The new novel from Iain Banks, the bestselling author of The Wasp Factory.
Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, THE WASP FACTORY, in 1984. He gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels. Iain Banks died in June 2013.
The ingredients in this final novel by Scottish novelist Banks (The Hydrogen Sonata), who died June 9 at the age of 59, read like a grim recipe for disaster, but the book isn't one. Guy, a former golden boy who's never in his life finished anything he started, lives with his 18-year-year-old son, Kit. Guy is dying of cancer. Friends-they studied together at the "uni" years ago-visit for the weekend. None have made of themselves what they hoped to be. They're ill at ease around their dying friend and, for most of the stay, are whacked out on coke and alcohol. Guy's friends don't do much but argue. Nothing is resolved. (It's hard to win an argument with death.) Guy doesn't want to die: he takes out his anger on everyone around him but most of all on his son. Kit is the novel's triumph. Though autistic or near it, he's learned to live with his handicap and he's lovable and competent. Verdict Banks was an extraordinary writer; in straight literary fiction and in his fantasy novels, he engaged the world with passion. We'll miss him. For good reason, Banks's many fans will devour this book, which the author wrote after he was diagnosed this past March.-David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Eerily compelling -- William Leith Evening Standard