I joined a reading group at the library, and it turned out to be a very interesting first meeting, where we meandered from the book under discussion to other authors to politics and beyond. It was quite difficult to have a proper discussion of the book because the group leader and I were the only two who had actually finished reading it, so I’ll give my thoughts here.
It had a good opening line – probably the best I’ve read.
It was a bit of a family saga, over two generations. There was a mystery – at first only a disappearance, but eventually disclosure of a murder. Or maybe two murders. The probable murderer got his comeuppance. No police were involved.
I laughed out loud at an inappropriate moment (when the protagonist’s atheist father died). Well, he was climbing a church steeple and he got struck by lightning.
I didn’t really like the protagonist much. I didn’t like the girl he fell in love with, either. But I did like Ash, the girl he needed to fall in love with.
The ends were too neatly tied for me. Prentice got a second chance at Uni. He got a legacy and a fancy car. The murderer got what he deserved. The disappeared uncle was found (dead, sadly). The girl Prentice should have fallen for turns out to love him…
Iain Banks is an author worth reading, but not a quick read. This book was okay.