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Walking on Glass
Iain Banks
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Walking on Glass

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  4,753 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
By the author of "Canal Dreams" and "The Wasp Factory", this novel is about three men - Graham Park, Steven Grant and Quiss. No trio of people could be further apart, but their separate courses are set for collision.
Published April 1st 1992 (first published 1985)
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Matthew Wiggins
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When things are bad there is always hope. At least that’s what we’re told. We grow up believing that hope is one of the single most important emotions a human can feel. It is connected to the human spirit, and we are told that hope is what allows that spirit to rise above those things that would destroy us. But is it possible that there is something flawed in that equation? Could it be that the human spirit is actually found in the antithesis of hope?

I think it is. I think the human spirit is fo
Only for Banks completists. He was evidently dissatisfied with this book, and rewrote it as The Bridge. The second version is far superior, in fact arguably his best novel. The first is not more than so-so.

I did however like the hero's encounter with the irritating little imp. He wants to know how to get out of the labyrinth, and the imp says that it either tells the truth all the time, or lies all the time. The hero can't be bothered to construct the question that solves this tired old logical
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one's going to have me thinking for a while...

Banks' 'Walking on Glass' is the telling of three stories, the main theme of which seems to be with how the easiest of circumstances can make you... well, mad.

I know there are a lot of different takes on this book, but to me the characters of Graham, Grout and Quiss seem to represent different periods of time in a person's life, and with them the key themes of love, employment and age which, when the odds are against them, leave the respective c
Iain (M.) Banks se caracteriza por ser un escritor cuyas tramas necesitan de una plena implicación por parte del lector. Le gusta jugar con la manera de narrar una historia, utilizando estructuras complejas, flashbacks, diferentes líneas argumentales que terminan confluyendo... Hay veces que le funciona mejor que otras; algunas de sus novelas me hubiesen gustado más si simplemente se hubiera dedicado a contar la historia linealmente. Esto no quiere decir que no me gusten los retos, los tour de f ...more
Dec 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kafka-ites, Surrealists,
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
oguz kaan
*Eşekarısı Fabrikası rahatsiz edici bir kitaptı. Kanal Düşleri beni sarmadı ki ona rağmen başarılı bulduğum bir eserdi. Fakat Camda Yürümek herşeyden öte yazarın anlatımını güçlüce hissettiğim romanı oldu. Kronolojik olarak ikinci kitabı olmasının yanı sıra 'The Bridge'den önceki hazırlık turu olarak görülüyor. 'The Bridge' beklentim yükseklere uçtu.

**Quiss->Grout->Graham<-Grout<-Quiss döngülerin, örümcek ağlarının yaşanan herşeyin atılan bir adımın, edilen bir kelimenin, saliselik b
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults
Shelves: topshelf, dark
I'm kind of in the middle of a Banks binge, trying to get a few of his non M books read (Iain Banks = fiction, Iain M. Banks = SciFi).

This is the first non M book that I think could have been an “M”. Walking on Glass has three stories that come together towards the end. The first story is about a man walking to the house of the woman he loves to tell her how he feels. Along the way he recalls moments he spent with her and how he felt at the time, he is walking on air. The second story is about
Mar 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I own nine Iain and Iain M. Banks novels, but the only one I have ever gotten around to reading is Walking on Glass. I'm not exactly sure why this has been the case, as I quite liked WOG and its clever, inventive tripartite plot. The Gormenghast flavorings of the most mysterious of the three story lines—a monstrously sprawling, labyrinthine castle (replete with stunted, chitterling servants), apparently erected in a wintry, occluded dimension in some null-zone of spacetime, which functions as a ...more
2.5 stars - Metaphorosis Reviews

A man on his way to meet his lover, a man who believes himself to be a Warrior exiled to a mundane world, and two adversaries playing tabletop games in a surreal castle - all tied together in a complex literary novel.

I've read most of Iain Banks' SFF novels - complex, sophisticated, and intriguing. I previously read his literary novel A Song of Stone, and liked but wasn't overwhelmed by it. Still, his contemporary fiction was on sale, so I bought a number of books
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Iain Banks fans
Shelves: banks-iain, fiction, 1985
an early novel by Iain Banks

short plot description: we follow three seemingly unrelated stories. Graham Park is head-over-heels in love but the object of his affections keeps him at arms length. Steven Grout is suffering from paranoid delusions and thinks he is an alien participant of a galactic war exiled to and kept on Earth by "Them". Quiss and Ajayi were on opposing sides in the "Therapeutic Wars" but are exiled to a castle for doing something wrong. They can only escape when they find the c

¿Qué sucede cuando una fuerza imparable se encuentra con un objeto inmóvil?

Pasos sobre el Cristal fue el segundo libro de Banks en ser publicado, y por lo que estuve investigando, pasó sin pena ni gloria.

La estructura de la novela se basa en la interposición de tres historias sin una aparente conexión entré sí; casi paralelas, llegan a un punto, hacia el final, en la qu ... (continuar)

Pasos sobre el Cristal fue el segundo libro de Banks en ser publicado, y por lo que estuve investigando, pas
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My introduction to Iain Banks was through his dazzling debut novel, The Wasp Factory. Then I read as much of his novels as I could find, including this one. I picked up Walking On Glass again recently and found the original sale receipt I’d used as a bookmark. It was twenty years old.

