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The Quarry by Iain Banks

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Whether writing his popular ‘Culture’ sci-fi series or dark award-winning novels of contemporary life, Iain Banks was one of the greatest writers of his generation before he died of cancer aged 59 in 2013. The Quarry is his last book and is as dark, funny and enlightening as any he’s written. Kit’s father is dying of cancer and gathers his friends around him; their house is about to be demolished as the quarry they live beside grows steadily nearer and Kit, who has Asperger’s struggles to deal with everything that’s happening. Largely written before he was diagnosed, it’s still difficult for a reader to not read this book through the prism of Banks’ death, but however you approach it, it is a quiet, powerful brilliant book that deserves to be read regardless.

If you like Iain Banks you might also like to read books by Stephen Hunt, Howard Jacobson and Sam Taylor.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


The Quarry by Iain Banks

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.


A quietly incendiary piece of writing, at times heartbreaking, at other times really wonderfully funny ... a profoundly humane, funny and smart novel. - Independent

A novel shot through with Banks's trademark humour, political engagement and hope. -- Louise Welsh The Times

Wonderfully exuberant ... written with the life-enhancing verve characteristic of Banks's best work. - Scotsman

Vintage Banks, full of heart, black comedy and vitriol. - Mirror

A compelling, raw book -- William Leith Evening Standard

About the Author

Iain Banks

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

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Book Info

Publication date

25th March 2014


Iain Banks

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Abacus an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group


384 pages


Literary Fiction
Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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