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The Wasp Factory.....should I read it???

(25 Posts)
MrFranklyShankly Thu 21-Nov-13 09:52:35

Have just been left a big box of books from a friend she no longer wants to keep they are all mainly chick lit, which I don't really like, but found this in the middle of them, she had told me it was rubbish and very disturbing...but after reading some reviews on it I think it sounds quiet good.....anyone else read it, it seems quiet an old book??? Is it really disturbing????? A bit scared to keep reading!!!!!!



exexpat Thu 21-Nov-13 09:55:19

I think it is brilliant, a modern classic. I gave it to my 15yo DS to read this summer, and he also loved it - but it is quite dark, with some disturbing events and images, though nothing that bad compared to most modern horror fiction or movies. Definitely not chick-lit, though. What sort of thing do you usually read?

Daykin Thu 21-Nov-13 10:14:09

It's brilliant (iirc)

Pufflemum Thu 21-Nov-13 10:18:24

I read it about 20 years ago and then got everyone I knew thread it, so I must of thought it was good! It's short so won't take you long if you don't like it :-)

SerotoninCanEatTomorrow Thu 21-Nov-13 10:23:59

I love it, it's brilliant, dark and clever. Read it in school, was presented with a copy for some award and still have it now - re-read it regularly smile

You need to read it grin

MrFranklyShankly Thu 21-Nov-13 12:30:38

Well I'm on chapter 3 and I'm really liking it....exexpat I would usually read thriller/psychological fiction, and anything that isn't chick lit really, not that there is anything wrong with it, lots of friends read cl, but I find it all the same and just not my bag really, I do like a bit of dark humour in books too and this seems to have that....will keep at it as I'm enjoying it so far thanks for the replies ;-)

sammylou35 Thu 21-Nov-13 12:32:51

This is my book group's choice for January so I haven't read it yet but looking forward to it as I think it will generate a great discussion going by what everyone has said - dark, shocking, clever, controversial! I will let you know how we get on.

MrFranklyShankly Thu 21-Nov-13 13:01:52

Yeah do let me know Sammy what everyone thought, I'm quiet enjoying it, Ohhhh how I long to be part of a book group........!!!!

TheNunsOfGavarone Thu 21-Nov-13 14:28:08

Yes, carry on - very readable and pretty disturbing too from what I remember!

ButThereAgain Thu 21-Nov-13 14:38:56

I read it a few months ago and I didn't really like it. It was ok, but didn't really create much atmosphere are tell me anything I found very convincing about its main character.

My son had read it before me and warned me that he hadn't thought much of it either!

bimblebee Thu 21-Nov-13 14:44:57

I loved it, but then again I love a lot of dark stuff!

MrFranklyShankly Sat 30-Nov-13 23:12:53

Well I finished it this morning.....I loved it, one of the best books I've read in a while. I have to say I did find parts of it really funny , the telephone conversations between frank and Eric were priceless and I laughed out loud at a few of them. Really glad I found it what about the crow road, I have been googling since I've finished this one, would any of wasp factory fans recommend it???


highlandcoo Sun 01-Dec-13 00:34:14

Yes, definitely move on to The Crow Road; one of Iain Banks' best IMO. Unlike Frank, Prentice is easy to love smile

I also came to The Wasp Factory only recently having been warned off by DH years ago as he thought I would find it deeply disturbing. I love Iain Banks and when he became ill decided as a sort of tribute I would read all of his stuff and TWF being the first I started with that. Loved it!! I must have a sicker sense of humour than he thought.

Interested that you mention the telephone conversations because the bit that really made me laugh was when Frank uses the phrase "as it were" and Eric becomes apoplectic with rage. No-one else seems to find that as funny as me please agree

MrFranklyShankly Sun 01-Dec-13 09:13:24

Yeah highlandcoo I thought that was hilarious, I thought when Eric was telling Frank that he was eating dogs again, and Frank said are you at least cooking them your not eating them raw, Eric was outraged, 'of course i am, what do you think I am'!!! As if he wasn't that insane to eat them raw!!!!

