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Walking On Glass Paperback – 1 Apr 1992

4.0 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (1 April 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349101787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349101781
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 399,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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)

Book Description

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book... this book was wonderful and weird. Three (apparently) unrelated stories, told alternately a chapter at a time. I was worried at first about keeping track of them all, but really it was easy. I could have happily read all three stories separately and never have them connect. But, alas.

The way the stories connect is, well, two of them connect up pretty conclusively. The third, that one is more up for interpretation. Personally i saw a few ways in which connections could be made, and i haven't--and don't want--to decide specifically on one set conclusion; i like them all.

I gave this book three stars immediately after i'd read it, but having had time to think about the books more, i have upped it to four stars. Just don't expect the whole thing to be tied up neatly for you, and it's thoroughly enjoyable
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By Thomas Douglas TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Odd.
I had heard this book was not on of Banks' sci-fi novels and it isn't all sci-fi. However there are futuristic sci-fi parts to it.
3 seemingly unconnected stories that partly come together as the book moves on.
Themes of hopelessness and suicide.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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.

The story is really 3 seperate stories:
- Graham is in love with Sara ffitch, who he met via a common friend, but Sarah is sleeping with the mysterious biker Stoker.
- Grout is a somewhat confused, paranoid man who builds mazes out of science fiction books that he reads to get clues as to how to escape the prison he is in and return to his intergalactic war, where he was apparently somebody important.
- Quiss is trapped in a strange castle, playing games with his sole companion in order to win the right to answer a riddle and win his freedom.

From the start there are similarities between the Grout and the Quiss stories, though it's not clear how they intersect. Graham's story seems to have no connection at all. Towards the end of the book the 3 stories do intertwine more, and the novel finishes on a somewhat ¨meta¨ note.

I suspect that every reader will take something different away from this story, and some may dislike it for the apparent lack of resolution. I loved it - there are shades of postmodernism a la Paul Auster and Italo Calvino which really appealed to me.

I still have not read the full Banks back catalogue, but of those I have read I would say that if you like The Bridge then you will probably enjoy this one.

Higly recommended by me at any rate!
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