Whitbread Novel Award
‘The Untouchable is an engrossing, exquisitely written and almost bewilderingly smart book . . . It’s the fullest book I’ve read in a very long time, utterly accomplished, thoroughly readable, written by a novelist of vast talent’ Richard Ford
Victor Maskell has been betrayed. After the announcement in the Commons and the hasty revelation of his double life of wartime espionage, his disgrace is public, his knighthood revoked, his position as curator of the Queen’s pictures terminated. There are questions to be answered. For whom has he been sacrificed? To what has he sacrificed his life?
The Untouchable is beautifully crafted novel inspired by the famous Cambridge Spies by John Banville, the author of the Booker prize-winning The Sea.
No novel burrowed deeper beneath my skin than The Untouchable . . . Prose of great elegance, applied to a sardonic narrative, created an atmosphere at once austere, chilling and utterly believable.
John Coldstream, Daily Telegraph
Banville is the most intelligent and stylish novelist currently at work in English . . . the mien is austere and Victorian; the awareness, the ironic readings of the contemporary are razor-sharp.
George Steiner, Observer
Brilliant displays of power and control . . . magnificently written and, in its exploration of inhumanity, startlingly humane.
Alex Clark, Guardian