The polarizing literary debut by Scottish author Ian Banks, The Wasp Factory is the bizarre, imaginative, disturbing, and darkly comic look into the mind of a child. John Mullan on the use of explanation as a device in Iain Banks's The Wasp Factory. Iain Banks' debut novel, The Wasp Factory, caused a storm of controversy when it was first published in and became an immediate.


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He has invented private rituals, imitating religion. In an abandoned bunker he has made an altar whose centrepiece is "Old Saul", the skull of his father's vicious bulldog, put down for biting off Frank's genitals when he was a toddler.

It is decorated with candles in which wasps sacrificially sizzle, iain banks the wasp factory furnished with "the souvenirs of my life": It is all about his past and his family.


We are encouraged to believe that there is a logic to Frank's preoccupations. His brother Eric is, he tells us, "crazy" and lucky to have the affection of "somebody sane" - himself.

Humor and Moralizing in The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

Certainly his obsessions have a quality of pedantic order and rationality. In fact, he was witty as hell even when he was writing about his own mortality. The universe is worse without him, but was improved by his 59 years of existence.


Barbour The Wasp Factory, by Iain Banks, has garnered many accolades since its initial release in The book has appeared on a number of greatest iain banks the wasp factory lists and in a poll was even named one of the top novels of the century. To some, Banks is a visionary crafting a tale of the macabre.

While others have viewed The Wasp Factory as little more than nonsensical garbage.

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

I restrict my horizons for my own good reasons; fear--oh, yes, I admit it--and a need for reassurance and safety in a world which just so happened to treat me very cruelly at an age before I had any real chance iain banks the wasp factory affecting it.

His father is eccentric, but Frank is something quite different. Before I go any further, I should mention iain banks the wasp factory you should start thinking of Frank as quite mad. I prefer bat shit crazy.

You might take a sip of your coffee or tea that you hopefully have at your elbow because you might feel a sudden dryness of the mouth.

Frank has done something that most people never do in their lifetimes. Eric often calls Frank from phone boxes to inform Frank of his progress back to the island. Eric is extremely erratic; their conversations invariably end badly, with Eric exploding in fits of rage.

The Wasp Factory | Book by Iain Banks | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

Frank is confused as iain banks the wasp factory whether or not he is looking forward to seeing Eric, but it is clear Frank loves his brother.

The "Wasp Factory" that the title refers to is a mechanism put together by Frank, made from a huge clock face, salvaged from the local dump, encased in a glass box. Behind each of the 12 numerals on the clock face is a trap which leads to a different ritual death for example burning, crushing, or drowning in Frank's urine for the wasp that Frank puts into it via iain banks the wasp factory hole at the centre of the clock face.

Frank believes the death "chosen" by the wasp predicts something about the future.

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