Book Review – Canal Dreams – Iain Banks

One of my favourite books of all time is The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. I remember reading the novel in Highschool and being amazed and intrigued by the disturbing and sadistic mind of the protagonist. Bank’s imagination was like none I had ever encountered. Eight years later, and I’ve just made it through Canal Dreams. My initial impression of Banks’ skill remains unchanged.

At first, I found the novel a little slow in its development, with Banks carefully introducing the Hisako, the novel’s protagonist. A Japanese cellist with a crippling fear of flying, Hisako immediately made me feel like I was reading a Murakami novel. This feeling further instilled by the dream sequences throughout the story. However, the slow start of the book established a sense of comfort in me as a reader, which worked well to leave me shocked and enthralled, when Banks’ pulled no stops in his details of bloodshed at the end of the novel.

While not a recommendation for the light-hearted or squeamish reader, Canal Dreams is a confronting depiction of what we can be when we have nothing left to lose. Hisako’s journey from a classical cellist to a Ramboesque heroine, illustrating that at heart, we can all be killers.

4/5 

Peace & Love

Novel-Thoughts

That Short Story That changed your life?

E. M Forster The Machine Stops, that was mine. I remember reading, incredulous to the idea that it had been written over 100 years ago. Questioning, how could someone who hadn’t seen the invention of television be describing the lives of humanity in a digital age.

Today, the stories relevance and commentary on the way technology can corrupt humanity is more important than ever.

So what short story made an impact on you? Why should everyone read it?

Comment and let me know

Peace and love,

Novel-Thoughts

Cormac McCarthy – The Road – Study Notes

Novel-Thoughts is now adding new content for our The Road Study Notes.

A great novel by a great author, The Road is a must-read for anyone who enjoys post-apocalyptic fiction. McCarthy’s unique, sparse writing style is engaging, and the bleak future he paints in the novel adeptly pulls the reader into the sense of despair he develops.

Follow for more literature notes!

Updates: The Outsiders & Fahrenheit 451

The gradual process of uploading content and study materials has begun. I’m expecting it to be a slow slog to get Novel-Thoughts where I want it, but, as they say, all good things take time and hard work.

Latest Updates

The Outsiders: Some character analysis and theme information.
Fahrenheit 451: Some links to video content.

If you or someone you know may be looking for fresh, clear and concise literature guides. Come and follow Novel-Thoughts and join us on the journey to put life back into literature studies.

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