Michele's Reviews > The Wasp Factory

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
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Sep 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, library-loan, literary-fiction
Recommended to Michele by: Jackie
Read from September 17 to 24, 2011

okay, this was just plain disturbing. What we've got here is a teenaged boy in rural Scotland in the 1970s who is living in a severely dysfunctional family, which may or may not explain his homicidal tendencies. When his institutionalized older brother escapes from the asylum, his mundane days-full-of-torturing-animals are turned upside down.

Told in first person narrative, I don't think it's possible (or even intended) for the reader to ever develop any kind of sympathy for the main character. He's a murderer, for goodness sake. But as the story unfolds, both the narrator and the reader discover horrifically disturbing past events that may - or may not - explain his mental illness.

So yes, the book is shocking. And stomach-turning in places. But it is compelling and very well-written. It's not for the faint of heart, that's for certain, but at only 200 pages or so, it's a quick read and while parts of it were downright icky, I appreciated the crafting skill of the author. If you're going to read it, do it now in time for Halloween....creepy stuff.
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Reading Progress

09/23 page 30
16.0%
05/14 marked as: read

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