1st American ed.
"Victor Maskell has been betrayed: in Parliament, a revelation of his double, perhaps quadruple, life of espionage; in the press, photographs and inch-high type. But why now - as he enters his seventies, diagnosed with cancer, twenty years into "retirement" - and by whom? To figure it out before his time runs out, and in case public vindication is somehow possible, he begins to write his memoirs - to scrape away at the "toffee-coloured varnish and caked soot left by a lifetime of dissembling." Maskell's need to understand, to explain, to atone, to not atone, is what fuels John Banville's stunning new novel - trenchantly funny, vividly evocative, complex in precisely the way Maskell himself is complex: clear-sighted yet blinded by old love and desire, expertly duplicitous yet terrified that he may not have been a master of the game after all." ""Who could have remained inactive in this ferocious century?" Maskell asks. Certainly not he: scholar and adventurer; military man and curator of art; breaker and keeper of codes; Royalist and Marxist; in secret service to both the Comintern and the British monarch; husband and father, and lover of men; Irishman, Englishman, man of indeterminate national alliance. Dissolution and drinking at Cambridge during the 1920s, recruitment and earnest Marxism in London during the 1930s, loyalties and ideals tested during World War II and the Cold War. It all comes back to Maskell, and he sets it down in brilliant detail and with scathing perceptiveness. But the more he remembers, the more he's compelled to wonder if these fragmented lives add up to one life entirely. After all, the attraction - and the exhilarating terror - of being a spy was that "nothing, absolutely nothing, is as it seems."" "Taking the Cambridge spies as his starting point for Victor Maskell, Banville quickly moves beyond the mere facts of espionage toward the intricate heart of the spy himself: the driving hunger for certainty and faith, and the passionate devotion to the creation of an authentic and original self."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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|Grouped Work ID||f067b2f7-f444-2260-febb-1944a298ecfa|
|available_at_santafe||Main Library, Southside Branch|
|display_description||The story of British Cold War spies told in the form of a memoir by Sir Victor Maskell, a respected art historian unmasked as an agent of the Soviet Union. He describes who they were and why they did it--why he did it--tracing their evolution from the original 1930s Cambridge university graduates to the present. By the author of Athena. In a novel based on the lives of the Cambridge spies, Victor Maskell, faced with exposure after a lifetime of hiding, sits down to pen his memoirs, struggling to come to terms with his life, his friends, and their role in wartime espionage.|
|item_details||ils:.b11561385|.i15557418|Southside|Fiction Banville, J|||1|false|false|||||*CHECK SHELF*||co||, ils:.b11561385|.i19325411|Main|Fiction Banville, J|||1|false|false|||||*CHECK SHELF*||mn|||
|local_callnumber_santafe||Fiction Banville, J|
|owning_library_santafe||Santa Fe Public Library|
|owning_location_santafe||Main Library, Southside Branch|
|record_details||ils:.b11561385|Book|Books|1st American ed.|English|Knopf :|1997, .|367 pages ; 25 cm.|
|scoping_details_santafe||ils:.b11561385|.i15557418|On Shelf|*CHECK SHELF*|false|true|true|false|false|true|999|||, ils:.b11561385|.i19325411|On Shelf|*CHECK SHELF*|false|true|true|false|false|true|999||||
|subject_facet||Espionage, Soviet -- Fiction, Russians -- Great Britain -- Fiction, Spy stories|
|title_full||The untouchable / John Banville|
|topic_facet||Espionage, Soviet, Russians|