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58 Reviews
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Banks is incredibly versatile as an author. Each of his books manages to deal with a wide array of subjects. Yet the commonailty of his books is the way the reader is completely drawn in to the characters.
Espedair Street - about an ex rock-star - is moving, and at the same time hilarious. It genuinely had me laughing out loud (on the Tube, not the done thing)...
Published on 2 Jan 2004

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but flawed
Espedair Street is presumably a novel Iain Banks had planned from his youth - Being lyric writer for a mega-successful rock band is an obvious fantasy for any talented writer since the 1950's - (and for many non-talented writers too, no doubt). It is also a novel that had been on my to-read list since I first started reading Banks' work a few years ago, spurred on by...
Published on 11 Mar 2000


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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply marvellous!, 13 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Espedair Street (Paperback)
An insight into the world of the rock star; how the central character and his group cope with the pressure and the goodies associated with their sudden rise to stupendous wealth. The concept for this book, then, is nothing new. The quality is something entirely unexpected. Daniel Weir, song-writer and bass guitarist, is a wonderful character. A mixture of melancholy introspection and innocent craziness that the reader has to suspect is bound to end in tragedy. Tragedy strikes elsewhere, however. You'll find yourself wondering which bands Banks was thinking of when he created 'Frozen Gold'. You may well suspect he was thinking of one of your favourites. I wish I could hear their songs!
Robert Calvert wrote Hype (New English Library), which may be the definitive rock biopic. A 'debriefing from someone who has been there, and survived', it was said. Where Hype is in places cynical and darkly sinister, however, Espedair Street is a delight. A feel-good rockumentary. Can there be such a thing? Banks proves that there can. Wow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my desert island books..., 7 Dec 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Espedair Street (Paperback)
Definitely in my all time top ten. This will have you laughing out loud and crying shamelessly too. Utterly believable even at its most bizarre. The characters are your friends by the end of the novel. A real great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it., 9 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Espedair Street (Paperback)
This book has everything. For me the best of Banks non-sci-fi work, it's deeply moving without turning to mush at any point. It's also full of fun, very inventive and wild. Made me wish I'd been a rock star!
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4.0 out of 5 stars On par with The Bridge, 13 Dec 1999
By 
T. Bradshaw - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Espedair Street (Paperback)
Great book that is still in my thoughts ages after reading it. Loses one star for being too short, but however long it was would not be enough.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Iain Banks for beginners, 4 Oct 2004
By 
J. Reading "Jez" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Espedair Street (Paperback)
This was probably his most lazy creatively book from his earlier career and hence the least imaginative however...
For anyone who wants to get into the fantastic world of Iain Banks mind this is the most easily accessible book which is still full of the dark ironic humour that I love. The deaths may not be as imaginative as in The Wasp factory but they are still some of the most tragic but funnily described. (I actually read one scene out in my lessons to describe the dangers of electricity at the same time as electrocuting a sausage - always goes down a storm.)
The story may not be as strong as The Crow Road or The Wasp Factory but you will still want to read it all in one night.
So if you want to dip your toe into the world of Iain Banks give it a go. I promise you won't be disappointed and you'll be ready to give The Wasp factory a go as well. A treat if I've ever seen one!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not for me!, 17 Aug 2013
By 
marianne (cork, ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Espedair Street (Paperback)
Sorry Mr Banks but this one did nothing for me! Perhaps,useful reading for a social worker trying to get inside the mind of a angst ridden song writer but I found it painted a gloomy depressing picture of a lost young man with drink/drug problem - I found myself throwing the book across the bedroom floor by page 103. Not my cuppa!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 Aug 2014
This review is from: Espedair Street (Paperback)
Excellent service. Would recommend.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of Banks' best, 2 Aug 2000
This review is from: Espedair Street (Paperback)
Iain Banks alternates between delightful writing and dreadful dross. Espedair Street is one of his best (along with The Crow Road) because he manages the trick of jumping to and fro in space and time without it seeming to be a smart-alicky gimmick. Other Banks books don't manage this - notably The Bridge, Canal Dreams and Complicity, so don't waste your time on them. If you only read one Banks book make it The Crow Road - if you only read one and you want it to be short, Espedair Street is the one for you. If you like it, try Swing Hammer Swing by Jeff Torrington.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An Annoying Book, 6 Jun 2014
By 
Mr. David E. Cuthbert "DavidElvin" (Winscombe, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Espedair Street (Paperback)
I could not make myself read beyond the first few pages. I could not find find anything to detain me. My taste no doubt as others obviously enjoy it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and engaging, 21 April 2012
This review is from: Espedair Street (Paperback)
I am a huge Ian Banks fan, but i think that this is his best book, its well written and engaging so it makes you turn the pages and delve deeper into the book. I found myself quite engaged with the characters who were funny and believable - I recommend this book.
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Espedair Street
Espedair Street by Iain Banks (Paperback - 6 Dec 1990)
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