I had high hopes for this book when I saw it in Foyle’s Bookshop in St Pancras Station. I have never read any John Banville books but the premise is brilliant – the ancient Greek gods are real and begin meddling in human lives once again, with one family in particular, resulting in a darkly comedic story. That sounded like something I would really enjoy.

However I didn’t feel that the book lived up to its promise. I found it slow going, and perhaps it’s a reflection of my personality that I didn’t come across any parts that I would call darkly humorous or even slightly amusing. There are sections that are described beautifully, in particular when following the past life of the comatose father, Adam Godley, who is such a large presence – positive or negative – within each character’s life. The depictions of Adam’s past and the narration by the messenger god, Hermes , putting up with his father’s whims and moods, are well done and the most enjoyable part of the story.

All in all a little disappointing, but nonetheless a well written book.

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