30 September 2009

66. The Wasp Factory

The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

This was a very interesting book about a 17 year old boy living on an island in Scotland. He is psychotic, obsessive compulsive, neurotic, and generally just a very strange dude. He killed two cousins and his younger brother and made them all look like accidents. The ways he killed are quite imaginative.

The book is told entirely through the thoughts and feelings of this young man.

There is a weird and strained relationship with his father. There is an older brother who has escaped from a mental institution and is headed home. There is a single friend to this boy who just happens to be a dwarf.

The boy spends his days rigging protective barriers to repel invasions on the island. The barriers are sticks in the ground with the heads of dead animals tied to them. He spends time using a contraption he created that uses wasps as a means of showing him the future during some strange rituals he has made up involving the skull of a dog that maimed him when he was a young child. He likes to hunt with his slingshot and goes to war with rabbits. He ends up killing them with bombs and flame throwers.

Very interesting. Very well written. It definitely got me into the man's head. It made me feel confused and empathetic toward mentally ill people.

The end of the book had a twist I never expected!

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