Author: John Banville
Original language: English
The Book of Evidence is a 1989 novel by the Irish author John Banville. The book is narrated by Freddie Montgomery, a 38 year old scientist, who murders a servant girl during an attempt to steal a painting from a neighbor. Freddie is an aimless drifter, and though he is a perceptive observer of himself and his surroundings, he is largely amoral. The end of the novel makes it unclear whether anything Freddie has said is true. When asked by the inspector how much of it is true, Freddie responds, “True, Inspector? All of it. None of it. Only the shame.” The Book of Evidence won Ireland ‘s Guinness Peat Aviation Award in 1989, and was short-listed for Britain ‘s Booker Prize. In reviewing the book, Publishers Weekly compared Banville’s writing to that of Albert Camus and Fyodor Dostoevsky. The writing style continues Banville’s attempt to give his prose “the kind of denseness and thickness that poetry has”.