Manny's Reviews > Walking on Glass

Walking on Glass by Iain Banks
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's review
Nov 22, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts

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 conundrum, and grabs the imp by the throat. "Tell me the way out," he says to it, "or I will throw you into this cauldron!" The imp is shocked by his blatant disregard for the rules of the game, but grudgingly acquiesces. Personally, I prefer this solution to the standard one.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2005 – Finished Reading
November 22, 2008 – Shelved
January 2, 2009 – Shelved as: too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Kyle Reid "He was evidently dissatisfied with this book, and rewrote it as The Bridge." I see where you're coming from but do you really think The Bridge is a second attempt at Walking on Glass? There's certainly some similar ideas and themes but not to the extent that I agree with your theory...

Manny Well... obviously I can't prove it, but I read them close together in time and it certainly felt that way. The way the fantasy-world echoes the real world, and the importance of the huge half-real structure, the castle/bridge, and the treacherous but fascinating woman at the heart of both stories. Seemed like too much to be a coincidence. And Walking on Glass doesn't quite work, while The Bridge definitely does.

Kyle Reid On the latter point we are definitely agreed!

Andy Blake I agree, for me The Bridge isn't a rewrite of Walking On Glass. If anything The Bridge is more like The Wasp Factory (recurrent themes).

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