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Iain Banks - Author

About the Author

Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, THE WASP FACTORY, in 1984. He has since gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels (which are published under the name Iain M Banks).

 

Iain Banks died in June 2013.



Photograph © John Foley

Featured books by Iain Banks

The Quarry

The Quarry

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/03/2014

Kit doesn't know who his mother is. What he does know, however, is that his father, Guy, is dying of cancer. Feeling his death is imminent, Guy gathers around him his oldest friends - or at least the friends with the most to lose by his death. Paul - the rising star in the Labour party who dreads the day a tape they all made at university might come to light; Alison and Robbie, corporate bunnies whose relationship is daily more fractious; Pris and Haze, once an item, now estranged, and finally Hol - friend, mentor, former lover and the only one who seemed to care. But what will happen to Kit when Guy is gone? And why isn't Kit's mother in the picture? As the friends reunite for Guy's last days, old jealousies, affairs and lies come to light as Kit watches on.

ebook of the month

Other books by Iain Banks

Walking On Glass

Walking On Glass

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

Her eyes were black, wide as though with some sustained surprise, the skin from their outer corners to her small ears taut. Her lips were pale, and nearly too full for her small mouth, like something bled but bruised. He had never seen anyone or anything quite so beautiful in his life.' Graham Park is in love. But Sara Fitch is an enigma to him, a creature of almost perverse mystery. Steven Grout is paranoid - and with justice. He knows that They are out to get him. They are. Quiss, insecure in his fabulous if ramshackle castle, is forced to play interminable impossible games. The solution to the oldest of all paradoxical riddles will release him. But he must find an answer before he knows the question. Park, Grout, Quiss - no trio could be further apart. But their separate courses are set for collision.

The Crow Road 'One of the best opening lines of any novel' (Guardian)

The Crow Road 'One of the best opening lines of any novel' (Guardian)

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2013

'His masterpiece' Jay Rayner 'One of the best opening lines of any novel... a warm, witty and ultimately very poignant book' Guardian An outstanding contemporary novel, about which readers say: 'Banks' masterpiece' 'Iain Banks at his best' 'Read this immediately' 'A story full of wonderful characters' 'It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach.' Prentice McHoan has returned to the bosom of his complex but enduring Scottish family. Full of questions about the McHoan past, present and future, he is also deeply preoccupied: mainly with death, sex, drink, God and illegal substances...

Stonemouth

Stonemouth

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/01/2013

Stewart Gilmour is back in Stonemouth. After five years in exile his presence is required at the funeral of patriarch Joe Murston, and even though the last time Stu saw the Murstons he was running for his life, staying away might be even more dangerous than turning up. An estuary town north of Aberdeen, Stonemouth, with it's five mile beach, can be beautiful on a sunny day. On a bleak one it can seem to offer little more than seafog, gangsters, cheap drugs and a suspension bridge irresistible to suicides. And although there's supposed to be a temporary truce between Stewart and the town's biggest crime family, it's soon clear that only Stewart is taking this promise of peace seriously. Before long Stu steps back into the minefield of his past to confront his guilt and all that it has lost him, uncovering ever darker stories. Soon his homecoming takes a more lethal turn than even he had anticipated. Tough, funny, fast-paced and touching, Stonemouth cracks open adolescence, love, brotherhood and vengeance in a rite of passage novel like no other.

Stonemouth

Stonemouth

Author: Iain Banks Format: eBook Release Date: 10/10/2012

Stewart Gilmour is back in Stonemouth. After five years, in exile his presence is required at the funeral of patriarch Joe Murston, and even though the last time Stu saw the Murstons he was running for his life, staying away might be even more dangerous than turning up. An estuary town north of Aberdeen, Stonemouth, with its five-mile beach, can be beautiful on a sunny day. On a bleak one it can seem to offer little more than sea fog, gangsters, cheap drugs, and a suspension bridge irresistible to suicides. And although there is supposed to be a temporary truce between Stewart and the town's biggest crime family, it's soon clear that only Stewart is taking this promise of peace seriously. Before long a quick drop into the cold grey Stoun begins to look like the soft option, and as he steps back into the minefield of his past to confront his guilt and all that it has lost him, Stu uncovers ever darker stories and his homecoming takes a more lethal turn than even he had anticipated. Tough, funny, fast-paced and touching, Stonemouth cracks open adolescence, love, brotherhood, and vengeance in a rite of passage novel like no other.

Stonemouth

Stonemouth

Author: Iain Banks Format: eBook Release Date: 09/10/2012

The long-awaited and stunning new novel from the unrivaled Iain Banks, author of The Wasp Factory.Stewart Gilmour is back in Stonemouth, Scotland.After five years in exile his presence is required at the funeralof local patriarch Joe Murston, even though the lasttime Stewart saw the Murstons he was running for his life.An estuary town north of Aberdeen, Stonemouth, with its fivemile beach, can be beautiful on a sunny day. On a bleak oneit can seem to offer little more than seafog, gangsters, cheapdrugs, and a suspension bridge irresistible to suicides. Andalthough there's supposed to be a temporary truce betweenStewart and the town's biggest crime family, it's soon clearthat only Stewart is taking this promise of peace seriously.Before long a quick drop into the cold, grey Stoun begins tolook like the easy option, but as he steps back into the minefieldof his past to confront his guilt and all that it has losthim, Stewart uncovers ever darker stories, and his homecomingtakes a more lethal turn than even he had anticipated.Tough, funny, fast-paced, and touching, renowned storytellerIain Banks poignantly evokes adolescence, love, brotherhood,and vengeance in a rite-of-passage novel unlike any other.

The Wasp Factory

The Wasp Factory

Author: Iain Banks Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 17/03/2008

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.

