The Crow Road

The Crow Road

Book - 2008
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It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach.
So begins Iain Banks' The Crow Road, the tale of Prentice McHoan and his complex but enduring Scottish family. Prentice, preoccupied with thoughts of sex, death, booze, drugs, and God, has returned to his home village of Gallanach full of questions about the McHoan past, present, and future.
When his beloved Uncle Rory disappears, Prentice becomes obsessed with the papers Rory left behind -- the notes and sketches for a book called The Crow Road. With the help of an old friend, Prentice sets out to solve the mystery of his uncle's disappearance, inadvertently confronting the McHoans' long association with tragedy -- an association that includes his sister's fatal car crash and his father's dramatic death by lightning.
The Crow Road is a coming-of-age story as only Iain Banks could write -- an arresting combination of dark humor, menace, and thought-provoking meditations on the nature of love, mortality, and identity.
Publisher: San Francisco, CA :, MacAdam Cage,, [2008]
ISBN: 9781596923065
1596923067
Branch Call Number: FIC BANK
Characteristics: 501 pages ; 24 cm

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roystreet
Sep 21, 2014

Disappointing; the language is clear, concrete, and poetic, and the dialogue reproduces Scots speech wonderfully. But after a promising first chapter, it loses momentum. Like a tarpaulin-covered car being uncovered, hints of a plot come into view at about page 100. The trouble is, by that time, it was too late: the people alone just aren't that interesting. The constantly shifting settings, times, and points of view didn't help, either. After a while, keeping them straight just seemed like more effort than it was worth. The author promises us that "this sort of thing (his grandmother exploding) keeps happening in my family." But it doesn't.
*** *** *** ***
As an alternative, read "Sunset Song," the first of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's "A Scots Quair" trilogy.

j
jazpur
Aug 31, 2013

In a word. Brilliant

apollö Nov 25, 2011

Great book

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