Stonemouth Paperback – 3 Jan 2013
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Readable, gripping . . . One of his best (William Leith Evening Standard)
'There is more than a shade of Pip and Estella in Stewart and Ellie, and to create an emotionally satisfying while intellectually convincing ending is a rare achievement . . . Beguiling (Stuart Kelly Guardian)
The mythology of Stewart's past, and of Stonemouth itself, is utterly absorbing. Addictive, funny, and brilliantly observed (Daily Mail)
Banks at his waspish, intelligent, nuanced best. His fans will give thanks (Scotland on Sunday)
Iain Banks at his very best - his funniest, grittiest and most exciting novel yet.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Sure, Banks displays some of his more trademark themes throughout, but he does it so well. And Stonemouth is such a tight, well paced novel... the plot moves so smoothly and effortlessly, its a wonder he can evoke such knowing and telling segements of the past we are all so familier with - love, betrayal, violence, returning home....
The Steep Aproach to Garbadale may seem very much a companion piece to Stonemouth (its no Crow Road - he may never surpass that), but Garbadale I found a little clunky in places, a tad too long.
Stonemouth cuts to the chase. Yes there a family secrets and a sense of dread in Stewart returning home. Yes there are romantic moments and themes on lost love.... but if you've been a fan of his and find his storytelling so real and close to home, then this will not disappoint.
The music/ drugs/ childhood anicdotes and smart-alec quips are all here, but you'd be hard pressed to find another writer who can do it in the way Banks can.
Perhaps some were hoping for something a little different, sure. But do not be put off by a 1/2 star review stating Banks is perhaps lazily revisiting old ground here.... Its handled beautifully - a very accomplished book, well paced, tone pitch perfect and one of the more satisfying endings I've seen in Banks for a while now.
Better than Steep Approach, but no Crow Road - 4 stars seems about right
The town of Stonemouth has problems; an unusually high fatality rate involving the nearby bridge, a strong drug culture, and the presence of two dominant families, who mix legal and illegal activity in fairly equal measure. The story is unfolded against this backdrop. Iain Banks covers strong themes here; loyalty, friendship, enduring love, fear and courage, and beautifully evokes aspects of life in Scotland, as well as what it is to be young, smart, and prone to making some very bad decisions.
This is a beautifully written and highly enjoyable work of fiction. I found myself caring what happened to the main characters and I was sorry when it was finished.
'"Stonemouth" by yon Iain Banks.'
'Whit like is it?'
'Is it wan o'thae wi' the spaceships an'that?'
'Huz it got folks explodin' an' that?'
'Whit like is it, then?'
'Some shagger shags aw the gurls and gits hissel into a spot o'bother.'
'Braw! Will ye read it agin?'
: a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character
This is my first Iain Banks book, why, I have no idea. I am of Scottish heritage, my maiden name, MacLeod, and I love all things Scottish. Reading the initial PR about thus book caught my attention, and I was not disappointed. This is the real Scotland, not the tourist's brand. Stewart Gilmour returns to his hometown, meets a man on the bridge that enters town, and is also the jumping off place for some poor souls. He needs the OK from the town's head mobster to return for a funeral. It seems he was run off from town a while ago for some deed we are not privy to. As the story moves alng, we do find the reason, but it is a long long time coming.
The Murstons are the family with the money and the misdeeds. The author treats us to Stewart Gilmour's life as he grows up in Stonemouth to set the stage for the finale. We meet the friends, the foes, relatives, the townspeople, and how they all work together to formulate the culture of this town. Gilmour's returns to town as an educated professional man, and he is envied and defiled, depending which side you are on.
The writing is swift and superb. The characters jump out at you. This is a book that gives as good as we get. I don't want to spoil one page for anyone. You will want to continue to read until you can't keep your eyes open. What we learn fairly early on is that you can't go home again easily. All those unanswered questions, may be best not answered. What we know as a young person, may not be at all what we know for sure as an adult.
Recommended. prisrob 12-04-13
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I re-read this after watching the BBC dramatisation of the book - and not remembering the plot!
That's because they changed it around a little to simplify the book and... Read more
Really impressed!!! Had completely forgot I had bought a Used, Very Good Conditioned book!! It looks like new! Thank you!!Published 7 months ago by Sarahlou
Really well written and enjoyable. Veering on the edge of cartoon in places and a little bit of soap boxing (mostly the superiority of apple over Microsoft and rubbishing of... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Esk
Excellent book. Demonstrates understanding of the East of ScotlandPublished 8 months ago by Shintybeard