Customer Reviews for

The Wasp Factory

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(2)

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(8)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

A reviewer

This book is a great read. It keeps you on the edge of your seat not because it is a thriller but because how wierd the stroy is. It is a story that is very inventive, though the ending could have been a better

posted by Anonymous on February 21, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Twisted Ending

I read The Wasp Factory because somewhere someone had named it one of the most disgusting books ever written (on par with Stokoe's "Cows"). Additionally, Britian's The Independent, named it one of the top 100 novels of the 20th Century. In my opinion it never reached ...
I read The Wasp Factory because somewhere someone had named it one of the most disgusting books ever written (on par with Stokoe's "Cows"). Additionally, Britian's The Independent, named it one of the top 100 novels of the 20th Century. In my opinion it never reached either of those lofty expectations but it was still a good read.

The Wasp Factory is the story of a late teen-aged boy living a fairly solitary existence on a private island in Scotland. The story slowly reveals the plot section by section and always keeps you guessing as to just where the story is going. The characters story and backstory are intriguing enough to keep pulling you along. Ultimitatly you are pulled right into one of those suprise twist endings.

There is a lot of hype for this book, the author Iain Banks, debust novel that's still touted to this day. It is a fine book to be sure. For me the hype doesn't live up and can indeed danger the reputation of a fine story. However, Mr. Banks now has a long and distinguished writing career in both dramatic fiction and science fiction genres. There is no doubt he can write. Take this for what it is, a solid debut novel by a now well established writer.

posted by NJMetal on April 30, 2011

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Twisted Ending

    I read The Wasp Factory because somewhere someone had named it one of the most disgusting books ever written (on par with Stokoe's "Cows"). Additionally, Britian's The Independent, named it one of the top 100 novels of the 20th Century. In my opinion it never reached either of those lofty expectations but it was still a good read.

    The Wasp Factory is the story of a late teen-aged boy living a fairly solitary existence on a private island in Scotland. The story slowly reveals the plot section by section and always keeps you guessing as to just where the story is going. The characters story and backstory are intriguing enough to keep pulling you along. Ultimitatly you are pulled right into one of those suprise twist endings.

    There is a lot of hype for this book, the author Iain Banks, debust novel that's still touted to this day. It is a fine book to be sure. For me the hype doesn't live up and can indeed danger the reputation of a fine story. However, Mr. Banks now has a long and distinguished writing career in both dramatic fiction and science fiction genres. There is no doubt he can write. Take this for what it is, a solid debut novel by a now well established writer.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 4, 2012

    An Intriguing Story That Runs Out of Gas

    Few stories are capable of hooking a reader within the first few pages, and "The Wasp Factory" does so with its enigmatic promises of showing the reader the internal lives of its sociopathic characters. Further into the book, the reader is treated to scenes with imagery as pregnant and startling as those found in such works as Heller's "Catch-22" and McCarthy's "The Road." Unfortunately, Banks seems to find himself at a loss when it comes to bringing his story to an end, and the denouement is so very anti-climactic, this reader wishes the author ended the piece some five pages earlier. However, Banks is a very talented writer, and he has a gift with prose. I look forward to reading more of his work.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Wasp Factory

    I have come across numerous lists that have categorized 'The Wasp Factory' as one of the most disturbing, important and best novels in the past twenty years. I must say that I disagree. While it is an enjoyable book, it doesn't seem nearly as powerful and disturbing as it probably did in the 80's. One reviewer said that 'The Wasp Factory' gave a chilling glimpse into the mind of a sociopath. 'The Killer Inside of Me' is much better in my opinion. Ultimately, I would say read it if you have really been wanting to. If you are on fence as to whether you want to buy it or not, flip a coin.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book is a great read. It keeps you on the edge of your seat not because it is a thriller but because how wierd the stroy is. It is a story that is very inventive, though the ending could have been a better

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2006

    Menace with style

    I love this outstanding book. Iain Banks is inspired and this novel really grips the reader and makes you question your own psyche. Thoroughly recommend

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2005

    Catering to the lowest common denominator

    This book was uninspiring and unoriginal. It could be said that it is harmful to write such purposeless stories but it is even more harmful to write them so poorly.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2003

    Out to shock but unsatisfying

    Though I couldnt help turning the pages to find out what this 'wasp factory' might actually be, I felt slightly patronised by the author's deliberate holding back of any details in order to spur me on. With regards to the ending, I feel it did little to explain our character's murderous tendencies. For a really shocking read on the turmoils of a homicidal, isolated adolescent, I heartily recommend And The As* Saw The Angel, by Nick Cave, a book far superior in many ways to Ian Banks' Novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2003

    Dark Brilliance!

    I adored this book, and couldn't keep from the turning the pages even as my stomach churned. I'd totally recommend this to any friend who has an equally dark sense of humour.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2008

    Interesting but not good enough....

    Although the story started off slow it did eventually built up to a point where it kept the reader interested. I thought the ending was not too bad but it was not as good as i was expected it to be since the story was so weird and twisted.The Wasp Factory left me disappointed and wanting a more creative and not such a predictable ending. Other than that the writing style was good and the descriptions and characters were good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2005

    What the...????

    I found this book to be excellent. After finishing the last page I found my self stunned...wierd...but great. It has made other books seem so dissapointing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2002

    INSPIRING!

    I THOUGHT THIS BOOK SHOWED HOW MESSED UP THE HUMAN MIND REALLY IS. IT WAS A GREAT BOOK FOR THOSE WHO ENJOY THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX. I LOOK FORWARD TO THE DAY WE CAN READ BOOKS LIKE THIS IN HIGH SCHOOL.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2002

    The Story with a Real Sting in the Tail

    The Wasp Factory is a truly remarkable piece of literature. Currently popular with AS Level English Students across the United Kingdom,Ian Banks has truly excelled himself. Delving into the world of Frank Cauldhame, his cunning father and baffling dog burning brother Eric, you won't be able to put this book down until you've finished.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2002

    One of the darkest books you will ever read

    Quite possibly one of the darkest and best books I've ever read. The way Banks peels away at the character of Frank and reveals him to the reader is nothing short of genius.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2001

    deliciously twisted

    written in Banks's usual meandering style, it tells a unique story of outrageous whimsical cruelty, superstition to the nth degree, ending with a very clever twist(anyone who says the last chapter didn't surprise them is pretentious). This story is perhaps the most enduring of his dark tales, I have read it twice (something I rarely do) and will probably read it again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2001

    Just a Faze?!

    When I read this book, I found the way the whole story was told was very abstract, but I enjoyed it all the same. Some of the things that the narrator blurts out could be quite startling, but I found them amusing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2001

    Don't get carried away

    It was twisted, but there are SO much better. To label this as CLASSIC and Brilliantly written is a bit much. It was dark, which was good, it was edgy and unafraid which is very good, but it lacked depth. I agree that it is not for the faint of heart, but assuming you like this stuff, go out and read anything by Chuck Palahniuk, and then review this. I liken this to the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan or better yet, Natural Born Killers. It was all very random and frankly became boring 1/2 way through. I suppose the ending was supposed to throw me, but it didn't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted February 25, 2010

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    Posted January 28, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2010

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