John Banville: The Book of Evidence

(3935 words)

The Book of Evidence (1989) is Banville’s seventh novel. Told in the first person, the narrative involves a destitute former scientist named Freddie Montgomery stealing a painting from a private collection and murdering a maid who catches him in the act. The novel is written in the style of a confessional monologue and has a violent murder as its centrepiece. At the beginning of the novel, Freddie is awaiting trial and he protests that he is innocent of his crimes, eventually claiming that the only sin he is guilty of is a failure of his imagination (215). Freddie can be considered a typical anti-hero as he is largely incapable of feeling empathy for other people, and is a callous and violent man. His tale is continued in …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Boyle, Kevin. "The Book of Evidence". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 October 2013
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]