Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Wasp Factory; Iain Banks

The Wasp Factory; Iain Banks
Simon & Schuster - 1998

OMG what a disturbing and twisted story. It took me well over a week to read this book and it's just over 200 pages.

The story takes place on a small remote island off the coast of Scotland and it's told from the POV of a 16 year old psychopath named Frank Cauldhame. Frank had murdered 3 people by the age of 9 -- his younger brother and 2 young cousins and, he gets away with it as well.

Frank's father Angus is a brilliant oddball but, at least initially, he seems harmless.  He home schools Frank.  There is also older brother Eric who was locked up in an insane asylum but, as the story opens he had just escaped. It's a mystery as to why Eric had been confined there.

The Wasp Factory is definitely a disturbing, and yet at times, comical story.  There are some pretty gruesome scenes played out which included the torture of animals (sniff). Frank, despite the fact he killed 3 children, at times seemed like the most normal character once everything is finally revealed in the end.

At times I felt like this might be a DNF for me but, in the end I was glad I saw how this bizarre story played out.

4/5 stars
(personal copy)

14 comments:

  1. I am glad it worked out for you in the end!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. I can understand that, as I almost abandoned it but, I was too curious.

      Delete
  3. Murder of children AND torture of animals? It definitely would be very hard to read!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This sounds like a well-written, strange and horrible story!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. I never understand why an author feels they need to build that into a story of a sociopath.

      Delete
  6. It is dismaying when a short book takes days and days to read. I have had some of those this year. Great review, though. I have no idea what could be revealed at the end.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is one of those books that I meant to read when it came out and somehow never got to. I am not sure if I am up for such a disturbing book right now...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I found this book super disturbing as well and considered bailing often. But I somehow managed to finish it. Yes, when the ending rolls around it all seems to make so much more sense and I liked how the table got turned. But oh boy, the stuff that happens...

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)