Tag Archives: the wasp factory

4. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks (100 book challenge)

I’d never heard of this book before I saw it on the 100 must-read book list. It sounded intriguing so I decided to make it the fourth read in my 100 book challenge.

It’s received extreme mixed reviews, and now I’ve read it I can understand why.

It’s a story about a teenager, living with his dad on an island in Scotland. From page one, I was thrown in a bizarre world of murder, cruelty and revenge. Banks’ point of view is set deeply into the mind of the sixteen year old character, which gave the book a layer of innocence and helped me connect with the main character – despite his actions.

The title was intriguing enough to make this my next read

The title was intriguing enough to make this my next read

I always like the idea of telling a story from a different point of view, and this book allowed me to get into the head of someone who, because of his upbringing, interacts with the world in ways that make you sick to the stomach. But it is all hidden beneath the surface – the people who meet the main character and his father probably wouldn’t suspect anything untoward happening on the island.

Which got me thinking. In any given day we pass hundreds of people, all with their own lives and upbringings. I guess we like to assume that most people are not secret cruel murderers, but this book made me question that. At one stage of reading, I was so drawn into this crazy world that I started to wonder whether it was safe to leave the house! I was having dreams of deformed bodies and secluded islands and burning fur…

This book really affected me!

Which, in a way, is every reader’s goal: to cause that emotional response. Continue reading

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