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14 April, 2008

Free Iain Banks audiobook

Some might be interested to know that Banks' 1984 debut novel, 'The Wasp Factory' is currently available, for free download, as a 6-hour unabridged audio book.

'The Wasp Factory' isn't my favourite book from a novelist who has been amongst my favourite authors for over 15 years – I can't decide whether it depicts a profoundly disturbed personality well or merely tries too hard to shock. I could offer much the same criticism of other Banks novels, some of which have been pretentiously over-literate or have poorly integrated hyperviolent scenes into their plots – it's been a long time since I regarded Banks as my absolute favourite author.
I suppose I'm saying I would recommend trying 'The Wasp Factory', but I'd be reluctant to suggest it as the starting point for someone new to Banks' writing; 'The Crow Road' was my first (read on the train to St. Andrews for a PhD interview in 1992) and is still my favourite. Avoid 'A Song Of Stone'.

Another cause for hesitation is that the Independent is offering the free audiobook via Audible (one needs to register, but fake IDs work), only in the proprietory '.aa' format. I'm not prepared to install new download managers/players on my PC, nor plugin applications for iTunes, so I'll give the audio book a miss, myself.

Those who do want to download the five files have until Friday 18 April to do so.


Never heard of the fellow, but then there are a lot we all haven't that are just great writers. I did go to Amazon and read some reviews. I'll have to check him out for certain. The Crow Road sounds very good. Aspects of it sound like our American Faulkner--not all though. I would also recommend the Canadian writer, Robertson Davies. He did some great novels, but be sure to check them out for some are weaker. And who could bear not to read Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Both these latter writers are deceased. Thanks for the sharing of this new author to me. Gotta write it down before I forget it. I won't download the book, preferring to buy it. Does 54 have something to do with that? There's nothing like holding a book in one's hands.

Posted by John Pace at April 14, 2008 06:59 PM
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