The Crow Road

The Crow Road

Book - 2008/08/14
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Baker & Taylor
When Prentice McHoan returns to his home town of Gallanach he meets a former girlfriend of his missing uncle Rory, who provides him with a folder of Rory's writings that inspires him to seek out the man who had disappeared eight years earlier.

Perseus Publishing
"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: MacAdam/Cage San Francisco
Pgw 2008/08/14
ISBN: 9781596923065
Branch Call Number: FICTION BANKS
Characteristics: 501 p


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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.

Aug 31, 2013

In a word. Brilliant

apollö Nov 25, 2011

Great book


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