Books, Fiction, Reviews

REVIEW: The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

My Rating: 4/5

Published in 1984, The Wasp Factory is quite a grim and startling story about 16 year old Frank Cauldhame. It was the first ever book by Scottish author Iain Bank.

Sometimes I wonder, what if we somehow know that everything is coming to a definitive end and there is limited amount of Time is left in our hands. What will we do? What will I do?

After reading this book, I can answer the deliberate question I mentioned above. I will go to the closest bookstore, pick out some books out of whom I want to read my favourite parts again and start reading them, aloud. Banks’ The Wasp Factory will definitely be one of them.

This tale is written in first person narrative. There was a anxious feeling while reading the book I often felt. I wanted to put it down. But I couldn’t. All becasue of Banks’ storytelling and the characters he had weaved in this tale of a different, peculiar family consisting of a father and his two sons. One is out of the asylum and other is already living in one.

The revolves around the Frank, the second son, who is deliberately isolated from society by his own conscience. He has a vivid imagination and has his own self-describing names for places all over the remote island on which he resides. With the use of his imagination Frank has many wars which are fictional and are described by Banks in gruesome in detail.

There is an element of dark humour that helps to overcome those gruesome details of animal abuse and other kind of violent elements.

Before reaching the climax, I found Banks gives a plenty of clues along the way about why Frank was this way, the way of attracting problems. I was unable to solve the puzzle after reaching the climax it felt silly though Banks did it in a very smart way- like right under your nose way. It’s an interesting notion that this isolated boy had built up an entire identity around being male, and an inherent hostility towards women, his father’s over caring sometimes suspicious attitude towards his son and the mystery behind his study door.


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