Iain Banks, who died this month, was one of my favourite writers.
In a career spanning twenty nine years, he wrote an impressive twenty nine books including the science fiction Culture books (as “Iain M. Banks”: his middle name was Menzies). To my sham, I’ve largely not read any of these though I would recommend The Player of Games (1987).
But, to the uninitiated, which of Banks’ “mainstream” novels is best to start with? Let’s take a look…
The Wasp Factory (1984)
“Two years after I killed Blyth I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different and more fundamental reasons than I’d disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did for my young cousin Esmerelda, more or less on a whim.
That’s my score to date. Three. I haven’t killed anybody for years, and don’t intend to ever again.
It was just a stage I was…
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