Beggars Banquet is something of a departure for Ian Rankin and a very welcome one. Over the years, Rankin has built up an imposing portfolio of short stories. Appearing in crime magazines, written for personal appearances, or as one-off radio specials, they all resound with the singular energy and idiosyncratic characterisation of his best full-length novels. A previous collection, A Good Hanging, combined some first-rate tales with more workaday material, but this time round there isn't a single weak link, and the range of stories here is astonishing; this is a panoply of Rankin's approach to crime and mystery writing, and is that rare thing in short story collections: a book in which the tales can be read one after the other with ever-increasing pleasure.
We are taken into territory that is horrific (The Hanged Man), grimly ironic (The Only True Comedian) and even sociological (Glimmer is a hard-edged picture of how the optimism and hedonism of the 60's was swiftly eroded). And who could resist lines such as the following (in Unknown Pleasures):
He could feel the sweat, even though it was more viscous than sweat more like a sheen of cooking oil. The tenement stairwell smelt of deep-fried tomcat
But perhaps you're the kind of reader who fights shy of short story collections? Well, if you're any kind of a DI Rebus fan (and what crime enthusiast isn't?), there are eight--count them--eight stories featuring our favourite Scottish copper. And who could say no to a collection so rich in Rebus? --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
'It is a great pleasure to welcome BEGGARS BANQUET...In a collection of such diversity not every story can succeed, but Rankin's strike rate is high enough to entertain and satisfy' Marcel Berlins, THE TIMES 'Perhaps you're the kind of reader who fights shy of short story collections? Well, if you're any kind of a DI Rebus fan (and what crime enthusiast isn't?), there are eight count them eight stories featuring our favourite Scottish copper. And who could say no to a collection so rich in Rebus?' Barry Forshaw, AMAZON 'masterfully plotted, clear and succinct' THE SCOTSMAN 'Whether or not Rebus is present, the capital city's landscape still plays a brooding role and offers its rich seam of legends and history as ingredients for the Rankin master brew...if you prefer your serving of crime highly spiced, then you will savour this new Rankin take away' John Skinner THE HERALD 'Ranging from the macabre The Hanged Man to the unfortunate The Only True Comedian right back to the sinister Someone Got To Eddie they all bear the hallmark of great crime writing' TANGLED WEB 'Rankin has a sure touch, sweatily intense plots and, in Rebus, the most screwed up cop since Dirty Harry left town' TNT 'Equally as well paced and as engrossing as his longer novels' WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY 'The Banquet collection gives us some wonderful moments...Well worth investigating' EVENING HERALD, Dublin 'Rankin forays into short stories to exhilarating effect' You Really Must Read, SUNDAY TIMES 'It is fascinating to watch Rankin's narrative skills in a small compass...(he) can hold (his) own on any territory and in any genre' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY 'Each tale is a gem. This is a great collection and essential for any crime fan' PRIZES GALORE 'With one simple idea, Rankin can still mesmerise every bit as much as with several plot strands careering towards a flashpoint over 300 pages *** Top Rankin' MIDWEEK 'A most readable collection' IRISH TIMES 'There's not a dud in the pack, with each story perfectly judged and bearing all the hallmarks of a great writer at the peak of his powers. Great summer reading' TIME OUT 'Rankin's laconic style is well suited to the short story form...Ian Rankin is on top form. A must' NEW BOOKS MAGAZINE Plus small mentions in THE MIRROR, HAM & HIGH and in GUARDIAN events listings. Regional press reviews in: YORKSHIRE EVE POST, COVENTRY EVE TELEGRAPH, BOURNEMOUTH DAILY ECHO, YORK EVE PRESS, OXFORD TIMES, BIRMINGHAM SUNDAY MERCURY, EASTERN DAILY PRESS, KENT MESSENGER (all editions thoughout Kent), INVERNESS COURIER --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Brilliant collection of short stories from No.1 bestselling author Ian Rankin
About the Author
Ian Rankin is the internationally bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus and Detective Malcolm Fox novels, as well as a string of standalone thrillers. His books have been translated into 36 languages and are bestsellers on several continents. Ian is the recipient of four CWA DAGGER AWARDS and in 2004, won America's celebrated EDGAR AWARD. He is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Hull and Edinburgh and was awarded the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons.