The Wasp Factory 1: Simpler and More Innocent Times
It's time for a trademark Shark Liver Oil screeching direction-change - this week we've gone for the impressive, compelling and (let's be honest) stomach-turning debut from Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory. That title, if you hadn't guessed, is ironic; there's less innocence here than in Hercule Poirot's drawing-room. This week, we're introduced to Frank (weird), Frank's Dad (very very precisely weird), and Frank's brother Eric (eating candles and smashing up phoneboxes; possibly the weirdest although that's a fierce contest). They live on top of a bomb, one of them technically doesn't exist, and they seem to agree that no-one could eat a family-size bag of crisps to themselves - we're through the looking-glass here, and we haven't even approached the top ten oddest things in this book yet. As always, get your thoughts, opinions and angry rants in to email@example.com, or on Twitter @sharkliveroil.
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