It’s a most unusual story, as you’ll hear in my video and read below!
This was Iain Banks’ first novel, and actually, it was at the suggestion of a blogger friend that I decided to read Iain Banks. And I think he’s better known for science fiction, but this first novel was astonishing. I think that’s a good word for it. It’s about a guy named Frank … well, a character named Frank, and he lives with his father and his family situation is dysfunctional to say the least. And he is a psychopath. I mean the guy is nuts, but bear with me here. I mean, at first, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it for that reason.
But the thing is somehow or other … okay, let me back up. Frank is living on this island in Scotland, and there’s a town nearby that he occasionally goes to and his father also goes to and gets drunk in and he gets drunk there too, for that matter. He has a brother named Eric, and Eric apparently has been hospitalized, because he’s nuts and does things like sets dogs on fire. But this is a highly suspenseful novel, because Eric has escaped apparently from this place and is coming home. And it’s obvious that Frank is very nervous about this and what’s going to happen when Eric arrives.
So there’s a high degree of suspense in this novel and, at the same time, it’s absolutely hilarious. I mean this guy is totally nuts, but when he talks about Eric he says, “It’s a good thing I’m so sane.”
And all I’ll say is that somehow this … oh, if you don’t have a strong stomach for animal torture scenes or death scenes, don’t read this book. That’s another thing that almost put me off the book. It’s the deaths of animals and stuff that’s kind of horrible, but somehow it’s written in a way that is just so compelling and funny. I couldn’t get over how funny it was for being so gross, actually.
So I actually recommend this book, but just beware that there’s a lot in there that might turn your stomach or make you say, “Oh, this is sick!” I guess it’s a kind of a Pulp Fiction-y kind of humor. Somehow you find humor in things that are violent or sick? I don’t know. I don’t understand why that happens, but it does happen, and this book is actually also very eloquently written. Just beautifully written. So this is actually a recommendation for the book, even though there’s violence and the guy is just crazy, but you come to understand why. That’s the thing. You eventually understand why he’s the way he is. And it’s so sad. It’s just sad, funny. That’s all I’ll say. Sad, funny, outrageous, violent. The end.
Also, if you’d like to get a copy of the book, I’ll put a link in the description below that you can click on and get it at Amazon or other places if I can find it other places. Okay, that’ll be it then, and I’ll talk to you later!