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Stonemouth
 
 

Stonemouth [Kindle Edition]

Iain Banks
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £5.98 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Review

Readable, gripping . . . One of his best (Evening Standard William Leith)

'There is more than a shade of Pip and Estella in Stewart and Ellie, and to create an emotionally satisfying while intellectually convincing ending is a rare achievement . . . Beguiling (Guardian)

The mythology of Stewart's past, and of Stonemouth itself, is utterly absorbing. Addictive, funny, and brilliantly observed (Daily Mail)

Banks at his waspish, intelligent, nuanced best. His fans will give thanks (Scotland on Sunday)

Book Description

* The long-awaited and stunning new novel from the unrivalled Iain Banks

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 522 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1408702509
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (5 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006HAPYIU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,337 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Iain Banks came to widespread and controversial public notice with the publication of his first novel, The Wasp Factory, in 1984. He gained enormous popular and critical acclaim for both his mainstream and his science fiction novels. Iain Banks died in June 2013.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Same old, same old? 2 May 2012
Format:Hardcover
Addictive, nostalgic, funny, tense and satisfying. I'm shocked to see so many unflattering reviews of Stonemouth above - (in fact I almost took note of the 'same old formula' lines myself) - but I have to disagree that this book is boring, flat, predictable... following a tried and tested formula.

Sure, Banks displays some of his more trademark themes throughout, but he does it so well. And Stonemouth is such a tight, well paced novel... the plot moves so smoothly and effortlessly, its a wonder he can evoke such knowing and telling segements of the past we are all so familier with - love, betrayal, violence, returning home....

The Steep Aproach to Garbadale may seem very much a companion piece to Stonemouth (its no Crow Road - he may never surpass that), but Garbadale I found a little clunky in places, a tad too long.

Stonemouth cuts to the chase. Yes there a family secrets and a sense of dread in Stewart returning home. Yes there are romantic moments and themes on lost love.... but if you've been a fan of his and find his storytelling so real and close to home, then this will not disappoint.

The music/ drugs/ childhood anicdotes and smart-alec quips are all here, but you'd be hard pressed to find another writer who can do it in the way Banks can.

Perhaps some were hoping for something a little different, sure. But do not be put off by a 1/2 star review stating Banks is perhaps lazily revisiting old ground here.... Its handled beautifully - a very accomplished book, well paced, tone pitch perfect and one of the more satisfying endings I've seen in Banks for a while now.

Better than Steep Approach, but no Crow Road - 4 stars seems about right
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bildungsroman 5 Dec 2013
By prisrob TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Bildungsroman
: a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character
MerriamWebster

This is my first Iain Banks book, why, I have no idea. I am of Scottish heritage, my maiden name, MacLeod, and I love all things Scottish. Reading the initial PR about thus book caught my attention, and I was not disappointed. This is the real Scotland, not the tourist's brand. Stewart Gilmour returns to his hometown, meets a man on the bridge that enters town, and is also the jumping off place for some poor souls. He needs the OK from the town's head mobster to return for a funeral. It seems he was run off from town a while ago for some deed we are not privy to. As the story moves alng, we do find the reason, but it is a long long time coming.

The Murstons are the family with the money and the misdeeds. The author treats us to Stewart Gilmour's life as he grows up in Stonemouth to set the stage for the finale. We meet the friends, the foes, relatives, the townspeople, and how they all work together to formulate the culture of this town. Gilmour's returns to town as an educated professional man, and he is envied and defiled, depending which side you are on.

The writing is swift and superb. The characters jump out at you. This is a book that gives as good as we get. I don't want to spoil one page for anyone. You will want to continue to read until you can't keep your eyes open. What we learn fairly early on is that you can't go home again easily. All those unanswered questions, may be best not answered. What we know as a young person, may not be at all what we know for sure as an adult.

Recommended. prisrob 12-04-13
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I was gripped 28 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Stonemouth was my first read of Banks having only seen the TV drama of Crow Road several years ago and has now encouraged me to read more of his fiction. Am not a fan of sci-fi so unable to comment on his other genre. From the start of the book, I got into the sharp scottish accent with all the characters and could picture every description whether it was scenery, town, or their characters. A tale combining first loves, childhood friendships, jealousy, rivalry, drug culture, describing how life really is within a small depressed town. For me, this book had an engaging storyline that I got into and couldn't put down. Romance, anger, depression, humour & wit all in one hit. Definitely worth reading.
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars modern love 2 April 2012
By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This novel is essentially a love story, and a very modern one, where the main characters, who are in their mid twenties, experiment with almost everything - often with serious consequences. The story is centred around the return of Stewart Gilmour from London, where he has found some success, to his home town near Aberdeen, and his reunion with the people he grew up with, including his former girlfriend, some close friends and a number of people who he has enraged in the past by his actions.

The town of Stonemouth has problems; an unusually high fatality rate involving the nearby bridge, a strong drug culture, and the presence of two dominant families, who mix legal and illegal activity in fairly equal measure. The story is unfolded against this backdrop. Iain Banks covers strong themes here; loyalty, friendship, enduring love, fear and courage, and beautifully evokes aspects of life in Scotland, as well as what it is to be young, smart, and prone to making some very bad decisions.

This is a beautifully written and highly enjoyable work of fiction. I found myself caring what happened to the main characters and I was sorry when it was finished.

Highly recommended
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Banks' best, a superb read.
Absolutly superb story telling with elements of brilliance in some of the set piece scenes. Probably will never get as wide an audience it deserves set where it is in NE Scotland... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Graham Urquhart
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Item as described. Prompt delivery.
Published 1 month ago by Auntie M
5.0 out of 5 stars standard Iain Banks
If you like Iain Banks, especially Crow Road, you'll love this. Usual easy story telling style that hooks you and keeps you turning the pages!
Published 2 months ago by Pamela Mundt
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
I loved this book. Among the interesting plot is some fabulous description . The art of the storyteller is that despite the dismal nature of some of the story I felt uplifted... Read more
Published 2 months ago by merbaby007
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Beautifully written as usual
Published 2 months ago by Denise Burman
5.0 out of 5 stars ... comments about this book as I thought it was excellent. My first...
I was surprised to see some negative comments about this book as I thought it was excellent. My first experience of Ian Banks was 'The Quarry' which I found rather boring, and did... Read more
Published 3 months ago by bibliophile
5.0 out of 5 stars A master of his craft, sorely missed
A master of his craft, sorely missed
Published 3 months ago by Sleiper
5.0 out of 5 stars glad I've started reading Iain again
Great book haven't read him for years such a great late Scots author. Will definitely read more of his Scots work
Published 3 months ago by G
5.0 out of 5 stars Great enjoyment
I enjoyed all of it
Published 3 months ago by Roger Gladwell
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as the sci fi...
As a devoted reader of the culture and his other "m" fiction I am just discovering the just of his work. Read more
Published 3 months ago by David fox
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