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The Infinities by John Banville
In The Infinities, Adam Godley, a renowned theoretical mathematician whose theories have revolutionized the world, lies comatose from a stroke. The family has gathered for the death watch; his son Adam and his beautiful wife; his daughter, Petra and her beau who is using her for access to her father; and Adam's second wife who has a strained relationship with his children. Also present are the gods Hermes, who is waiting to transfer Adam's soul to the underworld, and Zeus, who wants Hermes to distract the younger Adam so he can make love with his wife. Most of the novel is narrated by Hermes, who can penetrate the mortals' minds. Other gods begin to arrive, each with their own motive. John Banville's novel has received mostly positive reviews with the Washington Post saying, "Ultimately, The Infinities is a kind of mystery novel, one that respects its mysteries too much to try to resolve them. The real subject of this unforgettable, beautifully written book is nothing less than the enigma of mortal existence. And who better than a cast of lusty, bemused, mischievous and quite possibly imaginary immortals to cast a new light on that?"