Shroud Cass, the unstable female lead in Banville's two-character tango, spaces out a lot. She freezes at her first lunch with our narrator, a wizened Scrooge… Shroud Cass, the unstable female lead in Banville's two-character tango, spaces out a lot. She freezes at her first lunch with our narrator, a wizened Scrooge… 2003-03-04 Fiction
Book Review

(2003)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Mar 04, 2003; Writer: John Banville; Genre: Fiction

Cass, the unstable female lead in Banville's two-character tango, spaces out a lot. She freezes at her first lunch with our narrator, a wizened Scrooge of great renown who notices that her sudden inertia ''brought a small shock to the air between us, as when the refrigerator, that has been throbbing to itself unnoticed, all at once falls silent, with a lurch.'' Shroud shocks its reader like that too; it throbs along powerfully enough, until out of nowhere a beautiful sentence stops things cold. Banville's prose is thick and sumptuous. His story -- following the narrator to Turin, where Cass threatens to reveal a secret he's kept since WWII -- is of secondary concern.

Originally posted Apr 03, 2003 Published in issue #703 Apr 04, 2003 Order article reprints
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