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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

Raw Spirit In Search of the Perfect Dram

Raw Spirit In Search of the Perfect Dram

Author: Iain Banks Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/10/2019

New introduction by Ian Rankin _________________________________________ 'One of the most playful and entertaining writers of our generation' Val McDermid, Guardian 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 most famous distilleries to the most obscure operations. Whisky is more than a drink: it's a culture that binds together people, places and products far across Scotland's rugged terrain. Switching from cars to ferries to bicycles, Banks criss-crosses his homeland, weaving an engrossing narrative full of fascinating traditions, peculiar people, and the downright bizarre places he encounters on his journey down Scotland's great golden road.

Complicity

Complicity

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/10/2018

The twenty-fifth anniversary edition of a modern classic: 'ingenious, daring and brilliant' - Guardian 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: 02/11/2017

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...

Die Wespenfabrik

Die Wespenfabrik

Author: Iain Banks Format: eBook Release Date: 07/10/2015

Protagonist Frank Cauldham, 16 Jahre alt, lebt mit seinem wahnsinnigen Vater in einem vereinsamten Haus im schottischen Hochland. Abseits familiarer Behutetheit entwickelt Frank seine eigene Fantasiewelt der Grausamkeiten und der Bestrafungen, eine von Ritualen und Totems bestimmte Gegenrealitat. Als sein in eine geschlossene Anstalt abgeschobener Bruder ausbricht, um die Geheimnisse seiner Familie zu luften, droht Franks Weltentwurf endgultig aus den Fugen zu geraten, hat er doch mittlerweile drei Morde begangen ... Iain Banks Debtroman Die Wespenfabrik ist eine wilde, zornige Mischung aus der "e;Blechtrommel"e; und "e;American Psycho"e;. Teils psychopathologische Innenansicht eines jugendlichen Killers, teils schwarzhumorige schottische Familiengeschichte, wurde das Buch bei seinem Erscheinen 1984 gleichermaen bejubelt und bekmpft. Wollten die konservativen Kritiker darin nur eine Gewaltorgie sehen, so erkannte ein sensibleres Publikum das erste Werk einer starken erzhlerischen Stimme vom Schlage eines Alasdair Gray oder einer A. L. Kennedy.

Stonemouth

Stonemouth

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/05/2015

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.

Poems

Poems

Author: Iain Banks, Ken Macleod Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/02/2015

Iain Banks is celebrated as a novelist and science fiction writer. It is less well known that his first published work was the poem '041', in New Writing Scotland in 1983. Like the poems that appeared within his novels, this was selected from the many he had written between 1973 and 1981. Banks took his poetry seriously and worked on it assiduously, but showed it mostly to friends. He first thought of publishing his poetry late in 2012, though insisted it be a joint collection with his life-long friend Ken MacLeod. The two writers were working on this project when Banks learned of his terminal diagnosis, and continued thereafter. He made his final revisions just days before his death. Readers of Iain Banks' novels will find in the poems a further affirmation of the humane, sceptical and clear-eyed sensibility that informed all his work, shot through as ever with a dry wit that continues to disturb and delight. Ken MacLeod edited and introduces this collection.

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
Transition

Transition

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/12/2013

Imagine a world that is one of infinite parallel worlds, that hangs suspended between triumph and catastrophe, the dismantling of the Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers, in the shadow of suicide terrorism and global financial collapse. Presiding over this world is the Concern, an all-powerful organisation whose operatives possess extraordinary powers. There is Temudjin Oh, an unkillable assassin who journeys between the high passes of Nepal, a version of Victorian London and a wintry Venice; Adrian Cubbish, restlessly greedy City trader; and the Philosopher, a state-sponsored torturer who moves between the time zones with sinister ease. Transition is a high-definition, hyper-real apocalyptic fable for terrible times.

A Song Of Stone

A Song Of Stone

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/07/2013

The war is ending, perhaps ended. For the castle and its occupants the troubles are just beginning. Armed gangs roam a lawless land where each farm and house supports a column of dark smoke. Taking to the roads with the other refugees, anonymous in their raggedness, seems safer than remaining in the ancient keep. However, the lieutenant of an outlaw band has other ideas and the castle becomes the focus for a dangerous game of desire, deceit and death. Iain Banks' masterly novel reveals his unique ability to combine gripping narrative with a relentlessly voyaging imagination. The narrative technique and sheer brio of A SONG OF STONE reveal a great novelist at the height of his powers.

Whit

Whit

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/06/2013

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.

Canal Dreams

Canal Dreams

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2013

Hisako Onoda, world famous cellist, refuses to fly. And so she travels to Europe as a passenger on a tanker bound through the Panama Canal. But Panama is a country whose politics are as volatile as the local freedom fighters. When Hisako's ship is captured, it is not long before the atmosphere is as flammable as an oxy-acetylene torch, and the tension as sharp as the spike on her cello... CANAL DREAMS is a novel of deceptive simplicity and dark, original power: stark psychological insights mesh with vividly realised scenarios in an ominous projection of global realpolitik. The result is yet another major landmark in the quite remarkable career of an outstanding modern novelist.

Espedair Street

Espedair Street

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2013

Daniel Weir used to be a famous - not to say infamous - rock star. Maybe still is. At thirty-one he has been both a brilliant failure and a dull success. He's made a lot of mistakes that have paid off and a lot of smart moves he'll regret forever (however long that turns out to be). Daniel Weir has gone from rags to riches and back, and managed to hold onto them both, though not much else. His friends all seem to be dead, fed up with him or just disgusted - and who can blame them? And now Daniel Weir is all alone. As he contemplates his life, Daniel realises he only has two problems: the past and the future. He knows how bad the past has been. But the future - well, the future is something else.

The Business

The Business

Author: Iain Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2013

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.

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