John Banville treats the business of memoir with the elegance of a practised flaneur, weaving into his personal tale a portrait of the Dublin he discovered on boyhood visits from Wexford in the 1950s ... Dublin's streets, squares, gardens and gateways, beautifully photographed by Paul Joyce, reflect the writer's own lost past, early experiences and first love. But the surprise, perhaps, is in the recurrent plangent note of regret or self-criticism. This is what makes Time Pieces an oddly affecting book
Being led around the streets and dim back warrens of Dublin by the prodigious and endlessly amused-'n'-amusing John Banville is a literary hop-on-hop-off not to be missed. The sentences alone in Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir are worth your ticket.
If you're interested in Dublin, or if you're interested in the novelist John Banville, or if you're interested in radiantly superb sentences about whatever - I'm all three - then Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir (Hachette Ireland) is a book you'll not be able to put down
Banville is the greatest living master of simile and metaphor in prose, and Time Pieces is a trove of arresting imagery, from the lushly poetic to the luridly absurd ... [An] utterly delightful book'
John Banville's self-portrait evokes the hard-hearted, heartbroken anti-heroes of his fiction. Although Time Pieces excavates some of Dublin's key moments and periods ... its real speciality is in capturing the more abstract romance of city life. Banville is an expert in melancholy urban phenomena: the pleasures of dilapidation and overgrown parklands, the long-gone, gaudy shops of one's past that blaze in the memory
A beautifully crafted, carefully shaped work of art ... [Banville] has written beautifully - in Time Pieces no less than in his extraordinary novels
It's the author's love letter to a city he first encountered on annual excursions with his mother from the Wexford of his birth and upbringing. And, as such, it's extraordinarily evocative of a not-quite-vanished metropolis ... it's in his vivid reminiscences of Dublin in the 1950s and early 1960s that the book finds its true heart
A moving paean to the city that helped shape the artist as a young man
[an] intriguing blend of reminiscence and quirky guide to some of the capital's enduring treasures
Handsomely published ... for those who know Dublin, or dream of it from afar, there will be much in Time Pieces that is delightful. Rich with lived experience and the pining for things past, in more sense than one it is a book John Banville has been waiting his whole life to write