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This review is from: A Song Of Stone (Paperback)
I was first drawn to Iain Banks via his Sci Fi and if there is a parallel, this book fits into the same category as Feersum Endjin. Banks is clever, there's no doubt about that, but this book reads too much like a literary exercise, rather than a novel. I'm not against flowery prose as such, but it seems overdone here, to the detriment of the tale. My previous Banks was his first, the Wasp Factory, which, as others have said, is excellent and I guess I bought this one in order to own all of his work to date (completist that I am).
The story itself is a good one. An intriguing premise, unusual characters, and the obligatory perverse sexual angle and if someone described it as such to me, I'd expect to like it. Unfortunately, the first person to third person narrative style wears thin very quickly and the main character is such an unredeeming,pompous a**ehole, if it wasn't for the fact that I have an aversion to putting unfinished books back on the shelf, I might've done exactly that...