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Complicity (Abacus Paperback) Paperback – 8 Sep 1994

4.1 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews

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Complicity
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Product details

  • Paperback: 313 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; Paperback edition (8 Sept. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349105715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349105710
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.1 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 530,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

A remarkable novel ... superbly crafted, funny and intelligent (FINANCIAL TIMES)

A stylishly executed and well produced study in fear loathing and victimisation which moves towards doom in measured steps (OBSERVER)

Compelling and sinister ... a very good thriller (GLASGOW HERALD ** 'Fast moving ... tightly plotted')

SUNDAY TIMES ('One of the most able, energetic and stimulating writers we have in the UK.')

Book Description

Paperback reissue of a modern classic, Iain Banks' COMPLICITY, 'ingenious, daring and brilliant' - Guardian.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not his best but still pretty good
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I have just read this novel for the third (or fourth) time, which confirmed for me that this is one of Bank's best works. I want to refute some of the criticisms made in the two 2009 reviews published below. To criticise the plot structure is rather unfair. The novel moves simultaneously forwards and backwards in time in a seamless fashion. We discover how the protagonist Cameron Colley met his friends and lover, and the events in his life which led eventually to the brutal series of murders and assaults that form the present day part of the narrative. So the plot is simply excellent but it is the style with which it is revealed that makes this, and other works by Bank's, so wonderful. It is simultaneously shocking and extremely, wickedly funny. It is certainly not farfetched - the events in the narrative are all disturbingly plausible. Incidentally, there are no "graphic scenes of mutilation" mentioned in another review below (well possibly one). Some people meet very nasty ends - no surprise in a murder mystery - and our sympathies are often with the assailant given the victims' past misdemeanours. This book is a fantastic read.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who has experienced an Iain Banks novel knows what kind of territory we are entering into long before those first few vital sentences grab us like the piercing jaws of hell; refusing to let us go until that final, writhing moment, when the clues (and the body count) add up, and the world of the story comes tumbling in on it's self in a spectacularly, jaw-dropping fashion. The worlds he is able to create are bleak... filled with stark elements of reality and the kind of horrors ripped from the headlines. There's humour too, albeit, darker than anything you can image; though it is the snaking, ever-shifting plot, the attention to character, and the terrifying situations we are thrown into that mark out books like The Wasp Factory, The Bridge and this, as the classics they are... which, really, can't help but leave us coming back for more.
Complicity is probably Banks' most disturbing work... giving us a portrait of the everyman thrown into circumstances that go beyond the realms of mere explicitness, as the writer gives us one of his most wince-inducing modern-horrors, coupled with possibly his greatest character, that of self-proclaimed gonzo-journalist Cameron Colley. In Banks' world, Colley is a man fairly content to live his life in the fast-lane... cruising from one-story to the next on a tidal-wave of drugs, drink, video-games & adulterous sex. However, when a series of seemingly random, and increasingly graphic murders and assaults begin to occur throughout the politically-immoral England of the early-nineties, Cameron finds himself hot-on-the trail of an exceedingly stealthy and disturbed serial-killer who may, or may not, be closer than he thinks...
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Let's see, we have journalism, sex, computer games, sex, mysterious phone calls, kinky sex and murders... lots of them. Yep, must be another Iain Banks classic. I've read half a dozen Banks books now and the last two (Song Of Stone and Walking On Glass) left me feeling a bit wanting as I hadn't enjoyed them as much as some of the others, so I approached Complicity with mixed feelings. I'm pleased to say all misgivings were banished by the time I'd finished the second page and from then on I was sucked in to this darkly twisted tale.

I'll not give any of the plot away but safe to say it has the usual splashes of sardonic humour, great characterisation, whimsical anecdotes and extreme violence that you would associate with an Iain Banks book. Some readers might find the violence a bit excessive (one of my female friends admitted to reading through her fingers) but it is essential to the plot and as the victims were not exactly blameless people you kind of acquiesce to it and maybe that's the idea: it's not merely the complicity of the central character to the crimes, but also the tacit consent of the reader.

Anyway, give yourself a treat and give this very modest 310 page thriller a whirl. Guaranteed to make you laugh out loud, get your pulse going, make you squirm and, best of all, keep you guessing. If buying for another person, make sure he/she is a broad-minded sort.
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Format: Paperback
Iain Banks was born in Scotland in 1954 and published his first book - "The Wasp Factory" - in 1984. In the years since, he's won critical acclaim, topped best-seller lists and has even written Science Fiction books under the cunning nom-de-plume 'Iain M. Banks'. "Complicity" was first published in 1993, and is his seventh non sci-fi book.

Cameron Colley is a journalist based in Edinburgh. working for "The Caledonian". He has an eye for trouble, and enjoys using his articles to take pot-shots at the 'establishment' and big business. His past-times include alcohol, drugs and a computer game called "Despot" - one which sounds very similar to Civ II. Cameron's social circle seems quite small - there's William and Yvonne, a couple he met at university. The pair are married, though Cameron has no qualms about enjoying Yvonne (in as kinky a manner as possible) on a very regular basis. There's also Andy, who Cameron has known pretty much all his life. Andy has 'achievment' written all over his past - he was an officer in the Falklands War and was subsequently awarded the DSO. On leaving the army, he went into advertising - where he came up with the BIG campaigns for several global companies. After that, he then opened a chain of very successful shops, became obscenely rich...and then, strangely, dropped out. Andy is now living in a dilapidated old hotel (his own, naturally) in the Highlands - doing little other than drink and drugs, apparently..

Workwise, Cameron is quite possibly on the verge on something big : he has a mole feeding - "Mr Archer" - feeding him about five high-profile deaths within the nuclear and security services.
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