The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

With his mother gone, his brother locked up in a psychiatric hospital and only his eccentric farther for company, Frank has by no means had an ordinary childhood. But then again Frank is by no means an ordinary child.

Although smart, inquisitive and by no means aggressive in his normal day to day manner, Frank is capable of truly dark and terrifying acts. He has already killed his younger brother and 2 other family members, and although he insists that it was just a stage he was going through, his love for guns, explosions and torturing animals is quite disturbing.

But then again, Frank’s brother Eric makes him look like a saint, and he’s just escaped from the psychiatric ward and is on his way back home…

Dark, Disturbed and at times downright disgusting, The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks is by no means for the faint hearted reader. With a strong realism in his writing, Banks is able to draw the reader in and play out these shocking scenes as if they are happening in front of your eyes.

However, what is most bizarre about this book is how he is able to make the reader like Frank and sympathise with him, despite what he is capable off. He is a killer, but he is also lost and alone, something we have all felt at least once in our lives.

By far the most enjoyable thing about this book is Bank’s writing style, which draws you in, flows and is effortless to read. However, if you scare easy or prefer your books a little more light hearted The Wasp Factory probably isn’t for you.

One final point with this book is that it is one of the most modern on the list of 1001 Books to Read Before you Die, first published just 26 years ago in 1985, and although I enjoyed it and it is widely praised I was slightly surprised to see it on the list. So what do you all think? Is The Wasp Factory worthy of its place on the list? I can’t decide!


Filed under Modern Classics

2 responses to “The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

  1. Your review already frightens me… won’t be reading this any time soon as it sounds too disturbing! Thanks for the warning 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Wasp Factory | Bill Chance

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