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M. Traynor (North Wales)
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Stonemouth
Stonemouth
by Iain Banks
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Same old, same old?, 2 May 2012
This review is from: Stonemouth (Hardcover)
Addictive, nostalgic, funny, tense and satisfying. I'm shocked to see so many unflattering reviews of Stonemouth above - (in fact I almost took note of the 'same old formula' lines myself) - but I have to disagree that this book is boring, flat, predictable... following a tried and tested formula.

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
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 23, 2013 11:04 AM BST


The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon)
The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Hardcover

2.0 out of 5 stars Poor - A tired formula, slogged out in an all too self righteous manner, 8 Oct. 2009
Dan Brown must have a 'write by numbers' jotter..... his books follow the same 'short-chapter-end-it-on-a-cliffhanger-pick-it-up-in-five-or-six-pages-then-repeat' structure from start to finish. but where Angles and Demons had an engaging Vatican City plotline, and the Da Vinci Code played with the 'revalations of hidden secrets' romp, The Lost Symbol forces a fairly dull account of Washington DC Freemasonry and sloggs out a mundane, tiresome (and quite fankly frustrating) novel, (over 500 pages!), and upon finishing, you feel quite let down and annoyed at the experience.

If you are expecting the enjoyment of the Da Vinci code, you will be disapointed - no doubt about it.


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