Alex Cleave had been a celebrated stage actor and a happy husband. Now, at 50, he’s retreated to his boyhood home after suffering a crisis that seems part emotional meltdown and part possession. As he mulls over the events that shaped his life (old epiphanies, his parents’ deaths), he finds himself haunted, literally and figuratively, by people from his past. Banville’s vivid, shimmering sentences explore — and evoke — wrenching self-awareness, the weird sweetness of nostalgia, and, finally, the plain pain of grief. A-