The Wasp Factory
Frank, no ordinary sixteen-year-old, lives with his father outside a remote Scottish village. Their life is, to say the least, unconventional. Frank's mother abandoned them years ago: his elder brother Eric is confined to a psychiatric hospital; and his father measures out his eccentricities on an imperial scale. Frank has turned to strange acts of violence to vent his frustrations. In the bizarre daily rituals there is some solace.
But when news comes of Eric's escape from the hospital Frank has to prepare the ground for his brother's inevitable return — an event that explodes the mysteries of the past and changes Frank utterly.
Iain Banks' celebrated first novel is a work of extraordinary originality, imagination and horrifying compulsion: horrifying, because it enters a mind whose realities are not our own, whose values of life and death are alien to our society; and compulsive, because the humour and compassion of that mind reach out to us all.
'A Gothic horror story of quite exceptional quality … macabre, bizarre and … quite impossible to put down' (Financial Times)
'A mighty imagination has arrived on the scene' (Mail on Sunday)
'There is no denying the bizarre fertility of the author's imagination: his brilliant dialogue, his cruel humour...' (Irish Times)
'Read it if you dare. Weirdly talented.' (Daily Express)
'A brillaint book, barmy und barnacled with the grotesque.' (New Statesman)
'The Wasp Factory is a first novel not only of tremendous promise, but also of achievement, a minor masterpiece perhaps.' (Punch)
Iain Menzies Banks (officially Iain Banks, 1954-2013) was a Scottish writer. Iain Banks read English literature, philosophy and psychology at Stirling University. He moved to London and lived in the south of England until 1988 when he returned to Fife.
Banks sprang to public notice with the publication of his first novel, The Wasp Factory, in 1984. Since then, Banks has gained great popular and critical acclaim. The Times has acclaimed Iain Banks ”the most imaginative British novelist of his generation”. As Iain M. Banks he writes science fiction and as Iain Banks he writes literary fiction. Much of Banks's science fiction deals with a vast interstellar civilisation, the Culture.