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anyone ever read anything by iain m. banks?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by sloppysubs, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    anyone? he does some intersting (so im told) sci-fi and fiction stuff. looking for opinions.
  2. Personally I prefer his non-sci-fi stuff (easy to tell, as he doesn't use the M. middle initial on them) - The Wasp Factory is a classic, as are most of his other books. His stuff's usually very dark and gritty, deals with unusual or controversial subjects and is compelling reading.

    Russ :bassist:
  3. Kamelion


    Jun 6, 2005
    Cambourne, UK
    His stuff is great. The sf material (with the middle "M") is highly enjoyable but his non-sf writing is amazing. I'll second "Wasp Factory" as a real classic. Also great, imho, are "The Bridge", "Complicity" and "Espedair Street" (which is about a bassist in a hugely successful rock band, so should be required reading!) Oh, and of course the wonderful "Crow Road", which was filmed by the BBC as a miniseries - worth watching as it is very faithful to the novel and a damn fine show as well. Check him out - you won't be disappointed.
  4. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    i think i will. thanks.
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Iain is one of my favorites. As folks said, the 'M' stuff is sci-fi. Except it's not really sci-fi in the classic sense, it's good fiction in a sci fi setting - if that makes sense. While he has cool technology stuff in there, it's really still character driven.
    I got into him because of his regular fiction, Wasp Factory, Bridge, Espedair Street, Crow Road are all just great books. Since Crow Road, IMO his regular fiction has been spotty but his Sci-Fi has continued to be very good.
  6. IMO, the best Iain Banks non SF books are 'The Wasp Factory' and 'The Crow Road', which are both excellent.

    For Iain M. Banks, try 'Use of Weapons', which is by far the best.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I've read everything he's written - I prefer the Sci Fi books by far and in interviews I've seen on TV, he says he enjoys these far more as it allows his imagination to completely run riot with no restrictions...;)

    His invention of "Culture" is one of the greats of Sci Fi and I like all these, while "Feersum Enjin" is a true work of genius - but quite hard to read at first ...as it is not exactly written in English!!

    I do like Crow Road and Wasp Factory - but I would recommend reading all the Sci Fi works in order as they add to each other and fill out your knowledge of the "Culture" - in isolation they can be confusing - but are really different episodes from a long running story/saga...
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I recall that I found Feersum Enjin hard going, with page after page of written dialect. I've not read much of his non-Sci Fi stuff but have really enjoyed the culture series... it's about time I checked the local library to see if they've got any more!

  9. A lot of the characters in his books are Scottish (since Iain Banks is himself Scottish), and he writes their dialogue phonetically, which can be quite hard work if you're not familiar with the way Scots talk. But once you get the hang of the way he writes, you get used to it quite quickly.

    His most recent, Dead Air is a very good read. :)

    Russ :bassist:
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Ferrsum Enjin isn't Scottish.... that's for sure!! ;)

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