John Banville

06 August 2010
240 pages


Is there a numerical solution to the quest for the meaning of life?

A brilliant reworking of the classic Dr Faustus theme by Booker Prize-winning author John Banville, Mefisto focuses on the mathematically gifted Gabriel Swan, who seeks a numerical solution to his quest for order and meaning in life.

With characteristic wit and mesmeric prose, John Banville's richly imagined novel, Mefisto, is an ode to philosophy, beauty, and identity.

Mefisto renders all superlatives woefully inadequate . . . Undisputed master of language, the laconic pause and the blackly comic, Banville is a supreme stylist . . . He is a magician . . . Another expectedly astonishing and very daring display from this richly, almost wickedly, gifted artist.
An excellent novel, beautifully written. the sort of thing you have to read more than once – wonderful stuff.
Few writers in Ireland today can arouse such expectation by the advent of a new novel . . . A profound beauty of words displayed by their lover . . . Banville’s great enterprise does not falter . . . read Mefisto straight through; it deserves it.