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The Secret Guests Reviews

The Secret Guests by Benjamin Black

The Secret Guests

Benjamin Black

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Henry Holt & Company
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Publication date: 14 Jan 2020
ISBN: 9781250133014
4 stars out of 5
9 Feb 2020

"Brilliantly entertaining novel from John Banville"

The Secret Guests is a brilliantly entertaining, conceptually inventive, and frequently funny novel that combines Banville’s stylistic virtuosity with the excitement of a well-plotted thriller. If the first half of the novel is all atmosphere and intrigue, the second half of the book is action and adventure. The chapters are short and punchy, the writing typically deft, and the drama rapidly accelerates towards its inevitable denouement. If The Secret Guests is a sign of things to come from BW Black, then there is much to anticipate.


4 stars out of 5
Robbie Millen
31 Jan 2020

"Fans of The Crown will enjoy this playful novel"

The book is slow to get to the thriller element, which is rather rushed at the end, but as you would expect, the writing in The Secret Guests is elegant and witty. Here’s his description of a decrepit old butler answering the phone: “He approached the apparatus at a defensive crouch, like a gladiator armed with a spear and a net, for he regarded the thing — a machine that talked! — with an abiding primitive dread.” Fans of The Crown will enjoy this playful novel.