Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks Book Review

Title: The Wasp Factory
Date Published: September 10, 1998
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 192
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal Library


My Rating: 3 stars

About the Book:

The polarizing literary debut by Scottish author Ian Banks, The Wasp Factory is the bizarre, imaginative, disturbing, and darkly comic look into the mind of a child psychopath.

Meet Frank Cauldhame. Just sixteen, and unconventional to say the least: 

Two years after I killed Blyth I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different and more fundamental reasons than I'd disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did for my young cousin Esmerelda, more or less on a whim. 

That's my score to date. Three. I haven't killed anybody for years, and don't intend to ever again. 

It was just a stage I was going through.

My Review:  

This book has been sitting on my TBR Pile for quite some time, and because it is short I decided it was time for me to finally read it. I will admit that in the beginning it grabbed my attention. A pretty brutal child, Frank is interesting. He has patterns he follows daily and seems to have an unlimited amount of time. His father is smart but also has mental issues, one of which is his obsession with knowing how long everything in the house is. Thankfully Frank learned all of these long ago and when quizzed has all the answers.

Frank has an older brother Eric who was sent away due to some incidents with dogs, but he has escaped and they believe he is heading home. This makes no only Frank upset, but his dad as well. And reading this makes you see just how demented this family is. But, as much as I enjoy demented people, the writing started to get mundane. Even when he spoke of the killings it just didn't pack a punch like I wanted it to.

There is a surprise twist at the end that I never guessed so that is why I give this three stars.

About the Author:

Iain [Menzies] Banks was born in Fife in 1954, and was educated at Stirling University, where he studied English Literature, Philosophy and Psychology.

Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, The Wasp Factory, in 1984.

His first science fiction novel, Consider Phlebas, was published in 1987. He has continued to write both mainstream fiction (as Iain Banks) and science fiction (as Iain M. Banks).

He is now acclaimed as one of the most powerful, innovative and exciting writers of his generation: The Guardian has called him "the standard by which the rest of SF is judged". William Gibson, the New York Times-bestselling author of Spook Country describes Banks as a "phenomenon".

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