The Crow Road by Iain Banks

“It was the day my grandmother exploded.”

A great opening line, and it made me stop my browsing in the bookshop to read on, a little curious. By the end of the first chapter, I was hooked and needed to buy the book. This coming-of-age story in rural Scotland is interwoven with social commentary and a family murder mystery. There were surprisingly lots of similarities with growing up in rural Ireland, and I found this book a really good read. Even if you did not grow up in rural Scotland (or Ireland), I think you’d still enjoy the book; you just might not get all the inside jokes or cultural references.

While I had heard of the author before, I always thought he wrote science fiction books that just didn’t work for me. This was my first time discovering that he wrote non-science fiction also, and I liked this book.

7 thoughts on “The Crow Road by Iain Banks

  1. For what it’s worth, his science fiction is all authored as “Iain M. Banks” while his non-science fiction is authored as “Iain Banks”. Just for ease of searching. 😉

  2. Look for the Iain Banks in the non-SF sections, and Iain M. Banks in the SF sections.
    He’s sorta famous for his first novel, ‘The Wasp Factory’

  3. Banks mostly separates his SF/Non SF books by the use of cunning Pseudonyms: Iain Banks (Non-SF) and Iain M Banks (SF). He mostly sticks to that, though I believe that there are occasional books that blur the boundary a bit.

  4. If only Banks could end books as well as he starts them. I gave up after the third of fourth I read that ended with a twist which was either so obvious as to be a complete anticlimax (The Business) or so contrived and incongruous as to be unbelievable (The Crow Road).

    Bizarrely enough, this is exactly the same reason for giving up reading Banks I later heard expressed by someone at 3am on the first series of Big Brother, ten years ago now.


  5. How can you not like his science fiction? What?

    Iain Banks is one of the most popular writers in the UK. If it is “Iain M. Banks” it is his science fiction (normally). If he leaves out the middle initial, it is his mainstream work. (There is an exception or two if you draw lines differently than he does.)

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