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The Crow Road (1992)

de Iain Banks

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MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,899533,533 (4.02)241
From its bravura opening onwards, THE CROW ROAD is justly regarded as an outstanding contemporary novel. 'It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach.' Prentice McHoan has returned to the bosom of his complex but enduring Scottish family. Full of questions about the McHoan past, present and future, he is also deeply preoccupied: mainly with death, sex, drink, God and illegal substances...… (mais)
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    The Wasp Factory de Iain Banks (Usuário anônimo)
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» Veja também 241 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 53 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Families and communities are complex beings, and the small Scottiish Gallinach, home of the McHoan's,, is no different. We are witness to four generations, anchored around the telling of Prentice McHoan as he searches for his past and his future in London, Glasgow, and the pages of his uncle's journals. In the final pages Prentice finally seems ready to grow up, but I highly doubt that the rest of his life journey will be any less tumultuous because that's just the way life is: complicated. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
It is amazing - although not quite as amazing as first time round which is not a complaint but a credit to the author's excellent handling of surprise and mystery. I feel an affinity with Ian Banks - he is/was two years older than me and feels very much the same generation. When I read the book before, Prentice, the main protagonist also seemed like the same generation but this time I realise he must have been born about 1970 and his father Kenneth would have been not much older than Ian Banks, but had his children young. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
A wonderful heart-warming family story, oh who am I kidding, this is Ian Banks and the book is grim like Glasgow. Banks has the knack of making slightly surreal and farcical situations play out believably, like an atheist being smitten by god on top of a church tower. When at the end of the book I realised I was actually reading a murder mystery I was caught unawares what with all the seemingly unrelated vignettes and musings interleaved throughout the book but the last few chapters tie it all up neatly together with a little ray of sunshine at the end - unexpected but fully welcome. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |

And it is like this.




Suddenly tears spring from your eyes and and you are too surprised by them to be able to stop the small flood that follows. Not entirely timely since you are in your favourite coffee shop hereabouts waiting for a vegetable tagine.

* * * *

Prentice, you prat, how can you not see the bleeding obvious right in front of your nose? As I wait for my tagine, I’m wondering what those who like to divide writing up by quality where literature is ‘best’ call Banks? Not literature. Presumably not trash. What? Good fiction, perhaps? As opposed to the bad stuff that is popularly read? Banks does like the reader to know what’s going on all the way and consequently from the very first moment we meet Ashley we know she is the one. If only there was a way to tell fucking Prentice Prat that. Just to make really sure at this point that we know what is going on, Verity, the one he thinks is the one, has no character whatsoever. Not one whit.

Though maybe, come to think of it, maybe Banks just can’t do women. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Ashley, who wouldn’t want to be her? But she is a character written for boys, isn’t she? Utterly loyal to her idea of you no matter what sort of idiot you are, and how blind you are; forgiving of every shitty thing you do to her – hey. Writing this down makes me realise it it were a Mills and Boon certain people would be calling it revoltingly sexist. But it’s ummmm. A step up of sorts, methinks you think and boys read Banks and – well, it’s different, isn’t it? Nup. I don’t see it myself. And I think back to Complicity in which in a different way, the girl - for there is one - is what a man would want too.

* * * *

The little girl had nightmares about cabbage. Even worse, she laid awake, the very thought of cabbage scaring sleep away.

* * * *

An author who can’t resist cleverness, even when he should. (Aside: isn’t there a decent editor left in England?) The first two hundred pages jar with me. They are about how witty the author is. A pity because the second half of the book is well worth it.

This is the sort of thing I mean, p. 54.


‘And how are your studies going?’
‘Oh, just fine.’
‘Good, good.’
‘And the twins; are they both well?’
‘Fine, fine’ Fergus nodded, presumably allocating his two daughters a word each in his reply.’


Too smart for his own good. Yes witty, all things being equal, the thing about a word for each daughter. But all things are not equal, aren’t they? Hello, Banks. There are readers here and we aren’t complete idiots. Fergus, as we have already just discovered, and is reinforced duing the book, typically repeats everything in this way. Clever line that shouldn’t be there. Only an author rather too much in love with himself would find a need to keep that there. Only an editor who was shagging him would let him get away with it. Or so I imagine.

* * * *

I’m picking these white pieces of ?? out of my tagine. Potato skin, I wonder, as a pile grows next to my bowl. But I try biting into one and it’s thicker and – well, nastier – than potato skin. I pick up the candle and examine these things by its light – they’ve veins – they’re – oh. That’s what they are.

* * * *

And the little girl – whose mother, quite possibly provider of the worst cooked vegetables in the galaxy, had always refused to cook cabbage because it was an abomination – could scarcely begin to imagine how dreadful it must be. And I think back to being that little girl and every cabbage fear she had was justified by this moment. Cabbage sucks.

* * * *

It takes Prentice Prat for ever, and every brain cell the Lord bestowed upon him to very, very dimly begin to understand about Ashley. But eventually. Eventually.

* * * *

And this book is all sorts of things lacking in subtlety. It is a murder mystery where we know it is a murder and who done it even as it is being done. And it is a love story we know is going to end happily if we wait long enough. And it is chock full of slightly zany characters who live slightly zany lives for us to be mostly amused by, and occasionally moved by.

Splendid scenes where Kenneth describes the actual making of the earth in Scotland longer than a prehistory ago, movements of vast pieces of the world. It makes me think of sex.

Unchallenging, escapist entertainment. ‘Eternally pleasant’ was my friend Harry’s summation. So, not literature then. But what? I’m asking the people who like to divide things up this way.


