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Complicity Paperback – November 12, 2002
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San Francisco Chronicle Literate, passionate, and well-paced, Complicity succeeds as both an absorbing entertainment and a chilling examination of accountability in a morally bankrupt world.
New York Newsday The sort of sophisticated whodunit that keeps you guessing and keeps you thinking...Dizzyingly clever.
Donald E. Westlake Complicity is Banks at his absolute best. It isn't that you can't put this book down; it's that you don't dare put this book down.
The New York Times Book Review From the brilliant opening...that lands the reader smack in the middle of the first of a series of cold-blooded murders to the final confrontation on a weather-beaten wild island...Complicity is irresistibly compelling.
About the Author
Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, The Wasp Factory, recently selected in a British poll as one of the top one hundred novels of the century. He has since gained enormous popular and critical acclaim with his other works of fiction, including the international bestsellers A Song of Stone and The Business, and as Iain M. Banks, science fiction. He lives in Scotland.
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COMPLICITY is flawed, but strange, intriguing, and very sensual in that it feels written by a person. Does that make sense? You know, written by a warm-blooded, passionate, angry, sensitive, embittered, feeling human being, and not a little troll-bot churned out by all the terrible creative writing programs of the universities. And of course he sort of predates the MFA factory mill of dull and dry drivel, so he mostly lucked out in that he likely would never have been drawn into academics and writing the way someone tells you you have to write in order to be published in GRANTA or whatever and be respected.
Anyway, I digress. This is a strange tale of mass murder, and those murders are all explicit, creative, disgusting, and politically motivated. Here's where I had one snag with the book. I didn't completely grasp the political message that the murders were all a foil for. Banks had one, definitely, and one message is blatantly clear--conservatives are evil, thoughtless, selfish, unfeeling f***s. And maybe that's all there is to it, but maybe I'm missing something because Banks is talking about UK politics--and as a Scots, of course.
I also picked this one up because I recently read and LOVED The Wasp Factory, and Iain said he thought this one was closest to it but "without the happy ending". So, of course I picked it up, and it certainly is dark and strange, but also ripe with humor moments on nearly every page. It is, however, a thriller and it fits squarely within the genre. The Wasp Factory was a slim volume of meanderings and wanderings and purely literary--it was a book with a plot (as nearly all books eventually are), but one that most definitely wasn't concerned with plot. So, definitely a difference between the two.
While I think the politics didn't always hit their mark in being tied to the action of this book, and while I didn't find the ending wholly satisfactory, I kind of loved this book, too, and will be reading many more Iain Banks books in the future. Always sad when you discover an author you really dig only to find out they died recently, and a tad too early at that. But at least he's got a lot of books to wade through.
This is an action packed thriller that keeps changing the reader's perspective from a crusading murderer...to Scottish journalist (who is man with a number of flaws!). When describing the killer's actions, he keeps using 2nd person - such as 'You open the door' or 'You disarm the alarm'. So you are along for the ride in the passenger seat for each graphic misadventure.
I was quickly engaged by the characters, who are all well thought out. The main character is like an onion, with surprise after surprise becoming aparent as the layers are peeled back.
Most recent customer reviews
This novel is perhaps the most predictable of Iain Banks novels since it...Read more