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Un Homme De Glace
Iain Banks
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Un Homme De Glace

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  8,914 Ratings  ·  272 Reviews
COMPLICITY n. 1. the fact of being an accomplice, esp. in a criminal act

Local journalist Cameron Colley writes articles that are idealistic, from the viewpoint of the underdog. A twisted serial killer seems to have the same MO -- he commits brutal murders on behalf of the underdog. As the two stories begin to merge, Cameron finds himself inextricably and inexplicably impli

329 pages
Published 1997 by Denoël (first published 1993)
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(showing 1-30)
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mark monday
iain banks' sci-fi is fabulously complex and his thrillers can feel almost ostentatiously stripped-down. this is one of the latter. rather good, although rather junior league joyce carol oates as well. specifically j.c. oates under her thriller pseudonym, rosamund smith... he shares the same interest in doubles and obsessions and two characters who reflect each other's passions and weaknesses. there are also some unsurprisingly sharp critiques of materialism and various other classic and modern ...more
Sep 14, 2010 notgettingenough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-lit
Sex and violence says Manny. An inferior anti-Thatcherite fantasy says Paul.

And I say….

It is about hopes and disappointments, unrequited love, bravery and cowardice. Technically, it’s a quintessentially modern English novel. There are two stories travelling at once. Neither of them is told chronologically – heaven forbid we should start at the beginning and end at the end, too passe. We do indeed have exposed sex, unexpurgated violence and a Thatcherite setting. But as well as this:

‘…because I h
Complicity is my second Banks novel, after The Wasp Factory. Both are 5 star reads, the main reason being that Banks is a captivating storyteller capable of evoking sympathy when the reader may not necessarily feel comfortable with the feeling. If life had not regularly intruded, then I would have happily and easily read this book in one sitting.

The book was unpredicatble. I was meerly guessing until approximately two-thirds through, rather far into the book when compared to what I am used to.
Jan 02, 2012 Shovelmonkey1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gonzo lovers and people who like their anti heroes with a little speed frosting
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list and a previous encounter with Dead Air
Isn't it nice to read a novel where you're familiar with the landscape? Iain Banks makes me feel like I've come home with his descriptions of Edinburgh, the A9, Inchmickery and the Grassmarket and he even chucks in throw-away comments about places like Carnoustie (carousing on a computer spell check). This will mean nowt to those of you who've not been to Scotland but all of the places and many of the landscape props described by Banks are real, accurately described and correct in their geograph ...more
Paul Bryant
Mar 24, 2014 Paul Bryant rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels

Novels. Doncha just love them! This one was Vincent-Price-in-Theatre-of-Blood (ha ha - you worm!) crossed with the collected Marxism Today editorials of the 1980s crossed with Carry On Camping. Just, in fact, like Jonathan Coe's What a Carve Up! which came out around the same time, like when Hollywood comes out with two suspiciously similar movies at once (A Bug's Life & Antz, Capote and Infamous).

I didn’t care for it and I can't think it would stand up these days. But there should be mor
Maria Thomarey
Dec 04, 2015 Maria Thomarey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,5 πολύ δυνατή γραφή
Nov 21, 2008 Manny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

An extremely superior piece of sex and violence. You know, like Hamlet or the Duchess of Malfi or something, but more explicit. Totally unputdownable.
Sep 24, 2013 Nigeyb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Complicity": the clue's in the title. To what extent are we complicit in what happens to us? This is an atmospheric, compelling, intelligent Scottish crime thriller that - like the best genre fiction - also has plenty to say on our messed up world and the human condition. I raced through this satisfying story of how dysfunctional local journalist Cameron Colley may have triggered a series of horrific revenge incidents (murder, torture etc.). The two narrative voices kept this tale tense and int ...more
Zombie Kitten
I really wanted to like this. I really did. It had interesting characters, good plot, gratuitous sex and violence. But I couldn't get into it. The characters were developed but not likable. I didn't care what happened to them. The writing style just didn't vibe with me. It was a difficult book to get through and I couldn't find much depth or anything of real interest to me. Unfortunate, because the premise sounded good.
Too much violence, sex and profanity but otherwise a great job of writing. Very violent, thriller. Gonzo journalist, pathological killer are intertwined in this story. The author is a good writer but way to much profanity and the details of the violence and sex was over the top.
Stephanie "Jedigal"
Wow. This book grabbed me and held me in its pages throughout the second half more tightly than any book has grabbed me in a long while. Well-crafted seems far too banal of a description for what Banks has achieved here.


