The Infinities

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The Infinities
The Infinities John Banville.jpg
First edition cover
Author John Banville
Country Ireland
Language English
Genre Novel, Alternate History
Publisher Picador
Publication date
September 4, 2009
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 256 pp
ISBN 978-0-330-45024-9
OCLC 373479667
Preceded by The Sea
John Banville talks about The Infinities on Bookbits radio.

The Infinities is a 2009 novel by the Irish writer John Banville.

Plot introduction[edit]

The book involves a reunion of the Godley family as the family patriarch, Adam, lies in a coma on his deathbed. The book takes place in an alternative reality with the world powered by cold fusion and steam trains are still in use. His family, consisting of Adam his son (and Adam's wife Helen), his daughter Petra and his wife Ursula are present at this reunion. The story is narrated by the god Hermes, who dictates how the story will unfold along with his father Zeus and his mother Maia.[1]


Banville intended The Infinities as a faithful adaptation of the play Amphitryon by the German playwright Heinrich von Kleist. The novel did not turn out quite like this though - "I kept the Skeleton, but fiction always goes in its own direction." [2]


The Infinities, Banville's first novel under his own name since 2005, was well received and seen to fit naturally into his oeuvre. "In the 1980s, Banville challenged his readers to imagine a Nabokov novel based on the life of a Gödel or an Einstein," says Irish literary critic Val Nolan in The Sunday Business Post. "The Infinities is finally that book. Old Adam's lineage runs through Oppenheimer, Hilbert, Brahe, Kepler, and hence to Banville's so-called Revolutions Trilogy of science novels." [3]

External links[edit]