According to Banks, this allowed him to treat the story as something resembling science fiction – the island could be envisaged as a planet, and Frank, the protagonist, almost as an alien. He sits with him and considers his life up to this point and whether he should leave the island. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published 1998 Maggots do not eat healthy tissue. The Wasp Factory is a mechanism invented by Frank, consisting of a huge clock face, salvaged from the local dump, encased in a glass box. There are also “Sacrifice Poles” constructed by Frank. He assumes that his findings mean that his father is actually female. We are an individual "No Sartre, no Lessing, no Mailer: Frodo the hobbit beats them all", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Wasp_Factory&oldid=984399499, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 October 2020, at 22:19. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/TheWaspFactory. Great. No? "Iain Banks: 'In the end we'll be smiling'. Something drummed in my brain that I had to read this. It annoyed me beyond belief. While this is mostly against animals, Frank also recollects killing three younger children. Huh, what? It's revealed that when Frank was much younger, he killed three of his relatives: two cousins and his younger brother. I said I was going to listen to it the next time I read it and here I go. What can we do you for today? The protagonist of the book is an awful young boy (like 14/15?) Everything we do is part of a pattern we have at least some say in. Oh no – tell him I'm out. This has been common knowledge since the fucking dark ages, along with using leeches to reduce swelling. The Wasp Factory is the first novel by Scottish writer Iain Banks, published in 1984. The child's skull is held together by a metal plate over his head. Any medical professional knows this. We talked... Frank, no ordinary sixteen-year-old, lives with his father outside a remote Scottish village. Frank, no ordinary sixteen-year-old, lives with his father outside a remote Scottish village. He also exhumed the skull of the dog that castrated him, and uses it as part of his rituals. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. This author also published science fiction under the pseudonym, “All our lives are symbols. He's gone. It tells the story of Frank Cauldhame, your average sixteen year-old murdererous sociopath who lives … Hair-Trigger Temper: Fail to keep up with Eric's deranged trains of thought and he smashes up … Banks decided to try a more mainstream novel in the hopes that it would be more readily accepted, and wrote about a psychopathic teenager living on a remote Scottish island. "My greatest enemies are Women and the Sea. As Frank begins to relate the circumstances which led to his brother's breakdown, he also begins to dig deeper into his father's secrets, leading to several deeply unpleasant revelations... TVTropes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Ooooh, shock me with killing things and not caring. Your hero does what? He is used to being lied to by his father, who seemingly does it purely for his own amusement. To see what your friends thought of this book. Sure, beat me over the head with this same set of ideas for another 190 pages. adolescent bois with lots of testosterone. How's it hanging? It took me one commute to read this book and it may be telling of my own psyche that I didn't actually consider Frank to be that crazy. Frank's mother abandoned them years ago: his elder brother Eric is confined to a psychiatric hospital; and his father measures out his eccentricities on an imperial scale. Frank has turned to strange acts of violence to vent his frustrations. Eric checks underneath the plate to find the child's exposed brain tissue infested and being consumed by day-old maggots. I sat on the terrace and looked down the valley to the backdrop of the Pic d’Anie in the Pyrenean mountain range. by Simon & Schuster (NYC). Maggots do not eat healthy tissue. While attempting to feed a brain-damaged newborn with acalvaria, Eric notes how the child is unresponsive and smiling, despite usually appearing expressionless. The – you know the ad campaign is not really forming in my mind right now I gotta be honest Iain, you know what I mean, I can't see the cover… yes… yes… the brother…mentally ill… drugs… torture --- Iain, wait, wait. Great. Frank's older brother, Eric, escapes from a psychiatric institution, having been arrested some years prior for arson and terrorizing the local children by force-feeding them live maggots. Eww – I think – and… oh, there's a dwarf? But drafts of Phlebas and the next two Culture novels, Player of Games and Use of Weapons, all pre-date The Wasp Factory Glad this was not an evening encounter, and should I now be scared of. He sacrifices animals? Oh no – tell him I'm out. Good try, though, Mr. Banks. Great to hear from you. Yeah? Oh yes, ha ha, that's what we do here, we publish books. His what? You have to have an angle. Listen, if Iain Banks calls up again, I'm OUT, do you hear? Yeah. They eat dead and rotting flesh. Eric often calls him from a pay-phone to inform Frank of his progress back to the island. He resents others for his impotence, particularly women. How's it hanging? Well, impotent, sacrifices animals, dwarf, yeah, that's kind of an angle I guess. Frank occupies his time with rituals, building dams, and maintaining an array of weapons (a small catapult, pipe bombs, and a crude flamethrower) for killing small animals