The Steep Approach To Garbadale

The Steep Approach To Garbadale

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/02/2008

Dark family secrets and a long-lost love affair lie at the heart of Iain Banks's fabulous new novel. The Wopuld family built its fortune on a board game called Empire! - now a hugely successful computer game. So successful, the American Spraint Corp wants to buy the firm out. Young renegade Alban, who has been evading the family clutches for years, is run to ground and persuded to attend the forthcoming family gathering - part birthday party, part Extraordinary General Meeting - convened by Win, Wopuld matriarch and most powerful member of the board, at Garbadale, the family's highland castle. Being drawn back into the bosom of the clan brings a disconcerting confrontation with Alban's past. What drove his mother to take her own life? And is he ready to see Sophie, his beautiful cousin and teenage love? Grandmother Win's revelations wll radically alter Alban's perspective for ever.

The Steep Approach To Garbadale

The Steep Approach To Garbadale

Author: Iain Banks Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/03/2007

Dark family secrets, a long-lost love affair and a multi-million pound gaming business lie at the heart of Iain Banks's fabulous new novel. The Wopuld family built its fortune on a board game called Empire! ? now a hugely successful computer game. So successful, the American Spraint Corp wants to buy the firm out. Young renegade Alban, who has been evading the family clutches for years, is run to ground and persuaded to attend the forthcoming family gathering ? part birthday party, part Extraordinary General Meeting ? convened by Win, Wopuld matriarch and most powerful member of the board, at Garbadale, the family's highland castle. Being drawn back into the bosom of the clan brings an inevitable and disconcerting confrontation with Alban's past. What drove his mother to take her own life? And is he yet ready to see Sophie, his beautiful, enchanting cousin and teenage love, at the EGM? Grandmother Win's revelations will radically alter Alban's perspective for ever.

Raw Spirit In Search of the Perfect Dram

Raw Spirit In Search of the Perfect Dram

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/08/2004

A fascinating journey through Scotland's famous distilleries with legendary author Iain Banks No true Scotsman can resist the allure of the nation's whisky distilleries. In an absorbing voyage as interesting to non-drinkers as to true whisky connoisseurs, sci-fi and literary author Iain Banks explores the rich heritage of Scottish whisky, from the largest and most famous distilleries to the smallest, most obscure operations. Whisky is more than a drink: it's a culture, a binder that joins together people, places and products far across Scotland's rugged terrain. Switching from cars to ferries to bicycles, Banks crisscrosses his homeland, weaving an engrossing narrative from the strange people, fascinating traditions, and downright bizarre places he encounters on his journey down Scotland's great golden road.

The Wasp Factory

The Wasp Factory

Author: Iain Banks Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/07/2001

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.

The Business

The Business

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/06/2000

Kate Telman is a senior executive officer in The Business, a powerful and massively discreet transglobal organisation. Financially transparent, internally democratic and disavowing conventional familial inheritance, the character of The Business seems, even to Kate, to be vague to the point of invisibility. It possesses, allegedly, a book of Leonardo cartoons, several sets of Crown Jewels and wants to buy its own State in order to acquire a seat at the United Nations. Kate's job is to keep abreast of current technological developments and her global reach encompasses Silicon Valley, a ranch in Nebraska, the firm's secretive Swiss headquarters, and a remote Himalayan principality. In the course of her journey Kate must peel away layers of emotional insulation and the assumptions of a lifetime. She must learn to keep her world at arm's length. To take control, she has to do The Business.

A Song of Stone A Novel

A Song of Stone A Novel

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/1999

Whit

Whit

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/09/1996

A little knowledge can be a very dangerous thing...Innocent in the ways of the world, an ingenue when it comes to pop and fashion, the Elect of God of a small but committed Stirlingshire religious cult: Isis Whit is no ordinary teenager. When her cousin Morag - Guest of Honour at the Luskentyrian's four-yearly Festival of Love - disappears after renouncing her faith, Isis is marked out to venture among the Unsaved and bring the apostate back into the fold. But the road to Babylondon (as Sister Angela puts it) is a treacherous one, particularly when Isis discovers that Morag appears to have embraced the ways of the Unsaved with spectacular abandon...Truth and falsehood; kinship and betrayal; 'herbal' cigarettes and compact discs - Whit is an exploration of the techno-ridden barrenness of modern Britain from a unique perspective.

Complicity 'A very good thriller' (Glasgow Herald)

Complicity 'A very good thriller' (Glasgow Herald)

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/09/1994

COMPLICITY n. 1. the fact of being an accomplice, esp. in a criminal act A few spliffs, a spot of mild S&M, phone through the copy for tomorrow's front page, catch up with the latest from your mystery source - could be big, could be very big - in fact, just a regular day at the office for free-wheeling, substance-abusing Cameron Colley, a fully paid-up Gonzo hack on an Edinburgh newspaper. The source is pretty thin, but Cameron senses a scoop and checks out a series of bizarre deaths from a few years ago - only to find that the police are checking out a series of bizarre deaths that are happening right now. And Cameron just might know more about it than he'd care to admit ...Involvement; connection; liability - Complicity is a stunting exploration of the morality of greed, corruption and violence, venturing fearlessly into the darker recesses of human purpose.

The Crow Road 'One of the best opening lines of any novel' (Guardian)

The Crow Road 'One of the best opening lines of any novel' (Guardian)

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/04/1993

From its bravura opening onwards, THE CROW ROAD is justly regarded as an outstanding contemporary novel. 'It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach.' Prentice McHoan has returned to the bosom of his complex but enduring Scottish family. Full of questions about the McHoan past, present and future, he is also deeply preoccupied: mainly with death, sex, drink, God and illegal substances...

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