The book grabs you right off the bat with the commission of a horrific crime. Then just a few pages later it introduces you to the protagonist, Cameron Colley: a smoking, snorting, drinking liberal Scottish newspaperman. Then only a few more pages in, you
4 stars to this smart, well-written novel by Iain Banks. Hell, it hurts me not to give it even a 4.5 besides not listing it among my favourites, but I have my reasons for that.

To start with, 'Complicity' is a psychological thriller set in Scotland & its protagonist Cameron Colley is an Edinburgh-based journalist. When he writes a pro-leftist piece criticising a few right-wing politicians in it & the same politicians start turning up dead in mysterious circumstances, Colley is unable to p
Christine Mizzi
Apr 07, 2013 Christine Mizzi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book I read by Banks - chosen foremostly due to its paperback exterior, and also by randomly picking it from the lending library shelf. And I must admit retrospectively that the book chose me!

Set in a real place in Scotland - also the author's homeland - I could easily picture the surroundings thanks to Banks' descriptive imagery. He skillfully entwines interesting plots such as crime, politics and sex with sub-plots such as drug use and computer games to create a rich read that leaves
Christine Mizzi
Aug 04, 2011 Christine Mizzi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Banks's simple yet descriptive imagery made this book increasingly addictive as I read through the chapters. A wee confusing at first because Banks alternates chapters and subject of narration to switch between the two main characters: the murderer and the journalist. At one point he merges the style in order to confuse the reader and make you think the journalist is a highly probable suspect. Especially intriguing was the contrast between the explicit sexual scenes and the detailed torturing an ...more
Jul 12, 2011 Marvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The most masterful quality of Iain Banks' novel titled Complicity is its use of first and second person narration. Cameron Colley is a drug abusing journalist who is barely making it and is betting his reputation on a mysterious source giving information on a series of murders from five years ago. We read his story through his eyes, in first person. Alternately we are vicariously led by second person narration through a series of murders and humiliation assaults in present day London. These two ...more
Nene La Beet
The sad occasion that made me pick up this particular book was reading about Iain Banks terminal illness and realising that I'd never got around to reading any of his books. Giving it only three stars is not really fair, as it is quite excellent in its genre. It's probably more that I'm a bit tired of the thriller/crime-fic/social indignation genre...
It's a well enough thought out story and the protagonist, a traditional "hack", is quite credible. I always love it when books are set in Scotland
Aug 17, 2013 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Currently reading a succession of Iain Banks novels (not his sci fi yet). Great writer. Why did I not discover him before? So far I've read Stonemouth, good not great. Whit and Complicity great, ingenious. Solid plots, narrative I feel like reading aloud. Just started The Crow Road. So far so interesting.
Patrick Robitaille
Over the last 30 years, Scotland has produced several eclectic bands who have left some influential traces in the general evolution of rock music: The Jesus and Mary Chain; Primal Scream; Cocteau Twins; Belle and Sebastien; even Franz Ferdinand. When I first approached Banks with this novel, I wondered whether the same eclecticism existed in contemporary Scottish literature. I started to feel my ears (and eyes) pricking up when his main protagonist, Gonzo journalist Cameron Colley, used a Pi
Jan 07, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
Cameron Colley is a 30-ish Scottish journalist with liberal leanings, a tendency to binge on alcohol and other (illicit) stimulants, and an ongoing clandestine relationship with his childhood sweetheart Yvonne. Unfortunately for Cameron, Yvonne is married to their mutual friend William. A more serious problem is presented by the exploits of a Dexter-like serial killer, who is engaged in a spree of execution-style killings of prominent business leaders and corrupt politicians for which he is syst ...more
Jun 07, 2010 Mick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book just knocked me over. It's incredibly well-written and totally gripping. I put it down once, as the first 30 pages were confusing and slow (other than the graphic, disturbing murder the book opens with). I am SO glad I picked it up again. It's become one of my favorites of Banks, whom I love.

It's about a deeply fucked up journalist who's implicated in a series of politically motivated killings. The journalist is addicted to stimulants, video games, and alcohol, and is basically barely
It's very graphic. More than I usually like. It was rec to me so I finished it. The serial killer identity wasn't hard to guess at all. I knew who it was mid way through.

