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Those lines begin one of the most infamous of contemporary Scottish novels. The narrator, Frank Cauldhame, is a weird teenager who lives on a tiny island connected to mainland Scotland by a bridge. He maintains grisly Sacrifice Poles to serve as his early warning system and deterrent against anyone who might invade his territory.
Few novelists have ever burst onto the literary scene with as much controversy as Iain Banks in 1984. The Wasp Factory was reviled by many reviewers on account of its violence and sadism, but applauded by others as a new and Scottish voice--that is, a departure from the English literary tradition. The controversy is a bit puzzling in retrospect, because there is little to object to in this novel, if you're familiar with genre horror.
The Wasp Factory is distinguished by an authentically felt and deftly written first-person style, delicious dark humor, a sense of the surreal, and a serious examination of the psyche of a childhood psychopath. Most readers will find that they sympathize with and even like Frank, despite his three murders (each of which is hilarious in an Edward Gorey fashion). It's a classic of contemporary horror. --Fiona Webster
This is a totally off the wall book.....at the very beginning the young man is demonized with the murders he has committed at the end the reader is routing for him...... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Carol B
REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS: This is a short book – that’s the only good thing about it, although it could’ve been waaaaaaaaay shorter. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Ashley
I love love love this book! Beautifully written with vivid descriptions. Banks creates a dark and bizarre world that compels you to keep reading.Published 2 months ago by Ironjellyfish
I think the usual, and appropriate, response to this book is: W.T.F? This is often touted as one of the top 100 books, I'm not clear why. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bedeviled Haberdasher
This book is quite unusual, uncomfortable, and disturbing at times but very well written. Overall I did enjoy reading it and after all these years I am still glad that I had the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Penelope Nederland
I really didn't like this book for some reason. I can't point to one thing that really killed it for me, but the sum total of the parts was not something I would recommend. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Robert Yeager
I could not believe what a piece of garbage this was, and that I actually paid money to read it. The people that gave this good reviews, or said it was a horror classic must not... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kathleen M. Newman