Review of 'The Quarry'

The Quarry by Iain Banks

the_quarry.jpg Kit is an 18 year old borderline autistic boy taking care of his bitter, terminally ill father Guy in a large, decaying, country house beside a large quarry. A group of Guy's friends who studied film at university together visit the house for one last visit: Hol is a film critic and has always been very close to Kit; Paul is an opinionated media lawyer with a bit of a grudge with Hol; Rob and Ali are corporate; Pris is a single mother and; Haze is still deep into drugs even after 20 years. Though ostensibly there to visit with Guy the group also wonder at the whereabouts of a “compromising” video they shot as students with Paul even privately offering Kit a reward for it's return. Kit struggles to care for this increasingly disabled father, taking solace in his walks around the quarry, and emotional support from Hol. He is also able to escape in the on-line gaming world of “HeroSpace” which he has mastered over the years. Over the course of the friend's visit old feelings and rivalries come to the surface.

The story is told from the somewhat naive perspective of Kit who describes the outlandish yet ultimately sad and tragic behaviour of his father. A father hiding his fear of death with bitterness and spite with the ever-patient Kit ultimately the victim. Kit is struggling himself to come to grips with what is happening to his life and what the future holds. The visit brings much of this to a head with the book ultimately providing an emotionally satisfying if somewhat bittersweet conclusion.

An interesting character study from a master of character, Iain Banks, with a few small mysteries thrown in to make it interesting. An easy and enjoyable read though I would suggest not exactly gripping.


Review Date: 2017-10-28

Genre: General Fiction

Publisher: Little, Brown

Publication Date: 2013

ISBN: 9781408703946

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