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The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks is the Book for August

Iain Banks died the day before our last book meet and we decided to read one of his books for the next one.  Tho' the Wasp Factory is short (less than 200 pages) it packs an extraordinary punch, is controversial and has been described by some as his best book. Here follow extracts from an article about him which includes opinion on The Wasp Factory:

Why Iain Banks classics The Wasp Factory, The Crow Road and more deserve to live on after his death - by Andy Dawson in the Mirror

With the tragically premature loss of Iain Banks, literature has lost one of its greatest figures – and it already looks as though he will be celebrated more in death than he was in life.

My own first introduction to Banks’ work was his 1984 debut, The Wasp Factory – and it blew my then-teenage mind away. Aged 15, I was beginning to progress to more adult reading, and The Wasp Factory took hold of my imagination and shook it until it was no longer recognisable.

The tale of lonely, twisted Frank Cauldhame, his sacrificial rituals and the gradual reveal of what made him into that person is as startling a read now as it was almost three decades ago. The Wasp Factory is one of those exceptional pieces of work – a book that stands alone, existing in a place that you could barely imagine yourself but that seems fully formed and completely real.

.......where Banks excelled – he could comfortably write in any setting, such was his fierce imagination, backed up with delicious ability to conjure up sentences that ebbed and flowed. His prose would paint a complete picture without leading you up blind allies and becoming tangled up in a mess of needless words. Banks also had the enviable ability to mix humour and darkness together, making for as satisfying a reading experience as you could hope for.

Although I didn’t dabble in his science fiction work, Banks’ other books never disappointed – The Crow Road read as if it was crying out to be adapted for the screen, and the TV version of it was almost like a Scottish Twin Peaks.......

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Innovative, original, disturbing, provocative and ironic with a wry and revealing aside on human nature. Fundamentally masculine in content & style. Couldn't put it down, loved it.

    August 15, 2013

  • Amanda T

    Great group of articulate people and diverse opinions

    August 15, 2013

  • Mike S.

    Well written but the denoument was disappointing. An afterthought was that WASP could be White Anglo Saxon Psychotic!

    August 15, 2013

  • attiya

    It was interesting and thought provoking

    August 15, 2013

  • samantha

    I found this book hard work. I didn't like any of the characters and couldnt identify with them. I was repulsed on more than one occasion. On the plus side, apart from being overly descriptive this was a very well written piece with clever nods to other literary references. It was thought provoking and has left me with questions for the author which will forever go unanswered.

    August 12, 2013

  • Sheila C

    Please bring books to suggest for next time or if you can't bring the book bring the punlisher's blurb from Amazon or something.

    August 12, 2013

  • samantha

    Thank you Clive. I shall continue reading with a renewed intrest.

    August 9, 2013

  • samantha

    Im really struggling to finish this book.

    August 8, 2013

    • Clive

      There is a revelation at the end which is integral to the whole story.

      August 8, 2013

  • Clive

    Well that was an interesting read. It should be an interesting discussion. Versatile word 'interesting'.

    1 · August 8, 2013

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