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Stonemouth [Kindle Edition]

Iain Banks
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £4.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

Stewart Gilmour is back in Stonemouth. After five years in exile his presence is required at the funeral of patriarch Joe Murston, and even though the last time Stu saw the Murstons he was running for his life, staying away might be even more dangerous than turning up.



An estuary town north of Aberdeen, Stonemouth, with it's five mile beach, can be beautiful on a sunny day. On a bleak one it can seem to offer little more than seafog, gangsters, cheap drugs and a suspension bridge irresistible to suicides. And although there's supposed to be a temporary truce between Stewart and the town's biggest crime family, it's soon clear that only Stewart is taking this promise of peace seriously. Before long Stu steps back into the minefield of his past to confront his guilt and all that it has lost him, uncovering ever darker stories. Soon his homecoming takes a more lethal turn than even he had anticipated.



Tough, funny, fast-paced and touching, Stonemouth cracks open adolescence, love, brotherhood and vengeance in a rite of passage novel like no other.


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Review

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

'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 (Stuart Kelly 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

Iain Banks at his very best - his funniest, grittiest and most exciting novel yet.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 839 KB
  • Print Length: 358 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1408702509
  • Publisher: Abacus (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
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,848 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
62 of 66 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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4 of 4 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bildungsroman 5 Dec. 2013
By prisrob TOP 50 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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51 of 58 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 Five Stars
Love Iain Banks. He can do no wrong
Published 5 days ago by vivpicknell
5.0 out of 5 stars Iain Banks: hugely missed
I saw the TV adaptation and that made me buy the book. Now I'm wondering, how could the BBC screw it up so badly?
Published 14 days ago by G. Abernethy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it!
Published 19 days ago by Morven Quin
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyable book, somewhat different to tv adaptation
Published 20 days ago by Arthur White
4.0 out of 5 stars Ian Banks's Stonemouth.
Moves at a slower pace than the BBC version and is rather different from it. Sometimes the story wanders on and can lose you for a bit. Read more
Published 21 days ago by catqueen
4.0 out of 5 stars What's not to like about any Banks novel?
Typical Iain Banks. Well rounded characters, a scattered plot that gradually comes together, peopled with folks you would like to meet and others you definitely wouldn't want to. Read more
Published 22 days ago by ChasKidd
5.0 out of 5 stars A must!
Excellent, much better that the TV adaption
Published 28 days ago by peter clay
4.0 out of 5 stars Read the book
The recent TV version failed to due justice, to the detail of this rather beautiful story.
Talk about "dumbing down"
A fine novel
Published 1 month ago by Richard S. Austin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another good read by Iain Banks
Published 1 month ago by Di
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, pity about the TV series
Great book , pity about the TV series, it was rubbish and nothing like the book.
Published 1 month ago by Mary Mullen
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