* * * *

And as your tears fall, in light too dim to see cabbage or tears, you think what a prat you are. Because towards the very end of the book as you innocently sit here, drinking your tea, you arrive at a scene which could be you, you and your loved one, and there is that moment, where like young children before they are trained to separate their emotions from each other; you hover in that childlike way between tears and smiles, weeping and laughing.

And what makes you a prat is that this is just a good writer telling a story and the whole point of what he does is that he is like an astrologer or a fortune cookie. Get everybody in. Make each person think you are writing for them. To them.

* * * *

And if I have in the least succeeded in writing this in the modern literary style adopted by Banks, you will think, dear reader, that I write to you.

xxxx
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |

And it is like this.




Suddenly tears spring from your eyes and and you are too surprised by them to be able to stop the small flood that follows. Not entirely timely since you are in your favourite coffee shop hereabouts waiting for a vegetable tagine.

* * * *

Prentice, you prat, how can you not see the bleeding obvious right in front of your nose? As I wait for my tagine, I’m wondering what those who like to divide writing up by quality where literature is ‘best’ call Banks? Not literature. Presumably not trash. What? Good fiction, perhaps? As opposed to the bad stuff that is popularly read? Banks does like the reader to know what’s going on all the way and consequently from the very first moment we meet Ashley we know she is the one. If only there was a way to tell fucking Prentice Prat that. Just to make really sure at this point that we know what is going on, Verity, the one he thinks is the one, has no character whatsoever. Not one whit.

Though maybe, come to think of it, maybe Banks just can’t do women. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Ashley, who wouldn’t want to be her? But she is a character written for boys, isn’t she? Utterly loyal to her idea of you no matter what sort of idiot you are, and how blind you are; forgiving of every shitty thing you do to her – hey. Writing this down makes me realise it it were a Mills and Boon certain people would be calling it revoltingly sexist. But it’s ummmm. A step up of sorts, methinks you think and boys read Banks and – well, it’s different, isn’t it? Nup. I don’t see it myself. And I think back to Complicity in which in a different way, the girl - for there is one - is what a man would want too.

* * * *

The little girl had nightmares about cabbage. Even worse, she laid awake, the very thought of cabbage scaring sleep away.

* * * *

An author who can’t resist cleverness, even when he should. (Aside: isn’t there a decent editor left in England?) The first two hundred pages jar with me. They are about how witty the author is. A pity because the second half of the book is well worth it.

This is the sort of thing I mean, p. 54.


‘And how are your studies going?’
‘Oh, just fine.’
‘Good, good.’
‘And the twins; are they both well?’
‘Fine, fine’ Fergus nodded, presumably allocating his two daughters a word each in his reply.’


Too smart for his own good. Yes witty, all things being equal, the thing about a word for each daughter. But all things are not equal, aren’t they? Hello, Banks. There are readers here and we aren’t complete idiots. Fergus, as we have already just discovered, and is reinforced duing the book, typically repeats everything in this way. Clever line that shouldn’t be there. Only an author rather too much in love with himself would find a need to keep that there. Only an editor who was shagging him would let him get away with it. Or so I imagine.

* * * *

I’m picking these white pieces of ?? out of my tagine. Potato skin, I wonder, as a pile grows next to my bowl. But I try biting into one and it’s thicker and – well, nastier – than potato skin. I pick up the candle and examine these things by its light – they’ve veins – they’re – oh. That’s what they are.

* * * *

And the little girl – whose mother, quite possibly provider of the worst cooked vegetables in the galaxy, had always refused to cook cabbage because it was an abomination – could scarcely begin to imagine how dreadful it must be. And I think back to being that little girl and every cabbage fear she had was justified by this moment. Cabbage sucks.

* * * *

It takes Prentice Prat for ever, and every brain cell the Lord bestowed upon him to very, very dimly begin to understand about Ashley. But eventually. Eventually.

* * * *

And this book is all sorts of things lacking in subtlety. It is a murder mystery where we know it is a murder and who done it even as it is being done. And it is a love story we know is going to end happily if we wait long enough. And it is chock full of slightly zany characters who live slightly zany lives for us to be mostly amused by, and occasionally moved by.

Splendid scenes where Kenneth describes the actual making of the earth in Scotland longer than a prehistory ago, movements of vast pieces of the world. It makes me think of sex.

Unchallenging, escapist entertainment. ‘Eternally pleasant’ was my friend Harry’s summation. So, not literature then. But what? I’m asking the people who like to divide things up this way.


* * * *

And as your tears fall, in light too dim to see cabbage or tears, you think what a prat you are. Because towards the very end of the book as you innocently sit here, drinking your tea, you arrive at a scene which could be you, you and your loved one, and there is that moment, where like young children before they are trained to separate their emotions from each other; you hover in that childlike way between tears and smiles, weeping and laughing.

And what makes you a prat is that this is just a good writer telling a story and the whole point of what he does is that he is like an astrologer or a fortune cookie. Get everybody in. Make each person think you are writing for them. To them.

* * * *

And if I have in the least succeeded in writing this in the modern literary style adopted by Banks, you will think, dear reader, that I write to you.

xxxx
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Iain Banksautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Brown, PeterIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Partanen, AnuTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Smith, Dorothy CaricoDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Again, for Ann,

And with thanks to:

James Hale,

Mic Cheetham,

Andy Watson

and Steve Hatton
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It was the day my grandmother exploded.
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From its bravura opening onwards, THE CROW ROAD is justly regarded as an outstanding contemporary novel. 'It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach.' Prentice McHoan has returned to the bosom of his complex but enduring Scottish family. Full of questions about the McHoan past, present and future, he is also deeply preoccupied: mainly with death, sex, drink, God and illegal substances...

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