Friday, November 8th, 2002
All I wanted to say is that Iain Banks is one of my favorite authors but his stuff is all over the place. One book is often nothing like his last. The Business, his last one, was not one of his finer efforts in my opinion. As always, his narrative style is excellent but the plot is thin and never really comes to a satisfying resolution. It’s more like, ‘there’s these people, some things happen, that’s it’. I was disappointed – and I hold the fact that this one was published as a mass-market paperback at least partly responsible. Trade paperbacks are synonymous with quality! Bigger is better! And other such baseless, inane comments…
Banks stuff I’d recommend to the interested would be the Crow Road (a sort-of coming of age wrapped around a murder mystery of sorts), Espedair Street (burned out ex-rock star reflects on his life – funny and sad), Complicity (a mystery/thriller) and The Wasp Factory (an utterly deranged character study of a young child with homicidal tendancies). I’d avoid A Song Of Stone. The Bridge was the first novel I read, and it was a mind-fuck. Takes place in the subconscious of a man in a coma. A testament to Banks’ abilities as a writer that it remains engaging and doesn’t become incomprehensible. Walking On Glass is pretty good and messed up, Canal Dreams left me indifferent. I haven’t read Whit. He has a new one, Dead Air, that I must seek out.
Look at that – lengthy discourse on something that’s not music. Will wonders never cease?
np – The Jesus And Mary Chain / Honey’s Dead