around the island. This book is so damn disturbing and problematic at so many different levels. What's that? Yeah, yeah. The Wasp Factory came out in 1984. It's too late at night for that, so maybe next time. Personality We are all unique. What a story this was. But when news comes of Eric's escape from the hospital Frank has to prepare the ground for his brother's inevitable return - an event that explodes the mysteries of the past and changes Frank utterly. Well yes, you told me that last week. The book was initially greeted with a mixture of acclaim and criticism, due to its gruesome depiction of violence. He's haunted by the memory of a dog attack during his youth, which resulted in the loss of his genitalia. Spoilers for "The Wasp Factory" ahead. You have to have an angle. His first science fiction novel, Consider Phlebas, came out in 1987.  Following the success of The Wasp Factory, Banks began to write full-time. Frank has turned to strange acts of violence to vent his fru. They drown in what? Women because they are weak and stupid and live in the shadow of men and are nothing compared to them", UsefulNotes/The BBC Big Read's Top 200 Books. (No spoilers please!). Huh, what? " Banks' response to this criticism is that readers understood the humour of these scenes in a way that many critics did not in their reviews. Behind each of the 12 numerals is a trap that leads to a different ritual death (such as burning, crushing, or drowning in Frank's urine) for the wasp that Frank puts into it via the hole at the centre. The Wasp Factory is a 1984 novel written by Iain Banks. Frank's father explains that it was Frank who was born a female; the hormones had been fed to him by his father since the dog attack in an experiment to see whether Frank would transition from female to male. Eric is described as having been extremely sensitive before the incident that drove him mad: a tragic case of neglect at the hospital where Eric was a volunteer when studying to become a doctor. What's that? During the ensuing confrontation, Eric attempts to destroy the island with explosives and fire but is not successful. It's the guy who rang last week – no, I don't want to speak to him, no---HI IAIN!! Spoiler ahead. Police on search for the killer. I don’t understand the semi high rating. Listen, er ---- oh what? Any medical professional knows this. His genitals? , A 1997 poll of over 25,000 readers of The Independent listed The Wasp Factory as one of the top 100 books of the 20th century. You've written a novel, great. I don’t u. I felt the same about this book. I've read this too many times to give a straight up reaction review, and I feel like any significant writing I might attempt on this book would necessarily become an essay. [ I thought this book was wonderful and it's definitely in my top 10 of favourite books. The Irish Times called it "a work of unparalleled depravity.". As I read the last sentence of The Wasp Factory, I closed my Kindle and smiled and thought about this extraordinary book. Their life is, to say the least, unconventional. Damn this book. Frank observes many shamanistic rituals of his own invention, and it is soon revealed that Frank killed three children before he reached the age of ten himself. Instead, here is what I was thinking this time through: dog haters and budding psychos everywhere, Holy Shit! We’d love your help. yes. It's the guy who rang last week – no, I don't want to speak to him, no---HI IAIN!! Look, I'm really sorry, and all. I saw The Wasp Factory itself as Frank, a deeply disturbed child, trying to have some control over his life, he feels everything must be predestined a, I felt the same about this book. Eric the dog burner was blatantly bat shit crazy but Frank, despite his slightly odd proclivities relating to the collection of animal heads on sticks and wasps in "future telling" mazes appeared to be eccentric at best. But you know I just can't really see this as being something we would be interested in just at the ------ oh. Trust me, my 3-star rating was a surprise to even myself. Listen, er ---- oh what? Just because y. Frank lives with his father on a small island in rural Scotland, and he has not seen his mother in many years. Before the publication of The Wasp Factory, Banks had written several science fiction novels that had not been accepted for publication. [ And, finally, the counter-argument to the cult of power through death, as Frank decides to leave the island and to try to live in the real world: Nifty freakshow with significantly horrific tableaux which will remain with you somewhat of an eternity...!! So. Their life is, to say the least, unconventional. Just because you think they're icky doesn't mean you can break the rules to suit your fiction. Otherwise, Frank has almost no contact with the outside world. Yes but – you know, first novels are not that easy to sell. The Irish Times called it "a work of unparalleled depravity. There is no official record of his birth, meaning his existence is largely unknown. There were moments where it felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest, it was so unnerving, and others where it was surprisingly funny for something so macabre. At the end of the novel, Frank is alerted of Eric's return when he sees a dog that has been burned alive and discovers Eric's campsite. The murders are described in an honest and matter-of-fact way, often with grotesque humour. The Wasp Factory was initially met with shock and acclaim, as there had never been a work quite like it.