The serial killer second person point of view is well done but the descriptions of rape, torture, murder are very very graphic and do make a point but I'm the kind of reader that finds that less graphic description and the images you make in your own mind of the actions when the writer does it well are more frightening and bett
A drugged-out, adulterous journalist on the trail of a possible conspiracy in the suspicious deaths of several men involved in the nuclear industry, being fed information by an anonymous source. A serial killer whose motives are unclear and who seems to have no relation to the journalist. This is a well-written, involving book. I might have given it 4 stars, except for the unrelenting, nihilistic brutality of the story.
Ivan Morrin
Sep 07, 2013 Ivan Morrin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Iain Banks and it won't be my last. The fact that it took me until I was 41 to pick one up tells me how much more I need to be reading generally. Complicity was impossible to put down. The characters clear and believable, the pace nicely galloping, and the plot intriguing. The dark elements contain some of the sickest imagery I've ever read, but yet none of it felt contrived or gratuitous, and I readily identified with the politics. A great read.
Apr 21, 2013 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
This book was the next one on my list after I finished Murakami's a couple of days ago. Sadly, this timing coincides with the announcement that Iain Banks has cancer and might only have months to live. I was surprised by how sad I was to hear.
Sep 08, 2016 Frankie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, scottish
really enjoyed this, couldnt put it down and thats saying something for someone who doesn't like crime/mystery novels
Stephenson Holt
Jan 11, 2017 Stephenson Holt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complicity (1993)

Written more along the lines of Espedair Street than any other of Banks' novels and yet in a completely different genre - if that can possibly make sense. The character is a normal, local Scot (as Espedair Street) Cameron Colley, a journalist on a local paper. Being tipped off about a huge (in reporting terms) conspiracy, he has to investigate to his utmost ability while keeping ahead of his computer games also. At the same time the author takes you through a number of sinister
Nov 22, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly raw and kind of breathtaking as you start to realize what's going on, this is put together in a way that initially seems kind of slapdash but Banks has a genius for returning to what seemed like trivial incidents and just building and building on them. I think the ending is a bit of an eye-roller, but this is still remarkable.
Dec 09, 2016 Adrian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reread in a hurry for book club after a gap of 20 years - don't think it stands up too well though.
Rich Lambe
Oct 10, 2016 Rich Lambe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another cracker by Mr Banks. I was gripped by the unravelling storyline - I pride myself in being able to see a twist coming and despite a few doubts I manged to do so this time. However, it didn't take anything away from my reading experience - the plot was fresh, continually engaging and left me 'wowed'.
Some of the scenes were a bit shocking and so if you have a weak stomach then please steer clear!
Finally, one of the things I rate highly in a book is it's ability to make me feel like I 'know'
Glen Engel-Cox
Cameron Colley is an Edinburgh-based journalist with a habit for speed (both drug and motion), an obsession for computer games, and a highly developed sense of moral outrage. As a journalist, he worships the patron of all gonzos, St. Hunter S. Thompson, and his righteous indignation is expressed in print as exposes on cheap liquor, defense boondoggles, and inept judges. Of course Cameron is not without sin--no self respecting protagonist could be--and his is an adulterous affair and an abuse of ...more
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This author also published science fiction under the pseudonym Iain M. Banks.

Banks's father was an officer in the Admiralty and his mother was once a professional ice skater. Iain Banks was educated at the University of Stirling where he studied English Literature, Philosophy and Psychology. He moved to London and lived in the south of England until 1988 when he returned to Scotland, living in Edi
More about Iain Banks...

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“The point is, there is no feasible excuse for what are, for what we have made of ourselves. We have chosen to put profits before people, money before morality, dividends before decency, fanaticism before fairness, and our own trivial comforts before the unspeakable agonies of others” 86 likes
“I sucked that smoke in and made it part of me, joined mystically with the universe right at that point, said Yes to drugs forever just by the unique hit I got from that one packet of fags Andy liberated from his dad. It was a revelation, an epiphany; a sudden realisation that it was possible for matter - something there in front of you, in your hand, in your lungs, in your pocket - to take your brain apart and reassemble it in ways you hadn't thought of previously. This was better than religion, or this was what people meant by religion! The whole point was that this worked! People said Believe In God or Do Well At School or Buy This or Vote For Me or whatever, but nothing ever worked the way substances worked, nothing ever fucking delivered the way they did. They were truth. Everything else was falsehood.” 13 likes
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