Banville's use of language -- the reader is immediately confronted with: "that vast bowl of water bulging like a blister, lead-blue and malignantly agleam", and Banville continues in this vein -- is almost distracting (at least on a first reading), style threatening to overwhelm story. [emphasis added]
Elsewhere, Brendan Wolfe, in response to an article about "good bad books" made into movies asks,
It seems strange to fault a book that “achieves a surprisingly exhilarating effect” for “flaws of style and construction.” Assuming that no novel is perfect, aren’t a book’s style and construction in fact responsible for its exhilarating effect?
I would have thought so, yes.