stonemouth by iain banks

The story is tight, sometimes claustrophobic, and would be a great candidate for a chamber theatre adaptation. Small town with its set in stone rules and rulers; love story interrupted by an unnamed tragedy and family feud; everyone has some kind of history with each other. Action takes off immediately, carrying the reader through an intense weekend and plenty of flashbacks from main character’s past.

Maybe it’s just me, but in this book Banks made Scotland feel exotic and mysterious, whereas in his other novels the country was just a location, blurry backdrop to the story.

I would not recommend to start with Stonemouth if one is not familiar with Banks, but it’s a good option for the third book, right after The Crow Road and The Wasp Factory.

Side note of bragging: I have this book in hardcover, signed first edition, making it one of the valued exhibits of my library.