Time indeed changes everything. The first thing that struck me on rereading this novel was how amateur the writing seemed in parts – the amount of “telling” rather than “showing”, the lame dialogue, the overuse of m
I love Iain Banks but am not so fond of Iain M. Banks, and this book felt as though the latter was influencing the former. As with The Song of Stone, this was an iffy book for me.

There are three intertwined stories here, although we don't learn how they mingle until the last part. First, there's Graham, in love with Sara (who is escaping her marriage, is also involved with Strokes - a biker - and keeps Graham at semi-arms-length). Second, there's Steven, an ASD (before that term existed) hoarder
Clive Thompson
The characters are all of student age, all have different difficulties in life, mentally, and all live separate lives. The meeting of characters brings into play their inter reaction with, sometimes,surprising, consequences. The novel is building up to a bizarre and unexpected ending. Once absorbed, you have to reach the end as the outcome must be within your grasp. Mustn't it? This is Banks in the heads of young adults who are full of the fears of their times, be it, a fear of not being loved, ...more
I have marked this book as fantasy, but it is not easy to class, as it is actually three novellas in one, with enough links to keep them close, but still very separate.

The first one is a story of love in current (when written) London. I consider it the best written, though the story is predictable and well known, if twisted.

The second one is disturbing, presenting an involving tale of what it is to be a clinically insane, but as this is Banks, the hint that may be he is sane after all. It also
Nov 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
According to another reader's review, Banks was ultimately dissatisfied with this book and rewrote it as The Bridge. If true, then that's quite interesting. Like the other reviewer I found The Bridge a superior novel.

The tripartite structure of the book is technically interesting but I didn't find the parts strong enough to stand on their own and nor did I find the connections between the parts all that accomplished or intriguing.

I recommend all of my favourite Banks novels to friends and family
May 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I finished this book I threw it aside in disgust. Not metaphorically mind, the book left my hands and dented some drywall. I almost gave up on Banks for it.

But I couldn't stop thinking about it. Weeks, months later snippets, passages, elements of it popped unbidden into my head, demanding further consideration. It's often said that a book makes you think but this is one of few I've read that literally forces thought upon you; this book is not so much a mindfuck as a mindrape.
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't finished a book in two months. There have been many things involved, but more often than not...less than satisfying narratives.

This changed that. Well written and quirky enough to satisfy my yearning for the "unique." Granted, some connections are tenuous, others ridiculous, but the prose buoyed the narrative through it.

I look forward to exploring the works of Mr. Banks further.

Oct 25, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sure that the three storylines woven together here signify something, and that the imaginative outer-world is a meaningful metaphor for something. I just couldn't find a reason to give a crap about any of the characters.

Maybe it's an empathetic deficiency on my part, but somehow the big shocker before the end felt both melodramatic and without passion. Sort of like the rest of the book.
David Golden
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Brilliantly muddled or brilliant and muddled?

The answer depends on how surreal you like your fiction. Either way, the writing itself is stupendous. The three tales – three quest stories, really – are wildly different in plot and style yet oddly similar in a way I would struggle to articulate. I felt perplexed when I finished the book, but it's growing on me as I reflect on it.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the way Iain Banks wrote, his language is so wonderful. But I prefer his later work, which is less dark..
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read would give it 4/5. Would of given it 5 out of 5 but found some of the Quiss & Ajayi story line dragged on a bit, and the twist with Sara & Stock was a bit WTF?

But still a very entertaining read, Banks had a great imagination and is an excellent writter
Chris Gillies
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three seemingly random stories that converge (and then seem to diverge) at the end of the book. Typically well written with some good twists towards the end. I have to admit though I've got no idea what it was all about!!
I started reading this book years and years ago, and just... could not muster enough interest to finish it. The shift in story, the characters... there was nothing there to hook me to keep reading.

Given how many years have passed since, I think it's safe to say I won't pick this up again.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating voyage through the minds of Banksian characters.
Three very different equally interesting stories which don't meet until the final chapter. A good read but not my favourite Banks.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I,ve read a lot of iain banks/iain m banks. this one had passed me by. 3 stories collide all set in different times but over lapping. It was a little confusing and i found the ending disappointing
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing novel from an amazing writer. A story involving three seemingly disconnected plotlines that coalesce at the very last moments into something greater. Very skillfully written. 5/5
Nick Drabble
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
quite weird
May 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Flexible minds
Recommended to Alan by: Subsequent work
If ever a novelist needed an extra name, even the minimal sort of smoke screen afforded by simply dropping or adding one's middle initial, it's Iain Banks. The far-future, big-picture science fiction for which Iain M. Banks is best known, and the smaller-scale mimetic fictions put out by Iain No-Middle-Initial Banks, are almost nothing alike. Though there are still commonalities, of course, readers who enjoy one aspect of Banks' work may well not like the other at all. I like 'em both, though—fo ...more
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Iain Banks / Iain...: Walking on Glass 1 19 Aug 14, 2012 12:48AM  
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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...