The Quarry by Iain Banks

Score: 4 out of 5

“Kit doesn’t know who his mother is. What he does know, however, is that his father, Guy, is dying of cancer.

Feeling his death is imminent, Guy gathers around him his oldest friends – or at least the friends with the most to lose by his death.

Paul – the rising star in the Labour party who dreads the day a tape they all made at university might come to light; Alison and Robbie, corporate bunnies whose relationship is daily more fractious; Pris and Haze, once an item, now estranged, and finally Hol – friend, mentor, former lover and the only one who seemed to care.

But what will happen to Kit when Guy is gone? And why isn’t Kit’s mother in the picture? As the friends reunite for Guy’s last days, old jealousies, affairs and lies come to light as Kit watches on.”

ISBN13: 9780349138596


I have recently been trying different authors and picked this one up, I wanted to try Iain Banks but didn’t fancy giving Matter a go, I wanted something more ………manageable. I found some great quotes in it and there was a definitely LOL moment during a few of them:

“I’m not arguing there are no decent people in the Tory party but their like sweetcorn in a turd; technically they kept their integrity but they ‘re still embedded in shit” Pg 25

This was laced with humour throughout. however the humour for me became a little uncomfortable after a while, when one of the characters was joking about his cancer, its not that it wasn’t funny and well written, I just didn’t feel comfortable laughing about the subject.

The story takes place over a long weekend, friends are gathered at a dilapidated house as a kind of last gathering for the inevitable. They are all intrigued and nervous about a tape from all of their past resurfacing, it would, as numerous characters stated have a detrimental effect on their lives in one form or another.

Told from an 18 year old sons perspective, father dying of cancer and he has aspergers. I imagine it shows a lot of the thought processes someone displays with Aspergers, and Kit was very well developed and thoroughly interesting. All the characters were well developed and had their own quirk’s which played to the humour.

This is a fantastic portrayal of the decline cancer causes (if there is such a thing), and the emotions felt by everyone close to the situation came across as candid and varied. Thoroughly enjoyed this and will definitely be pursuing more of Banks’ work in the future.