Am going to get Crow Road today on my kindle, I see you mentioned another Iain Banks novel on the 5 books you must read thread, what's that one about, if ya don't mind telling me, think I'm becoming a bit of an Banks fan ;-))

rpitchfo Sun 01-Dec-13 09:20:04

Iain Banks is my favourite author so i won't pretend not to be bias. It's certainly his most famous book and worth a read. It's famous for the last few chapters but judging the book on it's shock value is doing it a disservice. Really good read.

Dead air and Whit are my two favourite Banks novels.

LittleMissRed Sun 01-Dec-13 09:22:03

I read it as a teen and loved it in a horrified yet enchanted sort of way. And I have never forgotten it, definitely one of those books that stay with you. In fact I think I will read it again.

Spider7 Sun 01-Dec-13 09:24:29

It is worth a read. A very good novel. Yes it is dark & disturbing but not uncomfortably so. You will think about it for a long while after finishing & will never forget it.

Umpire Sun 01-Dec-13 09:25:52

Isis was good too iirc

ProfPlumSpeaking Sun 01-Dec-13 09:28:19

Of course you should read it. As others have said, it is brilliant and a modern classic. Enjoy smile

exexpat Sun 01-Dec-13 11:02:34

I think Crow Road and Complicity are my favourite two Iain Banks novels, but most of them are good. I never got into the Iain M Banks scifi/fantasy ones, though.

highlandcoo Sun 01-Dec-13 11:45:38

exexpat I agree with you about the sci-fi. The plan I had to read through all Iain Banks' stuff chronologically has come to a bit of a halt after my third Culture book. I love his mainstream stuff but obviously sci-fi is just not my thing, sorry Iain sad. So I'm ditching them and Crow Road is coming up to reread next. Really looking forward to that.

MrFS Espedair Street is a great read. It tells the story of Danny Weir, an ex-rock star, but it's not really about the music business; it's just his story as a flawed but really likeable person. It's funny - Iain Banks' dialogue is always dry and humorous - and touching, and you get very involved in Danny's life. I like the Glaswegian turns of phrase, and it's very much set in my era. When I first read it I imagined the band as similar to Deacon Blue (I know one of them very slightly) and it seemed vivid and real. It's not his best-known book, but it's my favourite.

MrFranklyShankly Sun 01-Dec-13 20:58:34

Ohhhh I'm def goin to read it next hyland, sounds like I'd like it, I LOVED Decon Blue in my teens!!!! Yeah his dialogue is so witty he makes me laugh out loud not something I find very much in books, I think Joseph O Conner is the only other writer that makes me laugh at his turn of phrase. Well I'm a good bit into Crow Road now and I'm loving it, Don't think the sci-if would be me either to be honest. Have a few titles there to see me over Xmas now, looking forward to reading them ;-)

CoteDAzur Tue 03-Dec-13 11:48:31

"I love his mainstream stuff but obviously sci-fi is just not my thing"

Don't give up on sci-fi (well, "speculative fiction" these days) because you didn't get along with Iain Banks' books. I'm a big sci-fi reader and went through 8 of his books about 10 years ago before I gave up. His books are a sub-genre of sci-fi called Space Opera - as in, "soap opera" of sci-fi literature. Melodramatic adventure in space without a passing glance to technology or even reality. Robots, people, and all sorts of aliens living in harmony, holding hands and singing kumbaya. Very little depth, no real thought to what sort of technology or social change would bring about any of the changes in this new world.

There are some very smart people with tech/science background writing sci-fi in the last 15 years or so and the genre has shifted considerably towards a more intellectual perspective. Iain Banks has his fans but that is not what sci-fi is about these days.

I haven't read The Wasp Factory so can't comment on it specifically.

sooperdooper Sat 07-Dec-13 09:22:18

I read the Wasp Factory not that long ago, it was worth reading but I expected it to be more disturbing from its reputation, I thought some of the weird bits seemed just trying to shock rather than having any basis in the plot

I loved The Crow Road, that's well worth reading too

ArtisanLentilWeaver Sat 07-Dec-13 09:32:30

I loved Espedair Street (and always imagined Danny was based on Fish from Marillion).
The Crow Road is a classic.

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