I almost gave up on this book. Midway through it just started to lose me, mainly because the narrative voice is so oppressive, so unreliable, so twisted, that I began to lose the thread of the story. I stuck it out though and I'm glad I did. The final third, after the narrator has described the horrific pointless murder he's enacted, really starts to gain steam, both narratively but also lyrically. The writing in this book is condensed and metaphorically brilliant. I know that Banville has said that he is attempting to write prose that mirrors poetry and this book, the only one of his I've read, does juts that.
Next up I plan on reading something by Banville's dark half, Benjamin Black, his pseudonym, who writes more straight-up thrillers set in the Dublin of the 1950s.