Looking forward to digging in ‘The Quarry’

I have just received the hardback edition of ‘The Quarry’ which I pre-ordered
from Amazon. A real book that will no doubt rock.

I intend to review it in due course.

Regarding my blog post here, I see that on page 45 there is mention of ‘red wellington boots’.
This was my local Third Thursday writer’s group homework title set a month ago.
Tonight is our next meeting where we read our homework to each other.

EDIT: My review of ‘The Quarry’ appears in the comment stream below.

No spoilers intended.


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7 responses to “Looking forward to digging in ‘The Quarry’

  1. I am about halfway through THE QUARRY by Iain Banks and I suspect that I shall end up thinking that I have been carried halfway up a derelict, lonely tower in my figurative reader-type wheelchair only to be carried down again without reaching the top or, more likely, I shall be effectively taken to the top for a view of a truly great novel…
    It is skilfully and compellingly written from the first person narrative point of view of a boy-man suffering from what I see as Aspergers Syndrome – the son of Guy. This narrator is looking after Guy his father who seems to be someone of my own generation, who went to University roughly when I went to University – who is now suffering terminal cancer. This is poignant, humane, inhumane and often humorous.
    Guy’s old friends from University gather for a visit, one of whom may be the narrator’s mother…? They ask the narrator to help find a mysteriously embarrassing video tape nested in another video tape, for retrocausal destroying? They are the Returned? The Dam in the current Channel 4’s THE RETURNED may equate to the Quarry here. Will our aspergic narrator need to count the rocks meticulously? And this novel is effectively, I guess, the author’s own return…?
    (More later without spoilers)

  2. My photo of the book: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/two-books-recently-received/

    My advert for this mini-review of THE QUARRY, a review that will continue in due course below.

  3. Now up to page 200 – I am fascinated with the concept of ‘miraculist thinking’ – and the use to which one can put party poppers!

  4. There now follows 20 pages that are sheer literary brilliance as seen stemming from the book’s preceding context – following the Bong, the narrator’s rite of passage alongside one of Guy’s female friends from university, well characterised, a situation factored into by the virtual world of the narrator’s computer HeroSpace game, and I note the ‘Revenantaries’ in the light of what I wrote earlier above about The Returned – and, amazingly, also in the light of the alternate world that seems to be developing in another on-line real-time book review elsewhere – that I am conducting fortuitously and simultaneously – of ‘Some Kind of Fairy Tale’.

  5. Pages 220 – 234
    The Narrator aspires to rock-climbing the Quarry nearby, noticing fault-lines threatening the house? (Cf the fracking (?) faults and erupting rocks in ‘Some Kind of Fairy Tale’ mentioned in my concurrent review – and the scaling of the tip in Rog Pile’s story in HWV and Caleb Wilson’s Scree in HWV, too).
    This represents a second rite of passage for Kit the Narrator, and are the footprints he finds made by red wellingtons? Another rite of passage like Hans Castorp leaving the sanatorium in Thomas Mann’s ‘Magic Mountain’ to scale the surrounding snow wastes…?

  6. It must say something for a novel when I found myself, this afternoon and evening, reading its last sizeable section (up to page 326) in tantamount to one sitting. I will not give away the outcome of the tape search – whether it was an anti-climax or the perfect storm of a surprise – whether the gathering of Guy’s guests was studiously didactic in its final Socratic dialogues (cf those in the sanatorium of Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain) or a wildly brainstorming, even violent, drug-riddled house-party in at the kill – or something in between. Or whether this fiction is an example of its own ‘sacrificial peas’ or a culmination of literature with revelations about one’s generation of living and one’s co-livers.
    It seems to me it was all of those things.
    Fiction: the way to converse, with throwaway lines of brainstorming as well as with aspergic deliberation of logic and sang froid.
    I can state that this novel was a perfect stream of words just like Kit the narrator’s meticulously own measured tap-flow – elegant, svelte but pregnant with some birth of realisation that this generation has been sucked into screens, into that ironically named HeroSpace, a quarry we should have shot at birth before it hunted us, a quarry like the screen on which I saw the 1953 Coronation, a screen which proceeded to suck my parents’ life into it as their eyelids drooped in front of its black and white images every fracking evening! A form of spiritual cancer that tries to get you before the bodily version snaps shut its own trap.
    Best to struggle on writing noble novels like this one: the only game worth winning.

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