Barbour The Wasp Factory, by Iain Banks, has garnered many accolades since its initial release in The book has appeared on a number of greatest horror lists and in a poll was even named one of the top novels of the century. To some, Banks is a visionary crafting a tale of the macabre.
While others have viewed The Wasp Factory as little more than nonsensical garbage. The truth is probably somewhere in between. The Wasp Factory follows Frank Cauldhame, a teenager living with his father. Frank is not a normal child.
His brother, Eric, had a similar pastime. Eric felt the need to set dogs on fire.
The law caught up with Eric and placed him in a mental institution. Now, Eric has escaped. He calls Frank and informs his brother that he is on his way home. Frank takes time to reminisce on his past and seeks answers to the future in the wasp factory.
Frank relishes in control of all things. Frank is the quintessential unreliable narrator. He is insane, perhaps more so than his brother, Eric. His deviant actions are justified as means to bring order to an otherwise chaotic world.
The Wasp Factory is a difficult read. Is any of this real? For lovers of the grotesque, there are some truly disgusting imagery in The Wasp Factory. Banks is to be commended for the work, but the ending loses much of its intended purpose. Frank is not a scion from which lessons can be learned and that leaves only the madness.English Literature Recommended Reading List Iain Banks The Wasp Factory Nathan Filer The Shock of the Fall Wilkie Collins The Woman in White Ernest Mrs Dalloway Nick Hornby About a Boy Lionel Shriver We Need to talk about Kevin Oscar Wilde Lady Windermere’s.
Iain Banks The book is told entirely by Frank, a 17 year old who manages to sound perfectly sane and rational as he explains how he killed 3 people while he was still just a child or as he performs the rituals of the Wasp Factory (bizarre rituals that need to be read to be believed).
The Wasp Factory was initially met with shock and acclaim, as there had never been a work quite like it. Still, it follows in a tradition of other novels dealing with the confusion and violence of childhood, like William Golding’s Lord of the Flies or Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin.
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We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Killing Floor by Lee Child The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks Anita and Me by Meera Syal Beloved by Toni Morrison.
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