“The Wasp Factory” by Iain Banks

2/5 Stars

If you like creepy and sadistic novels, this book is for you. It’s like a Stephen King horror novel, but on steroids. I will never be able to look at a person named “Frank” the same ever again.


Image taken from Goodreads.com

I picked up this book because I wanted to read something with a ‘1984’ or ‘Brave New World’ vibe. The book definitely does not hold back on the horror and gore, but the plot is EXTREMELY slow. Just like King, some paragraphs are entirely too descriptive, and honestly, boring to read.

I found myself skimming paragraphs towards the end of the book because NOTHING was happening and I was tired of reading about the weather or some pointless thing the main character was doing. If Banks would’ve focused more on the character’s history, reasoning, and goals, then the book would’ve been way more interesting.

The main character is quite unique; he’s a murderer. I wanted to read more about him and why he does the things he does rather than reading about him checking on the island every single day. The author described physical actions rather than explaining the emotions or reasoning. Half the time you have no idea why them main character does what he does.

It was hard to finish this book because I didn’t see any direction of where it was going. There really wasn’t any rising actions at all and no conflict resolution either. If the main character wasn’t so interesting, I wouldn’t even have bothered finishing this novel.

After finishing the book, I’m left with more questions than answers. I still don’t understand or even fully know what the Wasp Factory is, even though it’s the title of the book. I still feel like the plot is a mystery. I feel like this is an unfinished rough draft.

This book has a unique concept, but poor execution. Even though it is only 184 pages, it takes a certain amount of dedication to finish this book quickly because large chunks of it are so uneventful. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone unless slow plots don’t bother you.


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