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The Quarry

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Kit doesn't know who his mother is. What he does know, however, is that his father, Guy, is dying of cancer. Feeling his death is imminent, Guy gathers around him his oldest friends - or at least the friends with the most to lose by his death. Paul - the rising star in the Labour party who dreads the day a tape they all made at university might come to light; Alison and Robbie, corporate bunnies whose relationship is daily more fractious; Pris and Haze, once an item, now estranged, and finally Hol - friend, mentor, former lover and the only one who seemed to care. But what will happen to Kit when Guy is gone? And why isn't Kit's mother in the picture? As the friends reunite for Guy's last days, old jealousies, affairs and lies come to light as Kit watches on.
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The new novel from Iain Banks, the bestselling author of The Wasp Factory.

About the Author

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

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