Banville follows James's story line to this point, but Mrs. Osmond is thoroughly Banville's own: the narrative inventiveness; the lyrical precision and surprise of his language; the layers of emotional and psychological intensity; the subtle, dark humor. And when Isabel arrives in Italy—along with someone else!—the novel takes off in directions that James himself would be thrilled to follow.

Learn More
Membership Details
  • Only $12.99/month gets you 1 Credit/month
  • Cancel anytime
  • Hate a book? Then we do too, and we'll exchange it.
See how it works in 15 seconds

Summary

Summary

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea, a dazzling and audacious new novel that extends the story of Isabel Archer, the heroine of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady, into unexpected territory. Isabel Archer is a young American woman, swept off to Europe in the late nineteenth century by an aunt who hopes to round out the impetuous but naïve girl's experience of the world. When Isabel comes into a large, unexpected inheritance, she is finagled into a marriage with the charming, penniless, and—as Isabel finds out too late—cruel and deceitful Gilbert Osmond, whose connection to a certain Madame Merle is suspiciously intimate. On a trip to England to visit her cousin Ralph Touchett on his deathbed, Isabel is offered a chance to free herself from the marriage, but nonetheless chooses to return to Italy. Banville follows James's story line to this point, but Mrs. Osmond is thoroughly Banville's own: the narrative inventiveness; the lyrical precision and surprise of his language; the layers of emotional and psychological intensity; the subtle, dark humor. And when Isabel arrives in Italy—along with someone else!—the novel takes off in directions that James himself would be thrilled to follow.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Banville does an impeccable job of re-creating James’ prose style and moving his characters forward in believable ways. As Mrs. Osmond progresses, his wicked sense of humor emerges more, and he adds twists to the plot James would have cloaked in reticence. Tampa Bay Times
Less a sequel to Portrait than a kind of recapitulation of it, a filtering of its events through a different novelistic consciousness. . . . There’s something inherently fun about being reintroduced, in a changed context, to all these half-familiar characters. Financial Times
Fusing the essence of James’s style with his own signature wit and irony, Banville crafts a story that will delight and inspire classicists. Harper’s Bazaar
An audacious sequel. O, The Oprah Magazine
[Written] with wit, daring, vivid description and a sense of fun. The Irish Times
[An] act of literary ventriloquism and imagination. The Independent
Banville’s ventriloquism is word-perfect. Vulture
So successful it felt like discovering a new Henry James novel. Lara Feigel, The Guardian
[Banville] pulls off [Mrs. Osmond] with vigor and style. It’s hard to say no to a second helping of Isabel Archer. The Seattle Times
A great storyteller. [Banville’s] book is not only an impressive recreation of James’s atmospheres and pacing, but also full of minor cliffhangers and page-turning suspenses that keep you guessing. The Observer
A brilliant feat of literary ventriloquism. . . . Richly enjoyable and enthralling, this exercise in creative empathy is a sequel of very high finish. The Sunday Times (London)
[A] modern classic . . . a striking imagined follow-up to Portrait of a Lady. Entertainment Weekly
As impressive an act of stylistic channeling as anything I’ve read. . . . Like its source text, Mrs. Osmond investigates what happens when liberty runs up against those forces that would constrain it: personal history, secret plots, money, evil itself. Anthony Domestico, The Boston Globe
Banville’s ability to channel James’s style and prose rhythms is astonishing. I can’t imagine anyone who could have done it better. Jeffrey Eugenides, The New York Times Book Review
“The famously convoluted narrative voice of Henry James sounds once again in John Banville’s outstanding sequel to James’ Portrait of a Lady…Finegan conveys this subtle opposition in the voices of a score of complex and conflicted characters and in her sure passage through the snares and quagmires of Jamesian syntax…[A] performance that exceeds all expectations. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile
A novel that is at once an epochal act of imitation, salutation and imagination. NPR
A brilliant and beguiling novel on its own, and a reminder to us that not only does great literature endure, it engenders. Minneapolis Star Tribune
Banville is one of the best novelists in English. . . . Mrs Osmond is both a remarkable novel in its own right and a superb pastiche. Edmund White, The Guardian
Something like a jazz improvisation on a classic song, or a new orchestration of earlier tunes and disharmonies. London Review of Books
“A delightful tour de force that channels James with ease. The rich and measured prose style is quintessentially Jamesian…As in James’ novel, Banville incorporates a wonderful sense of irony; the result is a novel that succeeds both as an unofficial sequel and as a bold, thoroughly satisfying standalone.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Banville deftly pairs scorching social irony with laser-precise insights into the cage of sexism and the trap of wealth, the betrayal of innocence and trust, and the allure of revenge…Banville’s gamble, daring us to compare his sequel to James’ classic, pays off deliciously.” Booklist (starred review)
“Fans of Henry will find the writing persuasively Jamesian in its voice and diction, its syntax less labyrinthine…A sequel that honors James and his singular heroine while showing Banville to be both an uncanny mimic and, as always, a captivating writer.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: John Banville

Author Bio: John Banville

John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of more than a dozen novels and has been the recipient of the Man Booker Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, and a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction. In 2013 he was awarded the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Achievement in Irish Literature, and in 2014 he won the Prince of Asturias Award, Spain’s most important literary prize. He lives in Dublin.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 12.05
Audience: Adult
Language: English