Sam Kitchener

Teenage Baroque

Stonemouth

By

Little, Brown 357pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Iain Banks’s fiction has always been flush with the joys of genre, only, they have often seemed incidental to the matter at hand. Ever since his debut, The Wasp Factory (1984), his novels have brimmed with lurid, gothic violence frequently inflicted on a particular family or community, as though the result of an ancestral curse. Except, rather than terrifying his characters into evasive action, this gore only baffles or amuses them. It’s a brief distraction from the typical concerns of realist fiction: getting laid and drunk on the one hand, thinking and noticing on the other.

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