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 ...Read MoreFrank, 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.Read Less
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Good. Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority!
A very unique book. Dark, twisted, sentimental, funny, and suspenseful. Not for the faint of heart. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it is certainly not the sort of book you would find featured in Oprah's Bookclub.
The twist at the end regarding the true identity of one of the main characters is wonderful. Completely unexpected, and completely strange.
If you could stomach a movie like SEVEN or THE AUDITION, this book is probably right up your alley.
Jul 11, 2008
Bizarre, Disturbing and Highly Entertaining
The Wasp Factory is certainly one of the most unique books I have ever had the (perhaps somewhat dubious) pleasure to read.
A book told in the first person by Frank, an 'eccentric' teenager who spends his days torturing/killing small animals, birds and insects in numerous odd daily rituals to divine various aspects of his future and protect his home territory which is a tiny Scottish island should sound anything but entertaining to most people but somehow, this window into the fledgling mind of a teenage psychopath manages to be absolutely enthralling...if a little stomach-churning at times.
The Wasp Factory is undeniably repulsive, disturbing, sometimes very gory, occasionally sickening and dark....very dark, and is no doubt not going to be to everyone's taste but if you can stomach it, there is a stunning novel to be found within these pages.
You'll probably find you both like and sympathise with Frank, even if you do not condone his actions, and may even laugh out loud at a few of the most darkly comic moments which are scattered liberally throughout the prose.
I found myself totally sucked in to the twisted version of reality Frank has created on his little island and enjoyed reading this novel immensely, although I would hasten to caution once more, this is not going to be a book everyone will enjoy.
Apr 8, 2008
This was a fascinating book. Although it may be a little too intense or disturbing for some. Largely consumed with a twisted little bgoys need to kill small animals, mysterious family secret, murder and mayhem ensue. Albeit in a very mellow and Brittish way, very tastefully done.
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