Wexford-born writer John Banville - who won the Man Booker Prize in 2005 for The Sea - will release his his sixteenth novel, The Blue Guitar, this September.
Oliver Orme is a painter who no longer paints, his muse having forsaken him. He is also a petty thief, although he sees himself as anything but petty. He does not steal for profit, but for the almost erotic pleasure he derives from taking other people’s things.
Then he steals Polly, wife of his friend, perhaps his only friend, Marcus Plomer. When we first hear from Olly his affair with Polly has ended abruptly and he has run away from his life and is sequestered in the house where he was born.
As the narrative progresses, however, he finds that he is not finished with Polly after all, and that he is not only a betrayer but also one of the betrayed. That is because his wife, the enigmatic Gloria, starts an affair with his cuckolded friend Marcus.
The Blue Guitar is described as “a tense, fraught and frequently comic meditation on the intricacies of human relations, on art, on theft and, especially, on the corrosive nature of jealousy."The despondent Olly reflects on the emotional maze of his life, with faint hopes that he can find a way out. The Blue Guitar will be published by Penguin/Viking.