Fearful Symmetry

Film. Books. Comics. TV. Music.

Posts Tagged ‘Iain Banks

Transition

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Iain Banks interviewed by the Open University (45min). Compare and contrast with Iain Banks interviewed on STV (25min) back in 1989.

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Written by Fearful Symmetry

February 1, 2011 at 12:08 pm

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Complicity by Iain Banks

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Book...

Book...

I first read Complicity in a day. The narrative locks you in from the opening words – in the second person, ‘you do this, you do that’, making you complicit in the action – and does not let you go all the way through the intense plot until the final downbeat paragraphs.

Cameron Colley is a hack journalist who tries to emulate his hero Hunter S Thompsom, if not in writing success then at least in narcotics consumption. He’s just cocked up his big chance at writing the big story. But now he has a hope of redemption. An anonymous ‘Deep Throat’ has been contacting him giving him clues to an apparently unconnected series of gruesome murders that point the way to the fact that the victims were all part of a conspiracy to create a shady arms deal. However as the investigation continues Cameron ends up having to confront issues arising from his own family history.

Banks underscores the action with a long scream of anger against the right wing establishments that allow such arms deals to go ahead, even to be encouraged. Although there’s been a lot of water under the bridge since it was written, these issues are still relevant, if not more so when considering examples like the references to the first Gulf War. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fearful Symmetry

July 17, 2009 at 10:42 am

The Steep Approach To Garbadale by Iain Banks

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Snakes and ladders

Snakes and ladders

For me, with writers, there’s Iain Banks and there’s all the rest. Other writers I’ve developed obsessions about – Tim Willocks, for instance – but with Banks the obsession is deep and total. So a new Banks coming out is a major event. Especially when there’s hasn’t been one for a while, with the author deciding to slow down from the one-book a year (alternating between sf and lit fict.) of his earlier career, and the latest being delayed by events in Banks’ life (getting divorced if you didn’t know already).

Whilst in his ‘M’ guise, Banks sf output has remained high in turns of quality, there’s a general consensus that there’s been somewhat a dip with regards to his ‘M-less’ output: Whit being somewhat uninspiring, The Business and especially Dead Air being distinctly underwritten (or as a friend of mine said, more succinctly, ‘shit’). Only the literary but bleak A Song Of Stone, based on a long poem Banks wrote years ago, stands-out in the non-sf novels since the glory days of his early years finished with Complicity – although even then he still turned out the odd clunker like Canal Dreams. So is A Steep Approach To Garbadale a return to form? Well, judging by most of the reviews, no; although I think differently… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Fearful Symmetry

July 16, 2009 at 9:08 am

Poetic Licence – Iain M. Banks’ Consider Phlebas and T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land

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I’ve now moved this to my new blog

Written by Fearful Symmetry

June 30, 2009 at 11:59 am