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The Quarry [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Iain Banks
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2014

Kit doesn't know who his mother is. What he does know, however, is that his father, Guy, is dying of cancer. Feeling his death is imminent, Guy gathers around him his oldest friends - or at least the friends with the most to lose by his death. Paul - the rising star in the Labour party who dreads the day a tape they all made at university might come to light; Alison and Robbie, corporate bunnies whose relationship is daily more fractious; Pris and Haze, once an item, now estranged, and finally Hol - friend, mentor, former lover and the only one who seemed to care.

But what will happen to Kit when Guy is gone? And why isn't Kit's mother in the picture? As the friends reunite for Guy's last days, old jealousies, affairs and lies come to light as Kit watches on.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio (1 Sep 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0748137726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0748137725
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,678,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description


Eerily compelling (William Leith Evening Standard)

Book Description

The new novel from Iain Banks, the bestselling author of The Wasp Factory.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very personal novel. 26 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Quarry is about a gathering of former university housemates who come together for a long weekend in the house they shared while at college. The house is the family home of one of the group, Guy, who is dying of cancer and he has asked them to come together one last time while he is still alive.

The characters in this book came to life for me. I got to know their views and their foibles. Their actions and conversation were consistent throughout the book and the interactions with the others were totally believable. I felt I was with the group for that long weekend in the North East of England.

When I find interesting pieces in a book I take note of the page number for future reference. I found many such pieces in The Quarry.

In an interview with Stuart Kelly that was printed in the Guardian on 15th June, 2013, just six days after Iain Banks' death, Iain is quoted as saying, "let's face it; in the end the real best way to sign off would have been with a great big rollicking Culture novel." He was still very proud of "The Quarry", and rightly so.

While Iain referred to the book as a "relatively minor piece" it is still an excellent novel and those readers who are familiar with Iain's views on the world, the universe and everything, will recognize many of his firmly held beliefs expressed in the words of Guy. Religion, politics, corruption, racism, violence and corporate exploitation of the poor all come in for mention in what could be described as a manifesto of Iain's views.

As an avid reader of Iain Banks and Iain M.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars as ever drawn in 6 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Just finished The Quarry and unable to start another book so instead will comment on this. I have read both Iain Banks and Iain M Banks books since the publication of the Wasp Factory in the 1980s. So coming to this book was sad knowing it was the last and knowing the topic was close to what was happening to him. If he had not been fatally ill would we all have been thinking of this as a book about a young man with Aspergers? How much did news of young hackers with autism or the financial abuse of Scottish Artist Peter Howson influence the original idea. These have all been strong media stories in Scotland over the last few years as have issues about personal care and end of life decisions.

However this was a book I found hard to put down. I found it both sad & funny but also enlightening. I rarely comment on books being keen instead to dive into the next one. This is a book however I do not want to taint with the taste of other books. Enjoyed the book and will misss the author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting finale..... 11 Aug 2014
Iain Banks produces such lively and intriguing books - it is hard to believe that after The Quarry there will be no more…..
The Quarry is a thoroughly enjoyable novel. Kit is an autistic teenage living with his father Guy who is dying of cancer. They inhabit a ramshackle house due for demolition which is perched on the edge of a quarry somewhere in north-east England. A group of old student friends has gathered for the weekend to see Guy once again and to reminisce about their old times together.

But as well as saying “farewell” to Guy each member of the group is anxious to recover an old lost video recording made by the group during their film and media studies course. Kit asks about this mysterious tape but is assured it is “not porn” but could just cause embarrassment to each of them in their current careers. It all moves at a good pace as the group intersperse hunting for the tape with bitching about each other and taking drugs.

Kit comes over as an extremely likeable young man who wants to know more about his origins. He is badly let down by his bad-tempered father and by members of the group that he thought he could trust. Guy is constantly angry about both his own condition and the world in general. There are numerous “riffs” on politics, religion and modern culture which probably reflect Banks’s own feelings.

The Quarry is written with great energy and imagination. Perhaps not his best work but a fitting finale nonetheless.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Quarry 18 Aug 2013
By J. Hyde
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dealing with such a subject is excellent though the writing style is somewhat lightweight compared to previous books I've read, which at times were disturbing in their depth of feeling. The finding of the item they were searching of was a bit lame as it was purported to be 1 thing but then was something else - was that it?! Having found it was there something else to find. I thought the cancer could have been dealt with more thoroughly & not just the abusiveness of it's incumbent. I thought I'd learn something but didn't. A bit like Corrie - a good storyline that fizzled to not much. Maybe he didn't have time to go too in-depth given his own circumstances so compare to his other excellenty works I was somewhat disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 10 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not a great swan song, sadly.
I'm a great Banks fan, of both his Sci Fi and "straight" fiction, but unfortunately this one is below his usual standard. There are some quite nice rants and conversational exchanges, but the whole thing is a bit lacklustre and rather fizzles out at the end.
I like the narrator, and enjoy the quirk of making him Aspergers. I have a son with Aspergers and the thought processes and comments are pretty accurate.
The plot is thin, and doesn't allow even a writer of Banks' skill to develop lines and characters in any very satisfactory way.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Annoying characters?
A house full of characters who would be insufferable in real life: despite Banks' skills, they sadly remained so in fiction. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I really enjoyed this book. As usual with Iain Banks, the characters were full, rounded and real, and at varying shades of grey on endearing to irritating scale. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Richard Hall
2.0 out of 5 stars Bitterly disappointing
I'm sorry to say that Iain Banks's final novel was for me one of his most disappointing. The story focuses on Kit, who lives with his father in a house close to the edge of a huge... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Peter Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars typical Ian banks.
As he always does, throws you into characters who all have issues. You really feel part of the book as you get to know them. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Mr. Ceirion Port
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull book, far from his best.
Not his best, long winded and boring.
Published 14 days ago by stuart mcmillan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 15 days ago by Richard Tong
5.0 out of 5 stars A winner for Iain Banks yet again
Great book from Iain Banks and on par with the rest of his great novels
Published 19 days ago by merrymac
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book
Published 21 days ago by R. Hanlon
5.0 out of 5 stars Always find Iain Banks hard to put down!
Another excellent read, I am in awe of this bloke's imagination!
Published 27 days ago by Ria
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
not his best but good, sadly missed
Published 28 days ago by Miss S Humpish
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