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
My favorite novel, and reason is because it says so much in so few pages.
I think a lot of the people who gave poor reviews to this book did so on a superficial level. Read more
Mr Banks deals with some very uncomfortable topics and presents them in a way that is rather unsettling. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ken
I am an Iain Banks fan who grieves his passing last year as I have grieved few other writers. I want more Culture. Read morePublished 1 month ago by C. Drum
Okay, 'like' is not precisely the right term. This is a profoundly weird, destabilizing and disturbing book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by A. McCaskill
Incomparable really - very unlike anything I've read before. Astounding that this was Mr. Banks' first novel. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sean Murphy
This book is so short- only 180 some pages- and yet I struggled to finish it. There are just pages and pages of insignificant, trivial details about the main character's daily... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ola12
But still: I liked it. I think this novel is similar to what I think I would find in a sociopath's diary as opposed to an actual story. We are able to see how the... tagonist (? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joshua D. Kemper
I like Iain Banks style of writing and he had me interested and carried me along for long bit there slowly getting my feel for his character's natures and their surroundings. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gift Giver
While reading THE WASP FACTORY by Iain Banks, I kept two things in mind. Number one, The fact that this book was released in 1984, which made it very much ahead of the horror... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bindy Sue Frřnkünschtein