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Walking on Glass

Walking on Glass [Kindle Edition]

Iain Banks
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £3.99
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Product Description


* 'Inexorably powerful ... sinister manipulations and magnetic ambiguities' - Observer * 'The author's powerful imagination is displayed here every bit as vividly as in his debut' - Financial Times * 'Establishes beyond doubt that Iain Banks is a novelist of remarkable talents' Daily Telegraph

Book Description

* Paperback reissue of a modern classic, Iain Banks' WALKING ON GLASS, inexorably powerful' - OBSERVER

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 448 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (4 Sep 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002TXZTE8
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,840 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
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ...but you might enjoy it more 29 Aug 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a novel based on the simple notion that all is not what it seems.
We have three separate stories, which we cycle through, so we have the first part of each story in turn, then the second part of each, and so on.
We make assumptions, we make presumptions and we draw early conclusions about the characters and the plot. Mostly because it is in our nature to do so, but also because Banks deliberately encourages us, steering us towards our undoing.
As a result the book is something of a game between author and reader. On a purely intellenctual level I would rate this 4 stars, but ultimately the book has to stand up as a good read, and on that basis its drops down to 3 stars.
It is certainly well written - clever and witty. But it suffers from its format. With 3 short stories there is no room to develop the cast, so we end up with a collection of cartoon characters. Devices rather than individuals.
Some books leave you wanting more. This left me amused but with no real sense of enrichment. But as I said at the beginning, you might enjoy it more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I'm no stranger to the works of Iain Banks: I've read six of his fiction novels and all of his science fiction, all totaling twenty books. All of his books (literally, all of them) linger in my mind with unique storytelling. Though I love them all, I've only reread The Algebraist (2004) and The State of the Art (1989). Again, though I love them all, they are difficult for me to synopsis, as if they are beyond the reach of my circumspection. At the end of 2012, I read Walking on Glass and began to write a review for the book when my laptop crashed. It took me a year to get around to fixing the bugger and, lo and behold, all the files were intact. So, I knew I had to reread this tantalizing piece of fiction.

Walking on Glass sounds quirky enough, speculative enough to warrant the purchase and accolade of being chosen for my 100th book of 2012. When opening an Iain Banks novel, I have never known disappointment... slight dismay or mild boredom, yes, but never discontent. Walking on Glass is the first novel of Banks to really push my mental envelop toward grasping the linkages between the three stories. Only three stories, you may guffaw, but the fictional distance and hazy parallelisms throw the reader for a loop. Bear with it, absorb it, and try to relish the experience of being challenged... something which 99% of today's fiction has forgotten to do.

Rear cover synopsis:
"Graham Park is in love. But Sara Ffitch [sic] is an enigma to him, a creature of almost perverse mystery. Steven Grout is paranoid--and with justice. He knows that They are out to get him. They are.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different 9 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thought the stories were all going to link somehow. Maybe I missed something somewhere and might need to reread. I do love his style and unusual thought. Worth reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I have to admit right up front that I have absolutely no idea what 'Walking on Glass' is about! I suspect it is the kind of novel that has to be read at least twice, paying a great deal of attention each time, before it can be deciphered. It's not actually a convoluted or complicated story, just obscure. Three seemingly unrelated stories are alternated until towards the end of the novel when they come together. The first story is centered on Graham Park who is infatuated with Sara ffitch (and no, that's not a typo), a woman who has a secret - one that the reader, and Graham, doesn't learn of until their final scene together. The second story revolves around Steven Grout, a bizarre, paranoid, deeply disturbed man who thinks he is from another time and place. The final thread of the novel takes place in what is apparently the implausibly distant future: Quiss and Ajayi must complete complicated puzzles to win a chance to solve a riddle to earn their freedom...
The threads come together in the end in a manner that left me guessing as to what the hell was going on and what I hadn't quite understood. I suspect there are a number of literary references that I didn't pick up which may have helped. Banks rights in a very engaging style that, despite the contortions of the story, is easy to read and hard to put down. This is his second non Science Fiction novel, after the much more decipherable 'The Wasp Factory'. The far future scenes, with their SF settings and conventions, are obviously where Banks feels most comfortable.
See also my review of Banks' 'Consider Phlebas'.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bloody good read 10 Nov 2009
I first read this book some years ago in my early teens. When I saw it appear on Amazon one day. I had to buy it to read again. Fantastic ! An absolutley great first Novel by Mr. Banks. Although some of his later works are not to my taste, The wasp factory, walking on Glass and Complicity are classics.
Obsessive, Bloody, Crass, Perverse, The horrifyingly portrayed story of this young character and his family and surroundings make this a compulsive read.
I had quite forgotten how good Early Banks really is. Read it !
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 22 days ago by TIm
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best I think
I like Iain Banks, from my first exerience with The Wasp Factory many years back. This was his second - non-culture - novel, but suffers nothing from being an early work. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mike N
4.0 out of 5 stars ian banks
one for the banks fans. I have all the books on paperback, most on hardback also, many signed by the great man..
Published 3 months ago by john grant milner
2.0 out of 5 stars A Piece Of Loose Knitting
This book was extremely disappointing. Broadly speaking, the novel consists of three highly disparate narrative threads that never quite pull together tightly or neatly enough to... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Rhianna Knapp
4.0 out of 5 stars Confusing but fascinating if sombre
One of his best works. An elaborately interwoven tale in several layers . Full of insight and observation with a lot of humour but ultimately bleak.
Published 10 months ago by Book worm UK
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
A Banks page turner. Got it in preference to some of his darker work for a Sumer easy read. I t had just enough dark side to make it my sort of novel. Excellent .
Published 13 months ago by Susan Palmer
2.0 out of 5 stars sorry don't agree!
Apparently Even the author doesn't have an explanation for this book! I have just finished it and am still none the wiser, the book is obviously too intellectual for me to... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mrs. R. Mottram
5.0 out of 5 stars Still thinking about this book!
There have been lots of interesting reviews of this book already. All I have to add is that I read this when I was 17 and I am still thinking about it and recommending it to... Read more
Published 23 months ago by BBKF
2.0 out of 5 stars Walking on Glass
Book listed as in good condition. Arrived with a front sheet torn out, green pen on spine ... generally very poor condition. Misleading description.
Published on 31 Oct 2010 by Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Unstoppable Forces, Immovable Objects
Iain Banks first novel, The Wasp Factory, was published in 1984. In the years since, he's won critical acclaim, topped best-seller lists and has even written Science Fiction books... Read more
Published on 12 Oct 2010 by Craobh Rua
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