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This review is from: Stonemouth (Paperback)
I was pleased to see Mr Banks return to form for what was sadly his last novel.
The cover adequately describes the content: tender, funny and exciting. Tender is probably the key thing here, with some Banks trademark nostalgia and sweet romances. He's managed to tap into one of those universal emotions that made me put the book down and look out the window a few times.
There are some tense scenes that play very well, although I don't feel that these gel 100% with the key themes of returning home and lost love, regret, missed opportunity. Frankly if he'd written the novel without, it would granted have been a slower pace but perhaps a fully accomplished novel, a real swan song. Likewise, there are a few superfluous characters and scenes that plump this out, but which a really stellar editor would have axed.
In any case, this is by far better than some of the author's blander works, particularly his last few mainstream novels. 'Stonemouth' isn't quite 'The Wasp Factory' or 'The Crow Road' but it's close, but has a degree of subtlty that means he's achieved a similar level without the use of shock tactics - an arguably much tougher choice.
Definitely recommended for Banks fans and a worthy goodbye.
Author of 'Half Discovered WIngs'