Dedicated to classics and hits.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Crow Road (1992) by Iain Banks

Book Review
The Crow Road (1992)
 by Iain Banks

  I quite like Iain Banks- a Scottish author who achieved success in genre science fiction and literary fiction without ever really making it in the United States.  The Crow Road is straight forward literary fiction, a very 1990's blend of a regional Britiish bildungsroman (Scotland) and airport-book-shop suspense.  It is a testament to Banks skill as an author that the whole thing comes together, and it reads much shorter than it's 500 pages led me to expect.  Partially, it's because Banks keeps the suspense angle hidden.  He also uses craft, utilizing the familiar post-modern techniques of flipping between, time, place and narrator to build the suspense plot without making the reader especially aware that a suspense plot is developing.

  He did a good enough job that I found myself asking, 200 pages in, if I was just reading a Scottish version of Less Than Zero or an upper class version of Trainspotting.  It certainly was nice to read a book written by a Scottish author about Scottish characters where those characters weren't desperate working-class losers.   The blend of bildungsroman and suspense leads to particularly satisfying resolution, but there is nothing here to make The Crow Road a break out hit for Banks. 

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