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The Wasp Factory: Banks, Iain The Wasp Factory: Banks, Iain

The Wasp Factory

Banks, Iain

55,688 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0708825362 / ISBN 13: 9780708825365
Published by Futura Publications, London and Sydney, 1985
Condition: VG- Soft cover
From Jusara Book Shop IOBA (Bronx, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Inscribed "To Steve from Iain Banks 27/10/88 Frank sez: hi, Steve" on the title page. Would be VG+ but for some heavy edge wear to the top front edge and bottom front corner of the wrapper. Shelf wear also to front hinge, and minor edge wear in general. Otherwise clean inside and out. Bookseller Inventory # 000563

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Wasp Factory

Publisher: Futura Publications, London and Sydney

Publication Date: 1985

Binding: Soft Cover

Book Condition:VG-

Signed: Signed by Author

About this title


Frank, no ordinary sixteen-year-old, lives with his father outsIde a remote Scottish village. Their life is, to say the least, unconventional. Frank's mother abandoned them years ago: his elder brother Eric is confined to a psychiatric hospital; and his father measures out his eccentricities on an imperial scale. Frank has turned to strange acts of violence to vent his frustrations. In the bizarre daily rituals there is some solace. But when news comes of Eric's escape from the hospital Frank has to prepare the ground for his brother's inevitable return - an event that explodes the mysteries of the past and changes Frank utterly. Iain Banks' celebrated first novel is a work of extraordinary originality, imagination and horrifying compulsion: horrifying, because it enters a mind whose realities are not our own, whose values of life and death are alien to our society; and compulsive, because the humour and compassion of that mind reach out to us all.


"I had been making the rounds of the Sacrifice Poles the day we heard my brother had escaped. I already knew something was going to happen; the Factory told me."

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

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