Search Results: "Iain Banks"


BOOK REVIEW

STONEMOUTH by Iain Banks
Released: Nov. 15, 2012

"Contemporary, hilarious, gritty—yes, this is genre fiction, and no, the genre doesn't get much better than this."
This novel considers the question of how to return home after a long absence, particularly when your ex-fiancee is the eldest daughter of a local crime boss. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE BUSINESS by Iain M. Banks
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 8, 2000

"Sprinkled with erudite puns ('Was I a Freudian? . . . no, I was a Schadenfreudian') and topical references: a smart, breezy, entertainment—something John Grisham might have written if, say, he were a better stylist with more imagination."
From the usually thought-provoking, even disturbing, Banks (A Song of Stone, 1998, etc.) comes a clever, well-paced, but surprisingly slight business thriller. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

LOOK TO WINDWARD by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

"By turns imposing, ingenious, whimsical, and wrenching, though too amorphous to fully satisfy."
Another of Banks's far-future Culture yarns (Inversions, 2000, etc.). Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE PLAYER OF GAMES by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 22, 1989

"Predictable, certainly, and less imaginative than Phlebas, but technically much more solid: honorably crafted work, often engrossing despite some sluggish patches."
Following Consider Phlebas (1988), another distant-future yarn featuring the Culture—a tolerant, relaxed, moneyless civilization unobtrusively directed by superintelligent machine Minds. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

COMPLICITY by Iain M. Banks
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 13, 1995

"Literate and satisfying, with a very nice ending."
An engrossing thriller in which all the murder victims apparently deserve, if not their cruel fates, at least a reckoning, leaving the hero (and the reader) with a guilty sense of admiration and appreciation for the clever serial killer. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE WASP FACTORY by Iain M. Banks
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 24, 1984

"In sum: a nastily striking, somewhat uneven debut—at its dreadful best when not straining for symbolic shockers or cosmic resonance."
Through much of this impressive first novel, almost up until the awkward and misguided finale, young Scottish writer Banks achieves that fine British balance—between horrific content on the one hand and matter-of-fact comic delivery on the other. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE BRIDGE by Iain M. Banks
Released: May 11, 1989

"Banks makes it deliberately hard to tell dream from reality, but once one stops looking for linear plot developments, this can be read as an entertaining (and rather funny) exercise in examining the subconscious."
From Scottish writer Banks (Consider Phlebas, 1988; Walking on Glass, 1986), the surreal, often baffling—but always intriguing—story of a man who awakens from a coma into a weird and wonderful world. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE HYDROGEN SONATA by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 9, 2012

"Sheer delight."
Addition to Banks' wonderful space-opera series (without the middle initial, he also writes impressive mainstream novels) about the far-future galactic Culture (Surface Detail, 2010, etc.), a liberal-anarchic, multispecies civilization guided and sustained, more or less invisibly, by Minds, artificial intelligences that take such physical forms as spaceships and habitats. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

CONSIDER PHLEBAS by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 3, 1988

"Overextended and jarring, then, but imaginative and gripping in places."
From the author of The Wasp Factory and Walking on Glass: a voluminous, sometimes exciting space-opera where character motivations are the most troubling of several knotty problems. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

FEERSUM ENDJINN by Iain M. Banks
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1995

"Dazzling stuff: a shame it doesn't add up."
Intricate, disconcerting far-future saga from the author The Player of Games (1989), etc., in which the Encroachment, a cloud of space dust, threatens to extinguish all life on Earth. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

CANAL DREAMS by Iain M. Banks
Released: Sept. 3, 1991

"Banks (The Bridge, etc.) sets up the usual melodramatic premises of the genre but then sidesteps them for atmosphere and enigma, like the closing episodes of Twin Peaks."
"Dreams" is right, as Yukio Mishima meets Hiroshima mon amour in this spare, hallucinatory novel about a world-class Japanese cellist taken hostage in a terrorist coupHisako Onoda, whose fear of flying has forced her to take ship on a freighter for her European concert tour, has been spending the interregnum floating on a Panama lake while the canal is closed by political unrest, brooding on her earlier losses and achievements—her widowed mother's sacrifices to pay for her lessons, her growing mastery of her instrument, her obligatory affairs—and taking up with Philippe, a French officer aboard Le Cercle. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

EXCESSION by Iain M. Banks
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Not Invented Here and Shoot Them Later) don't compensate for the absence of real characters."
From versatile Scottish writer Banks, another sf yarn about the tolerant, diverse, far-future Culture (The Player of Games, 1989, etc.). Read full book review >