John Banville: The Book of Evidence

(3777 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 the …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Boyle, Kevin. "The Book of Evidence". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 October 2013
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]