Review: ‘The Wasp Factory’ by Iain Banks


My lovely friend Darren Sant recommended this story to me and I am so glad he did – what a read!

I was absolutely blown away by the story of Frank and his deranged brother Eric. Eric’s making his way back to the family home on a remote Scottish island after breaking out of a psychiatric hospital and everyone is nervously expecting his return.

Their edgy father only adds to the intrigue. Despite Frank’s narration of the story, explaining his brother’s insane activities, you know that Frank isn’t necessarily the full truth. He seems rather unhinged himself. Well, he does admit to carrying out three murders but he does admit it was just a phase he was going through. As the freaky back story unfolds, you get pulled further and further into this bizarre story.

Sixteen-year-old Frank seems old before his time but his compulsions and almost autistic-like repetitions make him appear much younger.

Banks has created an extraordinary world in which nothing is as it seems. It is such an original story with the most unlikely twist that any writer who reads it must feel utterly dejected. I know I did but I loved the story anyway.

Because I’d spoken to friends about ‘The Wasp Factory’, I knew to expect a twist so I spent the entire novel second guessing what it would be but nothing prepared me for the big reveal.

My only problem with this story is that it was too short. I would have happily spent many more hours with Frank.

If you haven’t read this classic, read it now!

Vic x

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